Scott Walker, in 2010 while running for Governor, made a promise to Wisconsinites that he would ”get government out of the way of employers … who will then help Wisconsin create 250,000 jobs by 2015 . . . .”
Scott Walker, in 2010 while running for Governor, made a promise to Wisconsinites that he would “get government out of the way of employers … who will then . . . add 10,000 new businesses.”
Epic fail. According to Politifact, to date, “. . . After one year of the Walker era, there were 9,485 fewer businesses than at the end of 2010, Gov. Jim Doyle’s final year in office . . . the total of existing entities was still down 4,338 as of April 30, 2012, compared with December 2010.”
And on top of those two significant epic failures on Walker’s part, Walker has now skulked around and added a very significant provision to his 2013-2014 budget, a provision that would be a punitive tax on those using Medicaid services, and would, in particular, negatively impact senior citizens.
According to Wessels Elder Law, Act 20 of the 2013-2014 Biennial Budget for Wisconsin provides that, “For every dollar someone uses in Medicaid when they are in a nursing home, they will have to pay it back when they die, or when their spouse dies . . . During their long working lives, these people have paid their tax dollars in income tax, property tax and sales tax. They have already paid for the long term care services they are receiving. But they are being forced to pay out a second time because they had the audacity to actually use the services their tax dollars have funded. So really, it is a double tax.”
In short, Medicaid recipients must pay back to the State of Wisconsin every penny they used in Medicaid services when they die – what’s left can then go to their families and heirs. Notes WesselsElderLaw.com, “Every day, in many ways, each of us pays taxes to fund things we will never, ever benefit from personally or individually. We pay taxes that support government actions we do not agree with. And taxes to fund things we use every day. With very few exceptions, such as those aggravating toll roads, we do not have a ‘pay as you go society’ when it comes to government services. We pay as a collective taxed unit for the things our representatives have deemed important to the functioning of our society. Like Medicaid. And Fire Trucks. And Schools.”
But this is Walker’s stock in trade: Gutting benefits and stepping on the necks of those in need, the middle class, and virtually anyone except those named “Koch.”
When Walker skulked around in the dark and effectively nixed public sector unions’ ability to collectively bargain for sick leave, vacation, and work hours, to name a few benefits, under Act 10, police and fire fighters were exempt. But in a less-than-honorable turnaround – in what’s being viewed by some as Walker’s toe in the water of the 2016 presidential race, or, more specifically, establishing his conservative street creds – Walker recently indicated at a town hall that he would consider also restricting police and fire fighters from collective bargaining. With Walker’s track record on promise-keeping, it should really come as no surprise to the cops and firefighters that he’s now going after the very unions who supported his gubernatorial campaign. But that doesn’t mean that the police and firefighter unions shouldn’t be worried; they should. After all, as reported by the Daily Kos, “Act 10 has been devastating in its effect. Huge losses of union members have led to the closure of our local union newspaper, The Milwaukee Labor Press, and the cancellation of this years Labor Fest. It has diminished revenues to public employee unions, decreasing their future impact on elections, and enabled towns, cities, and counties to balance their budgets on the backs of their workers. It has peeled 13 – 18 % of the take home pay of public employees, forcing many into foreclosureship of their homes, and the economic impact of less money circulating in communities has brought about business closures and unemployment as well as a declining tax base (along with vastly decreased state shared revenue). Many communities are now grating their roads turning once paved roads into old time gravel roads because they can’t afford to maintain them.”
Scott Walker promised to reduce the $3.6 million dollar deficit in Wisconsin – and last year, he ran ads boasting that the deficit had, in fact, been wiped out.
And yet, Rick Ungar at Forbes reported that, at the same time Walker was declaring that he’d wiped out the deficit, his Administration was claiming in a letter to HHS that the State would have an “undisclosed deficit” for 2012-2013 – all so he could potentially kick 50,000 Wisconsinites off Medicaid, which can only be accomplished if a State can show it’s running a deficit.
Walker has jiggled the numbers to claim he hasn’t raised taxes to lower the deficit, he’s outright lied about his job and business creation record, may be about to stab police and firefighter unions in the back so he can effectively wipe out the ability of all unions in the state to collectively bargain, is angling to punish Medicaid recipients, and in his dreams 50,000 fewer Wisconsinites will be on the Medicaid rolls.
He’s everything Republicans and the Koch Brothers could hope for in a bought-and-paid-for Governor, and it would certainly shock no one if the Republican Party ran him in 2016. Wisconsinites had a chance to recall this sleazy dude, but chose instead to keep him. Wonder what buyer’s remorse actually feels like?