Info for Students » Uncategorized

It’s Walker’s policies that turn back the clock

During the only two debates that he would agree to appear in, Scott Walker spent a lot of time claiming that Tom Barrett wanted to return to the past and that it was now time to move “forward,” something Walker claims he’s been doing these past several months.If only it, like a lot of things he says, were true.Frankly, in less than a year and a half Walker and his allies in the state Legislature have done more to turn back the clock on state policies — everything from fair taxation to environmental safeguards — than any administration in recent history.It all began even before he took office after winning the November 2010 election. Despite pleas from entrepreneurs, tourism officials and business developers who saw the considerable benefits in diversifying transportation options for the state, Walker acted like this was still the 1960s and bullied his way to scuttling a high-speed passenger rail plan that would have linked the state’s capital city to the rest of the country — all on the federal government’s dime.Now as the airline industry struggles and smaller airports like Madison’s lose more and more flights, a rail alternative for business people, tourists and conventioneers to get here would have indeed been the wave of the future.But public transportation and other green energy alternatives don’t figure in the future that Walker apparently envisions. His future includes being tied to the old fossil fuel economy. Trains weren’t his only victims. The wind power industry suddenly had to jump through a few more hoops in order to locate its turbines and some companies left the state in frustration.A biofuel power plant at the UW-Madison was scrapped even though it would have provided a market for Wisconsin farmers to sell some of their crop waste and other material that is now discarded. Instead, Walker ordered the plant to be converted to natural gas.His idea of progress has been to make sure that the Wisconsin business community contributes as little as possible to the overall state budget picture. Some will wind up paying no taxes at all. That may be viewed as “progress” by them, but it’s a giant step backward for the individual taxpayer, who will somehow have to cover the missing dollars.The list goes on. Women’s ability to get counseling from Planned Parenthood. The ability to file suit in state court against companies that don’t pay men and women equally. The added difficulty for many seniors and others without a driver’s license to exercise their right to vote (that regressive law was ruled unconstitutional, but the ruling has been appealed).And, of course, the elimination of public employee collective bargaining has put the state back to the 1950s.At this rate, Scott Walker would well change the proud state motto of “Forward” to one that is much more fitting — “Backward.”

Comments are closed.