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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shovel Ready Nonsense -- State of the County

By Keith R. Schmitz

Many others have feasted on pieces on this turkey known as Scott Walker's state of the county speech, due in part because all you need to know about this candidate for governor is right here.

Essentially, while others a pursuing nuclear physics in terms of economic, the County Executive is practicing alchemy. The mantra of tax cuts proves the observation that when you are a hammer the world looks like nails.

Here we have as a major emphasis of the speech his fantasy plan for a sales tax holiday. Yet he brags about the bond rating for the county versus that of the state.

So how can he propose lopping off a major source of revenue, with no suggestion of where the money is going to come from to make up the gap? Certainly the proposal from some that the state pass combined reporting for corporations as an offset will not be in Walker's quiver.

Also disturbing is asking county workers to bear the burden of "streamlining" government through job cuts and "reforms" in collective bargaining. With consumer spending making up 70% of our economy it is hard to see how emulating the private sector's means of first resort will help improve this economy.

Usually in deep recessions such as this one you see governments being a means of putting people back to work. I know Walker wants to substitute county workers with private sector employees, but these positions will no doubt be underpaid with few or no benefits.

We did tax cuts for the past 30 years and they have flunked the audition. Stagnant middle class growth, America falling behind in health and education in a highly competitive world, crumbling infrastructure; all have been a result of "starving the beast." We have instead starved the best.

If this stimulus is done right, emphasizing "done right," we stand the chance of not only turning this economy around but also shrinking the deficit through a growing economy. But not doing a stimulus, which features government investment in our economy, ensures we can expect to head towards a depression.

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