Maybe if Walker Starts Running for President in Earnest, He Won’t Have Any TIme Left to Screw Up WI

Governor Walker says that we need to cut state spending on UW by $300 million, at the same time proposing increasing state spending by $220 million for a stadium for a private professional sports team.

I think Walker’s comment that his proposed changes to the UW financial structure are “like Act 10 for the UW” are more telling than he is letting on. Act 10, ignoring for a moment it’s ulterior motive of gutting Democratic support, was about backing people into a corner and then pretending that they have options. Under Act 10, public unions may not negotiate on anything but wages. Pray, tell me, what sort of “negotiation” is it when you have nothing else to trade off against it?

“We would like our wages to go up.”

“OK, but we aren’t made of money—what are you willing to trade for that.”

“Um, sorry, but: nothing. We’re not allowed to negotiate any other part of our work or compensation.”

And, on top of that, it capped public union wage increases at the rate of inflation. So, public unions may negotiate for any pay raise they wish, so long as it’s either no raise at all or a decrease, and they may not bargain for any other thing. How do you think that’s gonna turn out in the long run? It’s clearly not about controlling costs, it’s about gutting the public sector, undermining government so that it in fact ceases working, as his ideology claims it always hasn’t.

Think about it: you’re working for the government. You now know that your real wages will never go up, and will probably go down at least some years. So the longer you work there, the less you make. Maybe your accumulated seniority will make up for that so you can tread water. But your only real hope is that someone like Walker will promote you to a high-paying position you’re completely unqualified for.

Can we cut the governor’s and legislators’ salaries 13% and ask them to work longer hours?

So, anyway, Walker’s proposal for the UW is a massive 13% cut, after several years of cuts and tuition freezes, which he says they can make up with their new-found autonomy. Though one of the tools that is not to be available to the UW, at least initially, is adjusting tuition. Thus clearly illustrating that he doesn’t understand education and doesn’t actually value it. If he were really concerned about public return on investment and what is best for the state, he would be pumping money into our schools (at all levels)—see here, here, here, and here, for starters. Or maybe spending on infrastructure.

“It will make them do things that they have not traditionally done.” —Walker

Yeah, like provide a poor education at a too-high price. 

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