cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The last of, thankfully, the Barrett – Walker ‘debates’ was held last evening. I say “thankfully” since these were somewhat akin to being tied to a chair and being forced to listen to someone scratching their nails on a chalkboard. These debates were not particularly well-put-together in my opinion.
My take-away was that Barrett is good and Walker is bad, if I pay attention to what Barrett says repeatedly. I do not hear any specifics from Barrett, but he continues to reassure that he will be better than Walker. The sole specific position stated by Barrett is that he will reverse the collective bargaining changes made by Walker and the Republicans. He has not spoken to me about how he will improve our state’s economy
My take-away is that Walker will continue to work to improve Wisconsin and that there are specific initiatives that he has identified to make that happen. Walker tells me there will be a surplus of some $154 million at the end of the current biennium which is quite a distance from a deficit of $3.6 billion that existed when he took office.
My take-away is that all of the United States is watching our vote; whether that is to see Walker fail, or whether that is to see Walker being retained in office is subject to the opinion of whoever tells me the whole country is watching.
Without devolving into union-bashing, I must say that there was a systemic problem with the finances of the State of Wisconsin and of many of our communities, and that there were necessarily some who were on the short end of the stick as corrections to those problems were levied. There is an upward limit to the amount of taxes that can be afforded before people and companies simply leave the state. Once such a trend is begun (witness Detroit or Illinois), that trend simply continues to gain speed and becomes increasingly more difficult to reverse.
I have had the distinct displeasure of having my compensation reduced year over year; and, I’ve had the distinct displeasure of being terminated from my employment. I’ve had the distinct displeasure of watching prices continue to spiral upward and of having to tighten my belt to sustain my existence. Through all of this there was one constant: my total tax burden continued to increase since governmental entities seemed to believe they were not subject to the same economic forces to which I was subject, or that they should be forced to conform to that reality.
I can really understand that people who are impacted by these forces try to find ways to reverse the trends they are caught up in, but they tend not to be able to do that without making changes in, or being forced to accept changes in, their own circumstances. In business, those kinds of changes are made if the business is to continue to exist. In government, until recently anyway, those changes were made in the form of increasing revenue (tax dollars) rather than reducing expenses.
Governor Walker understood that the time of raising taxes to solve the problem had ended, and he began the painful process of beginning to rein in the expense side of government. I do not believe that Tom Barrett has yet come to that same understanding given his statements. If Barrett has come to understand the dynamics, then he is being disingenuous in his quest to overturn the election of Walker to the Office of Governor. In either case, Mr. Barrett is not the person I desire to be serving as Governor of Wisconsin, at least at this time. He has failed to convince me that he is the better choice of the two candidates.