As a career professional, volunteer, mom, wife, and friend, I focus on the positive aspects of life, even when the road is rough getting there. Life is funny. How you treat others, how you handle situations, and how you live each day is your responsibility ... so are the outcomes.
I thought I lived in the Wisconsin, a state within the United States of America, where democracy, the majority, and discussions were held to do what is in the best interest of the masses. By definition, Wisconsin is becoming a dictatorship, “A government controlled by one person, or a small group of people. In this form of government the power rests entirely on the person or group of people, and can be obtained by force or by inheritance. The dictator(s) may also take away much of its peoples' freedom.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dictatorship)
The English thesaurus parallels a democracy to equality, consensus, and fairness. None of these words represent the self-interest guided politics ruling our state today. The leadership is the epitome of everything indecent in a politician. Governor Walker is talking out of the upper and lower portions of his body within every, spoken communication. His budget address on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 contains dialogue “tugging at the heartstrings” of Wisconsinites by referencing how important education is for our young children, “That’s why my budget creates a third grade reading initiative that will require all third graders to achieve basic literacy. I know we can do this and we owe it to our students to make sure we do.” Did anyone hear / read what was said in BRIEF just beforehand, “That is why -- even as we reduce school aids…” How will his “third grade reading initiative” be implemented / successful, when teachers will be cut from the schools, class sizes will increase, and the attention the students need will decrease? Seriously…how stupid do you think we are! Any time you cut aid to schools, the quality of education diminishes, and the CHILDREN SUFFER the “dire consequences.”
I never thought I would see the day where a road would take precedence over education. “We need a commitment to the future so our children don’t face even more dire consequences than what we face today.” Is this a joke? Our children will suffer “dire consequences” as the result of, “a total investment of $5.7 billion in our state’s transportation system,” while slashing “$834 million in state K-12 education spending over the next two years.” (http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/117192683.html) What benefits will Gov. Walker reap from this arrangement?
He is adhering to the exact same practices his predecessors carried out – a little creative accounting - robbing from the education fund (on all levels) to subsidize concrete and asphalt. Why not keep the $834 million in the education fund and decrease the transportation budget to $4.866 billion? “Clearly, we have to produce graduates who are able to compete - not only with their peers from Chicago or Des Moines - but also from Shanghai or Sydney.” The Budget Repair Bill obliterates the objective of producing competitive candidates.
What if the competing graduates have their hearts set on being a police officer, a firefighter, or a teacher? The jobs once available to them will no longer be there due to the trickle down effect of cutting social / community services and educational funding. Yes, there are many of us, who do read between the lines. Gov. Walker does not want to look like the bad guy, so the cuts are pushed downhill for the city and municipal governments to deal with therefore, taking the blame for any job losses, hiring freezes, and pay / benefit cuts for employees. Once again, Walker washes his hands of the situation.
When these cuts take affect, which they will upon the passing of the Budget Repair Bill, here is the realistic picture of what will happen. Police, firefighters, and teachers will suffer job loss and be forced into early retirement. There will be no plans to fill the positions afterward, thus creating more job loss. “I campaigned on creating an environment where the private sector can create 250,000 jobs over the next four years;” self-interest politics at its best. Private sector funds are what generate successful, political campaigns. Remember the “vested interest” of Koch?
Gov. Walker is laying the foundation for his presidential aspirations. Did you really think all the hoopla about collective bargaining, job creation, taking bold steps to fix the budget was about us or our great state of WI? Absolutely not! It is solely beneficial to Gov. Walker to have his name and face plastered all over the news for the world to see. He needs to be a household name, no matter, if people know what he is really about or not. By the time elections come, name recognition wins the game. It would destroy his “power of the people,” if all the media were to cease broadcasting any news about him. No name…no face…no presidential candidacy.
If Gov. Walker were truly in office to do what is largely beneficial to all Wisconsin residence, he would take a closer look at the wages and benefits of the state legislature and begin budget cuts from the top down. Currently, a WI senator’s salary is $174,000 per year. (http://www.legistorm.com/member/2811/Sen_Ron_Johnson_WI.html) As part of being committed to the budget fixing efforts, they should be told they will take a 10% pay cut effective immediately with no allowable, wage / benefit increases for the next three years. Not a bad deal when you compare their salaries to a few of the top fifteen most dangerous jobs in America.
A firefighter, 13th most dangerous job, earns an average salary of $41, 267 (http://www1.salary.com/Fire-Fighter-Salary.html.) A police officer / sheriff, 10th most dangerous job, earns an average salary of $50,051 (http://www1.salary.com/police-officer-Salary.html.) An iron / steel worker, 4th most dangerous job, earns on average $19 / hour. A refuse / recycle collector, 9th most dangerous job, earns on average $17 / hour. (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-15-most-dangerous-jobs-in-america-2010.)
These are the men and women who, on a daily basis, are risking life and limb for a profession they are passionate about, because it has a direct impact on a better quality of life for all.
They represent a portion of the “outstanding workers and multi-generational employers” / employees our state (cities / municipalities) have to offer. They are heroes, mentors, husbands, wives, and ethical leaders vying for what democracy stands for and for all of our rights. They are looked up to, appreciated, and have provided our state with structural foundations, safety, and security.
The governor, nor the legislature, will ever (physically) put their lives on the line while in office. Each day a police officer or firefighter steps foot into work, neither they, nor their loved ones know, if they are coming home. Gov. Walker would rather squash these individuals (and others) like bugs; swatting them when they do not see it coming.
Are we going to stand for the legislative bullying, better known as the “Walker Dictatorship?”
Knock down his “bully wall” infringing upon our rights to be heard! Stand up for your (our) equality, consensus, and fairness. Crush Gov. Walker’s aspiration for presidency.