Sunday, February 13, 2011

The rich play the tune, Wisco gov dances

As protesters demand democracy throughout the Middle East, one wonders if that's what's about to happen in Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker is trying to jam through his insane, union-busting budget (did we mention it includes a 9 percent pay cut for pretty much all government employees?). There's a "listening session" today -- Sunday! -- on the heinous proposal. Walker wants the budget to pass early next week, and outraged Wisconsinites are planning rallies and vigils. 

Reports Crooks and Liars in a post titled "Dictatorship in Wisconsin?"
...Walker, elected with millions from the US Chamber of Commerce via the Wisconsin Republican Governors' Association, is about to declare martial law on public workers in his state. This is not an exaggeration...
By including (his proposal to strip government employees of nearly all their bargaining rights) in the budget, he bypassed all hearings or opportunity for public comment, and is pushing the Wisconsin legislature to vote on it as early as next week.
Crooks and Liars notes that the Republican Governors' Association spent more than $5 million to elect Walker. The RGA is funded by billionaire Rupert Murdoch, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Koch Industries, Swift  Boat financier Bob Perry and Target (possibly as bad an employer as Wal-Mart), among others. You will not be at all surprised to learn that the Koch brothers are among Walker's top five campaign donors and that Wal-Mart also contributed.

Writes Crooks and Liars,
...that money was spent with the goal of breaking unions, promoting corporate profits, and creating a permanent underclass to serve their wealthy overlords.
Writes the peerless Bob Herbert today,
It doesn’t really matter what ordinary people want. The wealthy call the tune, and the politicians dance.
So what we get in this democracy of ours are astounding and increasingly obscene tax breaks and other windfall benefits for the wealthiest, while the bought-and-paid-for politicians hack away at essential public services and the social safety net, saying we can’t afford them...
It’s a perversion of democracy, indeed, when individuals like the Kochs have so much clout while the many millions of ordinary Americans have so little. What the Kochs want is coming to pass. Extend the tax cuts for the rich? No problem. Cut services to the poor, the sick, the young and the disabled? Check. Can we get you anything else, gentlemen?
Go to those rallies and vigils, people.