Sunday, January 27, 2019

About government, Reagan was wrong. Ron Johnson, too.

Recent days have provided a powerful seminar on the need for government programs and the workers who provide the services.

The people and the structure are an indispensable whole  - - from air traffic controllers to food safety inspectors to weather forecasters to Coast Guard rescue personnel to the people who cut your tax refund checks.

Send those workers home, and stop paying the contractors who supply and back them up, and we're all living somewhere between Bananastan and Stupidville.

And across Wisconsin, an approaching snowstorm - - the third in recent weeks - -  along with perhaps historically-low chill factors will put thousands of first responders, plow operators and public health workers again in harm's way so the rest of us can stay safe.

Their hard work under duress to be followed by repairs to water main breaks and street cracks that will arrive when this deep freeze thaws. 

Remember, it's only January. 

Enter into this larger picture which benefits from expertise and clarity one Ron Johnson, Wisconsin's useless GOP senior Senator.

As Trump's government shutdown was reaching its political bottom a few days ago, and Republicans were panicking about Blue Wave 2.0 rising ahead of the 2020 elections, Johnson absolved himself of any responsibility for this GOP  mess with some literal finger-pointing at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

"This is your fault," Johnson reportedly said to McConnell at a private, GOP-Senators' lunch. 

Such bravery, behind close doors - - just the kind of self-dealing weaseling that will consign Johnson and his fellow GOP Senate 'public service' clods to the partisan minority come January, 2021 for multiple counts of dereliction of duty.

The technicalities of Senate procedure aside, remember that Johnson was an early anti-government Tea Party enthusiast who said he got the idea to run for US Senate in 2010 after Fox News commentator Dick Morris asked for "a rich guy" in Wisconsin willing to take on then-incumbent Democratic Senator Russ Feingold.

Here's Johnson telling that true story

A crippled government in favor of private-sector special-interest dominance has long been the foundation of the GOP. Reagan reduced it to a slogan - - "government IS the problem." 

And Johnson, you should also recall, provided the key "yes" vote in the Senate to approve the Trump-Ryan tax cut plan after successfully inserting a provision to shovel an extra windfall to one category of business that just happened to be how his own business is structured.

Additionally, thanks to GOP partisans like Johnson, the minimal tax reductions that Wisconsin's middle class might see will completely disappear in 10 years, actually resulting in a tax increase. Meanwhile, Johnson's plastics company and other business and corporate interests will enjoy permanent tax cuts.
A shutdown government was malfunctioning precisely the way Johnson and his fellow government-bashers had in mind.

The more poorly it performed, and the fewer resources it had at its disposal, the more validated was the Republican narrative about the public sector even if they had to rig events to make their point.

Don't forget that the government-and-worker-hating & public-sector/public-health damaging Scott Walker promised to take his "wreak havoc" brand to Washington, DC were his nutty plan to become President been successful.

"As if that were a good thing," The Washington Post had snarked. More, here.

Ergo, Trump. and his enablers, like McConnell, Johnson, Paul Ryan and everyone caught in Robert Mueller's net.

No. Government isn't the problem.

The problem is the people who get into government, enjoy all its perks, and spend their time abusing it to serve their own agendas and other special-interest goals.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Well said!