|State of the State. |
Photo by Wendi Kent. Truth-telling by OLB.
It was the usual fare, and a much-recycled speech, but it did have some lowlights.
Perhaps the low point is where he implied he "quit" college because he was offered a job to work full time.
Or when he says how great it is that the tech colleges "saved millions" by finding new ways to ensure faculty don't earn a living wage.
Or when he bragged about putting money in the "rainy day" fund two years in a row while Wisconsin kids are seeing cut after cut after cut to essential programming at their schools.
Or when he pretends that "rewarding" schools with money based on tests scores will do anything more than serve the kids already lucky enough to live in thriving districts, and take even more money away from the kids who need it most.
Or when he had the unconscionable nerve to take credit for the fully-funded pension fund he's been trying since day one to get his hands on.
Or maybe it was when he implied that the recall was the reason for no jobs.
Or when he made a bunch of excuses for no jobs, then said "but we don't make excuses....we get results." (Those results, of course, being no jobs).
Or his droning about "skilled workers...skilled workers...skilled workers" to once again imply that those currently out of work somehow lack the "skills" needed by employers - a claim for which anyone has yet to provide any proof (as Rebecca Kemble has demonstrated many times over).
Or when he called out by name the unemployed union workers he staged around him to give the impression labor supports his disastrous policies or job-halting measures.
But I think for me it was when he said this:
"Simply put, it is about helping improve the lives of 250,000 more families in Wisconsin.What kind of nerve does he have talking about improving the quality of life for those hundreds of thousands of us who are working multiple jobs and not earning a living wage? Who are eligible for BadgerCare but categorically denied coverage? Who struggle under reduced hours and smaller appointments but are, as of the new year, in Round Two of increased payroll deductions?
You see, adding a new job is about more than just a number. Every time another job is created, and a new employee is hired, it means that another family has someone working in their household. For many, that means fewer worries about putting bread on the table or clothes on the backs of their kids—or even making the mortgage payment on the house."
At Madison College and UW-Madison (the tech schools and universities he brags about in his address) I see it all the time: skilled, overqualified, public workers who cannot afford to make ends meet. Professionals with PhDs who have university appointments and qualify for FoodShare. Dedicated professionals trying to cobble together a living wage with multiple jobs while working toward degrees and "putting bread on the table and clothes on the back of their kids." The mortgage? A luxury item! "Foreclosure" echoes in the hallways. And these skilled professionals already HAD the jobs! Here he is blustering again about 250,000 jobs when Wisconsin is 42nd in job creation and sinking, and implying that the right-to-work style, low-wage, no-benefit jobs he's been courting are going to do anything to "help improve the lives" of Wisconsin families.
These stories aren't unique. They aren't even interesting anymore. Nothing Walker said tonight was new or interesting, either. It's just an embarrassment and a disgrace. The failed policies of Scott Walker and his divide and conquer pandering to those who only profit from the demise of our public systems have failed all of us. I stand, once again, ashamed in the face of his arrogance.
I'm glad I taught tonight (thanks, common-sense scheduling solutions!) and didn't have to watch this live. And I'm glad that this agony is tempered by having read this. And then read it again. And again. It's funny because it's true. My deepest thanks to Giles Goat Boy for the spoonful of sugar to help this bitter pill go down.