February 18, 2011

Bad faith from Wisconsin's Tea Party Governor

As Monk noted in the comment thread, there is evidence that Walker is simply creating a false crisis to kill the unions, and the state budget is not in such bad shape. Or it wasn't until he cut taxes upon entering office.

Two things, and then I have to go teach. 1) This speaks to the lie that is "supply side economics"--at least for many Republicans. If, in fact, cutting taxes was intended to spur the economy and then would result in increased state revenues, then there would be no problem with the state employees and the budget. After all, Walker cut taxes, so prosperity is right around the corner, right? But he didn't cut taxes to help the economy, but merely because he and so many like him hate government and want to defund it.

2) What disturbs me about this the most, besides the obvious bullshit about cutting taxes and then saying, "we have no money," is the sense that for people like Walker, this is not about negotiating with people with whom he honestly disagrees, but for whom he has concern. This is a scorched earth tactic intended to crush an enemy. For many (certainly not all) Republicans, Democrats, liberals, or any of the interest groups associated with the supposed left, are enemies not fellow Americans.

Bad faith.


The Progressive said...

I'm sure the good citizens of Wisconsin will replace the bad Republican governor with a Democrat who thinks that raising taxes on the "rich", and increasing government spending is the proper way to run a state.

I'm surprised that the Wisconsinites elected a Republican governor and senate. I thought they would have understood that higher taxes and higher government spending was the way to go before the last election, and not just coming to that realization now. Slow learners, I guess.

Smitty said...

Aw, come on, Progressive. That's a false choice; yet another logical fallacy. Just because someone thinks that (ineffective) tax cuts don't work to for spurring economies doesn't at all ever mean that they then support the opposite: big tax increases and "big government."

For example, one "alternative" that we have seen a lot of, especially in WI and as of yesterday afternoon in MI, is a tax cut for businesses to the tune of $1 billion-with-a-B, and a tax increase on the elderly and retired (a new proposed tax on pensions) and a tax on low-income (BUT STILL EARNING WAGES) people via the revocation of the earned income tax credit. I could argue that raising taxes on the bulk of your population (who would otherwise be buying the goods we are producing) and providing cuts to the top earners is counter-productive. But that doesn't mean I'd reverse it!! That's a false choice! Might be another way to look at it. Like cut taxes to businesses and alleiviate costs incurred by middle and lower class workers...the vast numbers who buy things.

But no, according to lazy logic, it's one way or the other, no debate. Yawn.

Streak said...

Well said, Smitty. How about cutting programs that don't work AND raising taxes to fund programs that do?

The kind of stupidity we hear from the missnamed Progressive troll reminds me of the basic conversation I have ever had with conservatives about the problems of capitalism. Criticizing capitalism most often elicits a "so I guess you think socialism is better?'

As if those are our only choices. But they aren't. We can regulate the economy with rationality and caution and use government to protect workers and the environment, AND we can encourage the kind of innovation that fuels our economy. It isn't one or the other.

Smitty said...

Criticizing capitalism most often elicits a "so I guess you think socialism is better?'

The thing that makes me want to spew blood about that particular argument is that it's the typical confusion between an economic system - Capitalism - and a governmental system - Socialism. No. They are not both economic systems.

England and Ireland are prime examples of Capitalist economies and Socialist governments. And Ireland's economic problems have less to do with a socialist government than they do with the confluence of a toppling banking system and a government that overspends....sound familiar?? Doesn't matter the type of government you have; your economic system drives your economy often times unhampered OR unhelped by your government system.

steves said...

As much as I would prefer not to pay higher taxes, there are times when it is necessary. I think it should be a last resort and only considered after reasonable spending cuts are made.

Here in MI we are looking at massive cuts in spending for schools. Most fostered have dealt with these cuts for years. They have cut programs, increased fees for sports and drivers ed, and privatized custodial and food services. The next step would be to fire teachers and increase class sizes. Ultimately, this will hurt the educational needs of our children and will hardly make our schools attractive to people that are looking to relocate to another state.

So, increase taxes now and lower them when the economy turns around.

As for Ireland, they made huge cuts to taxes for businesses so that they would relocate there and gave them other incentives. Ultimately, they went overboard with spending and were hurt when the economy took a downturn.

steves said...

Btw, I agree that this is being done to destroy the unions, along with all the bullshit "right to work" laws.

Streak said...

I keep wanting to make the pitch that, while not all taxes are good, neither are all of them bad. Some are a waste, but others are an investment that benefit us all. those shouldn't be cut, unless that program can be paid for another way, or is self-sustaining. I am fine with cutting programs that don't work--of course. But we seem to only be willing to cut programs that help the poor.