Monday, September 28, 2009

Walker was Against ____ Before He Was for It

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did another story on Scott Walker that largely ignores his repeated use of both sides of his mouth. The story focuses on his latest proposal regarding economic development. In the story he suggests that his idea will pass board muster because he says that he would "hate to be the one to say; 'I was against more jobs'." I hate to tell you this Scott but you already did say that with both your words and your actions.

  1. Walker's plan relies almost entirely on the same federal stimulus that he and his groupies have attacked from the beginning.
  2. What happened to the arguments by Walker and those of his ilk that government spending can't help create jobs? His plan would force three years of borrowing and spending into one year (an election year by the way). What changed besides their positions?
  3. What about his argument that the stimulus was good for government but not for "real people"?

So given his past actions and comments about the federal stimulus, is it safe to say that Scott Walker was "against more jobs" before he was for them? It sure seems that way based on his own logic in today's story. It is a pity that such obvious questions didn't come to mind over at the state's largest newspaper. If someone would force him on these issues I would really enjoy seeing the anti-stimulus Scott Walker debate the stimulus reliant one. Even more so, I'd like to see his followers being forced to decide exactly which Scott Walker they were going to support.

If Walker is saying that economic development equals "more jobs" then we are forced to ask a few more questions specific to that issue.

  1. Why did he give economic development a lower profile in his proposed budget for 2009? What? Was he "against more jobs" last year? After all wasn't he the one that eliminated the economic development division including the economic development director position? At the time supervisors warned that it was a mistake and that it was "probably the most important division in the county" so what has changed for Walker in one year besides his position?
  2. Before he eliminated the division, he used it to promote political cronies that "lacked depth" in the area of economic development and made a giant mess of things. In fact their lack of the necessary skills (especially in the area of land sales) was a major factor in putting the county in several budget binds in the last couple of years. So what is the deal? Was Walker more supportive for promoting unqualified cronies than he was for creating "more jobs"?
  3. When a former County worker generously left Milwaukee County $3.1 million in their will, why did the Walker Administration simply decide to spend it to help offset their latest self inflicted deficit? Why did Walker go even further by vetoing a measure to put the gift in an interest earning trust fund, to be used specifically for economic development? Seems like an odd move by someone that is suddenly so fond of economic development.

The bottom line is that the media should be at least mentioning Walker's ever changing positions on these kinds of issues. It is an abdication of their duties to just report the latest version without mentioning the ones before it. This is especially true when they so blatantly conflict with each other. Maybe the Journal Sentinel can't afford all of the space that would be required to point out all of Walker's different positions. At the rate that Walker is changing them over the last week, they may have to just start leaving a fill-in-the-blank in every story. "Scott Walker was against ______ before he was for it." Even that would be better than their current policy of silence.

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