Honesty is the First Chapter in the Book of Wisdom
Dan Bell takes a critical view of Walker's words.
“Cleverness is not wisdom.”
Euripides, the Greek playwright, knew this many centuries ago. Given what we have seen from the Republicans in Madison recently, the most we can say is that they certainly are clever.
Cleverness is using a cheap parliamentary tactic in order to pass your budget bill. If the idea is really that good, it should stand on it’s own without any schoolyard gamesmanship. I put it to you quite simply that there is no honesty going on here, by either the Republican Legislature, or our Chief Executive.
Walker stated in his fireside chat on Tuesday, “the bill I put forward isn't aimed at state workers, and it certainly isn't a battle with unions.” If this were true, then why is this bill aimed at only state workers and has become a huge battle with the unions? Continuing: “ If it was, we would have eliminated collective bargaining entirely or we would have gone after the private-sector unions.” Guess where the Republicans are going to next. Forewarned is forearmed.
Walker again: “That’s because what we are asking for is modest, at least to those outside of government. Our measure asks for a 5.8 percent contribution to the pension and a 12.6 percent contribution for the health insurance premium.” These points have been conceded to long ago. Why is it necessary to defenestrate the unions? Tell us it has nothing to do with politics and is purely about governance.
“Now, some have questioned why we have to reform collective bargaining to balance the budget. The answer is simple, the system is broken” By broken, Walker means that in the past he had to negotiate with labor, a skill he demonstrated time and time again he does not have. The style he has exhibited consistently is demanding capitulation. Period.
Governor Walker said; “Our founders were pretty smart. They understood that it is through frugality and moderation in government that we will see freedom and prosperity for our people.”
This is where a quick history lesson would show that the founders went deeply into debt to finance the war; approximately 35 percent of GDP, unheard of at the time. Additionally, the debt was distributed to the states. It wasn’t until the Nationalist movement, did a stronger central government appear and the debt consolidated nationally. (I wonder what today’s Republican Party would say about that.)
“I’ll always be willing to cooperate and communicate with the Democrats” By this Scott Walker means he is willing to “listen to them yell at him” which is what he believes is how communication works, before he demands capitulation and then finally ignores them completely. He goes on to state that Democrats “fled the state in an effort to prevent democracy from working, stifle debate,” Not at all like the maneuver the Republican Legislature pulled.
“The public offered suggestions and we made changes to the bill because of their participation in the public process.” Which public is he talking about? (Certainly not any Democrats.) Has he watched the news lately? Has he taken a walk outside the capitol?
Thomas Jefferson once said, “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom,” This being so, then to date, the chapters being produced by Scott Walker and his Republican cabal lacks even the first written word.