Tag Archives: Wisconsin decline

Scott Walker Wants to Do for the US What He Did for (to?) Wisconsin

Well well…to the surprise of absolutely no one, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (aka Koch Brothers’ favorite errand boy) has squeezed into the GOP’s presidential campaign clown car.

Walker’s positions were summarized by former Labor Secretary Robert Reich:

1. On immigration, Walker says he’s changed his mind on a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants and no longer supports the idea. He’s expressed skepticism toward legal immigration as well.

2. On gay marriage, Walker is calling for a constitutional amendment allowing states to ban it.

3. On abortion rights, Walker is pushing for a 20-week ban in Wisconsin with no exceptions for rape or incest. (In 2014 he told voters his previous legislation left “the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”)

4. On “gun rights,” Walker is against any attempt to ban assault weapons or limit the ability of anyone to own a gun.

5. On labor unions, he is the GOP’s most virulent anti-labor candidate, having taken on teachers and other public employees and signing a “right-to-work” law. (He says his battles with labor leaders have prepared him to take on the Islamic State.)

6. He favors tax cuts over deficit reduction and public education. His most recent Wisconsin budget cuts taxes, requires steep cuts to education, and deepens the state deficit.

7. He has tried to weaken Wisconsin’s “open records” law by blocking press requests that have yielded some embarrassing finds in the past.

Reich omits Walker’s persistent attacks on higher education– his sneering dismissal of scholarly endeavors and his ongoing effort to make the University of Wisconsin focus upon  job-training to the exclusion of the life of the mind. (He also fails to mention the criminal investigations that have been triggered by charges of serious wrongdoing.)

So how has Wisconsin fared under the administration of this paragon of the far Right?

The Pew Charitable Trust recently reported that Wisconsin has had the largest decline of any state in the percentage of families considered “middle class,” or those earning between 67 and 200 percent of their state’s median income.

In 2000, 54.6 percent of Wisconsin families fell into the middle class category but that has fallen to 48.9 percent in 2013, according to U.S. Census figures compiled by Pew.

All other states showed some decline but none as great as Wisconsin’s 5.7 percent figure.

Wisconsin ranks dead last among the 50 states in terms of a shrinking middle class, with real median household incomes there falling 14.7 percent since 2000.

I assume he’ll run on his record….