“True freedom and prosperity do not come from the mighty hand of the government; they come from empowering people to live their own lives and control their own destinies,” Walker said.Oooh, you may not want to say that to your donors who receive handouts from the taxpayer backed slush fund known WEDC. Just a friendly tip there, Scotty.
James Rowen at the Political Environment published a great take-down of Walker’s holiday weekend jaunt to Florida, and the absurdity of his speech.
But suppose other people, like taxpayers in a low-wage, slow-growth state are picking up that tab, and you've only held government jobs for the last 23 straight years - - basically your entire adult life - - and you enforce austerity on everyday people while showering other perks on CEO's and high earners, the last thing you'd expect to hear from such an inveterate public trough freeloader is a high-profile speech bashing government dependency.The obvious hypocrisy from a lifetime grifter like Walker is disgusting enough, but there’s a theme lurking underneath that trip and the BS that Walker and other righties were spewing at the Kochs’ Florida retreat.
But that is exactly what the afore-mentioned mansion occupant and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was doing Saturday, inveighing at a Koch brothers American Dream event near Disney World in Florida against government dependency.
And bragging about the thousands of poor people he had cut off food aid and touting the extra humiliation of a mandatory drug test Walker inserted into state law which some aid applicants must pass before receiving subsistence benefits from taxpayers that pale in comparison to the millionaire lifestyle which tax dollars provide to him.
All in a state, mind you, which still has the state-enforced, poverty-guaranteeing, American Dream-killing $7.25/hr. minimum wage already raised to a more humane $10 or $12 and even $15/hr. in many cities and states because Walker has said he does not even believe in the concept of a minimum wage, has called it "lame," defines $7.25/hr. as a livable wage and will not allow any increase.
Now you those of you whom the state now suspects of drug or alcohol abuse can go pee in a cup if you want a shot at food stamps while Walker heads to his Mansion's kitchen for a chef-prepared meal, then orders up state patrol drivers and a state airplane at the cost of hundreds of dollars an hour to deliver him to a fund-raising dinner or one of those no-media, by -nvitation-only, taxpayer-subsiidized 'listening sessions' cum-2018 re-election boosting events.
And it is this fact. What Walker and his Koch puppetmasters want isn’t for the everyday citizen to be able to "control their own destinies" (aka “independence”) through the ability to team up with fellow workers to join trade unions and increase wages and benefits through collective bargaining. They don’t want citizens to have a right to health care and the ability to get services when the need arises, and they don’t care if a person is locked into a substandard job (and therefore, less able to "control their own destiny") because the employment-based health insurance is too needed to risk giving up. And as Rowen notes, Walker and his Koch buddies definitely don’t want to make work a better option for people by raising the minimum wage, nor do they want to increase jobs and competition by encouraging start-ups.
No, what these righties want is more dependence, but a dependence of a different kind. One where the vast majority of us have our futures beholden to a handful of corporations and their puppet politicians, and our chances to make a better life become drastically reduced. See, when these Koch boys like Walker talk about “freedom”, they’re not talking about YOUR freedom. They’re talking about the freedom of their owners to abuse and plunder the American economic and political system for their own desires, without having to worry about what government or the other 98% of us may think or do about it. Controlling states like Wisconsin allow this Koch-style “freedom” to happen, and they don’t give a shit about what happens to the rest of us along the way.
In fact, the more the average citizen and government can be taken out of the way, all the better. Never forget this fact, and never forget that our governor decided it was more important to visit the Kochs this holiday weekend instead of venturing out into public and see any of the millions of Wisconsinites that pay his $147,000 salary + benefits. Speaks volumes, doesn’t it?
Lastly, take a look at what the Koch Summit was titled. The "Defending the American Dream Summit". I think Mr. Carlin would like a few words about that title.
It's a big club, and you ain't in it!