Saturday, April 4, 2015

Final Four is best number in Walker's Wisconsin, of late

We needed to be cheered by a number like that because we learned recently that Wisconsin is adding jobs at only 50% of the national rate, has plummeted from an already ugly 31st place to 40th among the states in job creation, and now ranks 50th - - dead last - - in the percentage of its residents who have fallen out of the middle class.

You will end up with numbers like that no matter how many "Open for Business" billboards you put up at your state's borders if you are already a low-wage state, and your Governor, who doesn't believe in the concept of a minimum hourly wage, won't even discuss moving it off the federally-mandated, rock-bottom $7.25.

Some more numbers?

A persistent dead zone measured in Green Bay's waters last year caused by choking pollution runoff lasted nearly 11 times longer than a similar phenomenon in 1990, yet the State Legislature is reviewing a proposed budget from Walker that cuts pollution control funding by nearly $6 million, or 16%.

While Walker is pushing for larger and larger industrial-scale, runoff-producing dairy herds and is directing a Natural Resources Department with the "chamber of commerce mentality" he chose that has reduced its overall inspection and enforcement activities. More, here.

Walker's budget also reduces state recycling funding and cuts sixteen Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources science positions while transferring agency policy oversight from a citizen board to his chamber-of-commerce mentality managers.

How bad does that budget rate for the kind of land and water stewardship which Wisconsin, where Earth Day was founded, routinely has provided for its businesses, citizens and visitors?

"The is the worst conservation budget in twenty years," said George Meyer, the former DNR Secretary under GOP Governor Tommy Thompson.

But fear not, Bucky. Walker still claims some #1 rankings which could distinguish him from political rivals and get our state's name and reputation out there.

For example, Walker is the only probable 2016 presidential candidate who has said he has been made ready to battle ISIS as Commander-in-Chief by having earned an Eagle Scout certificate 30 years ago and, more recently, by reminding folks that he stood firm against peaceful protesters who didn't like the way he secretively and suddenly set in motion the end of 50 years of public employee collective bargaining.

And while his statements have been rated by PolitiFact as "false" more than twice as frequently as "true, Walker is, to date, the only probable presidential candidate confirmed to have bought a sweater for a dollar.

But the message there shouldn't be that he's a cheapskate. He spends when he needs to, as he was the only Governor a couple of years ago (New Jersey's troubled Gov. Chris Christie and the indicted former Texas Gov. Rick Perry may have surpassed Walker: who knows?) to have spent a disclosed $650,000 on a defense fund's lawyers and publicists.

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