Saturday, June 18, 2011

WI Recalls Get the Gonzo Treatment

Abe Sauer, writing at The Awl, files a dispatch from La Crosse covering the recalls, fake Democrats, and what he sees as a new strain of the GOP taking hold right here in Wisconsin.  Tom Foley has on occasion mentioned Mr. Sauer approvingly, so it is clear his coverage of Wisconsin doesn't go unnoticed.  This latest piece, although well written to be sure, isn't likely to change many minds.  If you are the type of person that likes having your biases confirmed though, this might be just what you are looking for.  Here's a taste:
This new strain of Republican is not one Wisconsin, nor the United States, has ever seen.... The new Republicans are corporate wrecking crews, given a sledgehammer, a piece of legislation and a command to "make it fit."
I hate to break it Sauer and everyone in Dane county, but I live in Wisconsin, am firmly middle-class and yet I don't feel assaulted by any of Governor Walker's policies.  Like a lot of people in this state, I believe we've spent money we don't have for too long and am sick of budgets that use gimmicks and one time money to paper over our profligate ways.

If we are going to balance the budget, like the Governor and the legislature are poised to do, we have to go to where the spending is.  Education spending is a large portion of our state budget, so naturally that is where spending can be reduced.  As I've explained before, reducing per pupil spending from about $10,000 to about $9,000 isn't "gutting" public education, no matter how many times WEAC says it is.

Sauer also concludes that a proposal to relax the rules governing the work hours of teenagers will result in a generation of Wisconsin youth qualified for no job other than bagging groceries.  I'd call that hyperbole, but in Sauer's vision of our future no one will know what that means.

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