Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Walker tactics- Shoot first, correct and clean up later

In a J-S story on the disgraceful mining bill giveaway to Walker contributors Gogebic Taconite, looks like there might be a little hangup.
New mining legislation may conflict with the Great Lakes Compact, according to an official with the Department of Natural Resources.

A water resources administrator with the agency said that language on the use of high capacity wells in a mining bill unveiled last week might run up against restrictions on water use in the compact.

“There is a potential conflict,” said Russ Rasmussen, deputy water division administrator said on Wednesday before a hearing on the legislation....

It would also require the DNR to approve mining applications in 360 days. The current regulatory process takes at least 2½ years, according to the Legislative Council, the research arm of the Legislature.

A representative of Army Corps of Engineers also raised questions about the timeline.

“Our concern … is that 360 days may not be enough time to partner with the state,” said Rebecca Graser, program manager of regulatory affairs for the corps in Wisconsin.
Oops! Looks like we might have a few unintended consequences from rushing through this giveaway, now don't we? The hundreds that packed the State Fair Park conference room have a few concerns as well, so maybe it's not such a good idea to jam something through if you don't know what'll happen next, is it, WisGOP?

But sadly, this is the way they operate. Look at these Walker Admin- promoted laws over the past few months, and see how they have to come back later to fix them up, usually at a much higher taxpayer expense.

The best example is the Walker Admin's pose on the train from Milwaukee to Madison to the Twin Cities. Walker and his (road builder and WSOR-supported) supporters cried over the potential of a few million dollars in state costs needed to support the line once it was built with Federal stimulus money, and sent such clear signals against the project that the Obama Administration rightfully told them to fuck off and sent the money elsewhere.

The payoff from this short-sighted move came in this year's state budget, and was felt again last week when the Joint Finance Committee set aside $2.5 million more in state funds to study a new site for the train manintenance facility- a facility that would have been 100% funded by the Feds (i.e. only 1.8% by Wisconsinites) if only Walker and the 262 trailer trash that whined about it had shut up and allowed the project to go through. And they might not even get the facility (and its jobs) in Wisconsin any more, as it could now get built in Chicago!

The final price tag for Walker's symbolic BS? Between $65 and $84 million dollars, according to the LFB. Wisconsin's 1.8% share of building the $810 million rail line? About $1.5 million. So we threw away a building project that would have added a few thousand jobs for the next 3 years and what did we get in return? Somewhere between $60 and $80 million in extra expenses and a reduced amount of jobs and tax revenue. And our federal spending and taxes didn't even go down, because the money went elsewhere (mostly to California and Illinois- you know, the states with the highest job growth last month).

Another example is the absurd voter ID bill, which in addition to being disenfranchising and discriminatory, also has a major price tag to it. When it was passed, the LFB figured around
$5.7 in extra costs
to the GAB, DMV, and universities to "solve" this problem that only existed in race-baiting right-wing radio.

But extra cost is not the only concerns that have cropped up with this unneccesary law. First, the disproportionately low-income and minority technical colleges were left off of the list of schools where IDs were acceptable documents to vote, an "oversight" that was only reversed after a serious lobbying effort by the state's tech college officials. It also has thrown up so many barriers that 84-year old Central Wisconsin grandmothers that have served on village boards face the possibility of not being able to vote. This woman's disenfranchisement is a centerpiece of this week's ACLU lawsuit that asks to throw Voter ID out entirely, but before it gets tossed, Wisconsin needs to waster another $436,000 in a TV ad campaign informing people about voter ID.

Much like turning down the train, voter ID was a pose and a bone thrown to the Walker boys' hateful base, and a false solution for a mundane or non-existent "problem." (Yeah, I'm using the air quotes a lot in this post, but the thinking is so absurd and bullshit, I really have no choice) Apparently having the 2nd highest turnout rate in America in 2008 was such an issue for the Koch-publicans that they just had to waste millions of our taxpayer dollars to make sure we don't approach that figure again. (Wisconsin being Number 1 for job? Not so urgent.)

And I could go on and on how the Walker boys are such slipshod fools. This includes possibly throwing tens of thousands of Wisconsinites off of Badgercare because of an arbitrary December 31 demand of the Feds to break their own Obamacare rules - a move so stupid the Walker-endorsing Journal-Sentinel is calling it a bad idea. It also includes the "now-you-need-concealed carry training, now-you-don't" ridiclousness pulled by Walker and the autocratic Rules Committee, which only caused a massive amount of confusion over which rules applied, and still could be changed again in the next few months.

And let's not even start with the Wacky-hut silliness in Milwaukee County, or the soon-to-be-ignored and tossed protesting rules at the Capitol. It's all part of the pattern of how the Walker folks are a lot more about poses and looking like they're taking action....and not so much about results, effects and reality. And I may be old-fashioned, but I demand my legislators to have the ability to see more than 5 minutes and one poll into the future when they put laws into place, and get it right the first time.

They clearly don't beieve that, and we've all paid a major price in both taxpayers dollars and in effective government. And that WisGOP inability to see past their own noses, think on anything above a spoiled-child level ("I want it! I want it!") and deafness to anything except talk radio is why there'll be a new group in power in the next few months.

No comments:

Post a Comment