Sunday, January 22, 2017

When Scott Walker made up his own 'alternative facts'

There's been a media storm over Donald Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway's ridiculous and Orwellian assertion that there are "alternative facts" that disprove the hard evidence of Trump's relatively-small inaugural attendance.

This is reminding me of the way right-wing GOP Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his team chose to word-play and stonewall the truth instead of admitting what was obvious about the taxes in his first budget - - the verifiable and measurable tax increases, not surprisingly on the poor - - that broke Walker's signature no-tax-increase pledge. 

It's a little complicated, but...

PolitiFact looked at the numbers and interviewed experts who agreed that Walker's budget would increase tax collections from low earners by more than $49 million by cutting the availability of some tax credits.

As PolitiFact said at the time about Walker's 2011-'13 budget:
It included some tax cuts, but also tax increases.
That's according to the nonpartisan state Legislative Fiscal Bureau, which both parties have long cited as a neutral scorekeeper on budget matters.
The bureau determined that Walker included three tax increases in the budget totaling $49.4 million over the two-year period.

But because Walker had signed a no-new-taxes pledge and consistently said (and still says) he would never raise any taxes, he and his people had to come up with alternative words to create an alternative reality about the impact of the changes to prove their case.

So as we might say today, they Conwayed by beginning with a switcheroo:
Walker has disputed the characterization of the tax-credit change as a tax increase, with spokesman Cullen Werwie telling us: "Decreasing a tax credit is reducing spending, not increasing taxes.”
So the Walker spokesman changed the subject from taxation to spending, and because the budget Walker was proposing did reduce spending, Walker was claiming that no taxes went up:
Werwie also argues that there is a net tax decrease in the budget, so the change to the earned income credit should not be considered as an increase that violates the pledge.
Except that Walker's no-new-taxes pledge was condition-free and absolute - -  "to oppose and veto any and all efforts to increases taxes" - -and Walker's alternative reality included a salt-in-the-wounds kicker that also relied on the extra tax revenue collected from the poor, as PolitiFact noted:
But in balancing his budget to tackle the deficit, Walker in effect used the income tax-credit reductions as revenue raisers to partially offset the deficit-enlarging cost of his tax cuts.
Scott Walker presaged Kellyanne Conway and Trump's manipulation of numbers to get around the truth.

And that's a fact.  


1 comment:

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Remember, Wisconsin is considered the model for GOP administrations. From "lying with impunity because media won't call you out," to creting a whole Bubble World if "alternative facts", to rigging elections and govt agencies to your advantage, and using government acts to hamper your opponents.

Will Dems and media in DC do what Dems and media in Wisconsin couldn't? CALL THE GOPs OUT AS LIARS AND STOP THE DISASTER BEFORE IT FESTERS.