I suppose that title was better than Zombie Joe Rants About Political Happenings In Wisconsin. That just doesn’t roll off the tongue. Although it does bring the touch of irony to it. Back in college I supported the Alfano 20′ Radius Rule. I stated that no discussions involving politics or religion could go on within 20′ of me without triggering me finding somewhere else to be. I had to adjust this for my political science class and religion class – of course.
But things change. I served for about a year as a Sunday School Teacher at a church I wasn’t officially a member of. I have been an employee for a state university (and therefore a state worker) for over 10 years. As such, I have had to refine that rule. It’s more of a guideline now. And the political landscape in Wisconsin has lead to me throwing it out the window.
The best way to describe me is as an Independent politically. Vote for the best person for the job, no matter what party they are from. Of course with the veritable tsunami of crazy going on the past couple years, I can comfortably say I will never vote for any “Tea Party” Republicans. And the band leader, the virtual Glenn Miller of this Crazy Train is Scott Walker. (And yes, I did just link big band to Ozzy there. That one shocked even me.)
Once voted in he made sure to tell Doyle not to push through any bills, contract agreements, etc. Now that he is the one in office, he is trying to push these things through as fast as he can. It seems the idea is to get them through before people can look too closely at them. After all, his hob-nailed booted Republican buddies control the game court, right?
Now consider that this financial crisis is one that he created. The reports from the end of Doyle’s term was that Wisconsin was one of the best states financially. That was until Walker pushed through a bunch of budget strains that were considerations to his political backers. Didn’t know that? You can check out the articles on them over at Madison.com. It is a rather enlightening report.
Now consider that his opinion of the high speed rail proposal was that he would use that money to repair roads. That federal money that was specifically put towards funding high speed rail projects. No matter if you supported that plan or not, simply assuming you can use the money given to you for one project for something entirely different shows a dangerous sense of entitlement in my opinion. It ranks right up there with setting the National Guard on call in the same breath you are announcing the thing that will piss people off making you think you will need the National Guard.
Why bring this up now? Because taking away the collective bargaining rights of the state transportation employees puts a significant amount of federal funds for buses in jeopardy as well. That information was also posted over at Madison.com. So this bill could wind up costing the state. It could wind up costing the city. In the end, it will wind up costing us. You think Scott Walker is going to foot that bill?
My personal favorite though is the calls from several people (friends included) as to what will teachers really lose. Or how do we honestly think this will affect the students. What happens if our teachers only work their contracted hours? I don’t know about you, but I went to college studying to become a teacher. I did so knowing that I would never have an abundance of money. Teachers are not rich people. Now cut their benefits. Cut their salaries. What does this say towards the teachers, especially when this could have been avoided by not passing huge spending for special interest groups?
Now consider state employees. Does everyone really think we make money hand over fist? I was born in Wisconsin 41 years ago. I remember having to learn the Badger fight song in grade school before I even knew what football was. Trust me when I say the money is totally not what draws us to these jobs.
Furlough time came down. I’m taking a pay cut. It stings, but I can handle it. I get 8 days during the year to put towards writing. Awesome. My wife has a really strong private sector job, so we should be fine. Now tell me that the health benefits that were worth the lower pay are going to suddenly be not so good. Tell me you’re taking away a serious percentage of my pay. And tell me this sitting in your mansion after giving fat money deals to the people that helped put you there.
Some of my conservative republican friends and followers posted some comments with bite to them when the Republicans won big this last election. I’m not kidding, there was even one that was literally a “ha-ha” in the method of the Simpsons. I have been asked by family members, “So were you happy with your vote? Were you really?” (This was in reference to my wife and I voting for Obama.) Is this the utopia that I am to expect from the spotless Republican regime?
Here’s the thing, and I am going to modify a Rowdy Roddy Piper quote so that all of you can understand. “Brother, [karma’s] a bitch… and she’s back in heat.”
Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.