One of the hollow cornerstones of Scott Walker's credit card budget is based on drastically cutting the pay/benefits of hardworking people in Milwaukee County. When he is not drastically cutting their pay he is trying to send them to the unemployment line by privatizing their jobs. We are not talking about rich people here, just regular people working hard, contributing to society and trying to make ends meet. Yet Walker is demanding that they give up what amounts to 16% of their earnings. For example, that amounts to Walker lifting $8,000 from the checkbook of someone making $50,000 a year. What makes Walker look especially bad is not just his money grab, but him doing it only a year after he gave himself and several underlings massive raises.
Right now he is trying to grab that hypothetical $8,000, but just last year he essentially gave himself a raise that equals some worker's entire salary. When he was first running for County Executive, Walker promised to only collect part of his salary but last year he decided that it was time to ditch that idea. So instead of bringing home about $69,611 a year, he now brings in closer to $119,611. Please correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't that amount to a 72% raise as he was calling for layoffs of frontline workers? Now the very next year he wants to cut those workers take home pay by 16% and send others to the unemployment line? If he feels so strongly about cutting the average worker's take home pay, then why doesn't he lead by example and go back to his original promise?
I'd guess that his 2007 purchase of a new home might have something to do with it. After all, it is worth $122,000 more than his last one. Maybe Walker forgot that rank-and-file workers have mortgages to pay as well. Heck, just Walker's upgrade may be worth more than the entire value of some Milwaukee County workers' homes. Walker's new home is nothing to scoff at, at least from a working person's perspective. He now has double the number of bedrooms, double the number of bathrooms and an addition of almost 1,000 more square feet of living area. The new home also sits on over two times the amount of acreage as the old one. I don't think that anyone really cares much about the size and upgrade in Walker's home, except for his awful timing. How can you upgrade your own living situation and massively increase your own pay while you are also advocating totally eliminating and/or severely cutting the jobs of much lower paid county employees?
Scott Walker didn't just upgrade his own situation, over the last two years he was also looking out for his loyal foot soldiers. Last year Walker originally tried to give his Chief of Staff a whopping 26% raise. Although he ultimately didn't get that raise, the fact is Walker did propose it while at the same time he was threatening massive layoffs of regular hardworking folks. When he originally proposed that massive raise he also was calling for a 12.5% raise for up to seven of his administrators.
Apparently Scott Walker has two tiers for Milwaukee County employees. One consists of frontline workers earning a rather modest pay. That tier has to endure never ending threats of layoffs, massive cuts in pay and even the total elimination of their jobs. The other tier consists of Scott Walker and any "yes men" that he deems worthy. Those fortunate few don't have to worry from day to day about how to pay their bills. Those fortunate few get to live large (at our expense) while the rest continually get the shaft.
UPDATE: One Wisconsin Now posted a blog this afternoon saying, "Walker's Public Option on Swimming Pools is apparently to have the public pay for his private pool". This was news to me, and they even have a Google Earth shot of it.