Why the recall?
Confused about the campaign to recall Scott Walker? I’m sure amongst all the talking heads and arguments throughout your community you’ve managed to take one side or another whether you are political or not. It’s fairly easy to do when the issues are described as fiscal discipline on one side or being for teachers on another. But underneath the policy debates and protests is a larger picture that depicts a larger ideological fight going on throughout the nation that’s often ignored.
Scott Walker ran like many Republicans did in the 2010 election season on a platform of fiscal responsibility and job creation. The first thing he did when he entered office was cut taxes for the affluent and corporate in the state of Wisconsin to the tune of 100 million dollars, and something that over the course of 10 years will cost Wisconsin 2.3 billion dollars. Then he declared a budget crisis and focused on cutting benefits for public workers, education spending, and eliminating collective bargaining rights. This was not mentioned anywhere in his platform. These are not simple policy changes. These are major reforms that were intentionally hidden from the general public during the campaign to pass him through the election.
Whether you like it or not, this kind of budget seeks more from teachers and the public sector middle class at the expense of tax cuts for the wealthiest in Wisconsin. Mr. Walker planned to create 250,000 jobs his first four year term. With all of these cuts and tax breaks intended to spur massive growth, the total job increase in Wisconsin is so far 6,000, with the public sector layoffs in count.
The problem beyond this ineffectiveness in the fiscal austerity that’s at work not only in Wisconsin, but in multiple states and Washington D.C, is that it’s asking a disproportionate share to help balance budgets off of the middle and working class who have seen their incomes flat line in the past 30 years. Republicans refuse to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans or, in honor of the Occupy movement, the 1%.
Between 1980 and 2005, these Americans took in 80% of all the wealth created in the U.S. They own more income than the bottom 90% combined. Among this group are the owners of corporations who have shipped jobs overseas and brought in tremendous profits while shedding jobs, paying the bare minimum in taxes. Among this group are the people on Wall Street who helped instigate the massive financial crisis. This is the group given the holy status by republicans and hailed as job creators who are to create a recovery from the bottom down.
The reason why there is an Occupy Wall Street movement is because of the unfairness that has come to be the norm standard for policy makers across the country. It’s the notion that it is good economics to ask from those who have gotten so little from a thriving economy at the expense of lavishness and greed that might create something, and not building an economy from the bottom up. The budget crises of this country are the result of tax cuts, war, and a lack of investment into our economy by those who are the 1%. They are not the result of a middle class trying to better themselves. The debt is impossible to deal with until the average worker feels the end of this recession.
It’s time for the Republicans to start acting like they care to compromise between slashing the government structure and reforming the tax code to ask more of the mega rich that fund most of their agenda. This country needs to ask of more from those who have not felt a recession. This country needs to understand what is actually happening in the wake of a minority view that is today’s Republican ideology, and fight against it. Scott Walker’s recall is the tip of that iceberg in Wisconsin.