Elections have consequences
To the editor:
Newly elected Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) is proposing to cut wages and benefits for state workers and also to limit the power of their unions to bargain on behalf of it members (state employees).
Wisconsin is a test case for the GOP’s ideological agendas. If successful, it will set a precedent that can only be overturned by the courts or the ballot box. As states grapple with budget deficits, you will see more states doing what Wisconsin is proposing.
For those state workers who stayed home on Election Day in Wisconsin, this is one of the consequences of your selfish action. Congressional Republicans are pushing for drastic budget cuts for programs that are popular with the poor and children, while at the same time they are using political tactics to protect their base from the cuts.
They are looking to cut $756 million from the WIC program, $2 billion for job training programs (with a 9 percent unemployment, $1 billion from Head Start/Early Start, $16 billion from school construction (while we are building schools in Afghanistan) $98 million for school nutrition programs and $96 million for mental health programs, as well as eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood and N.P.R. They are also proposing to cut $1.6 billion from the EPA or eliminate it altogether, but they defend $46 billion in subsidies (tax breaks) to the oil companies with gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon and billions of dollars in profit.
They plan to cut funding for some aspects of the financial regulation bill that was passed in July 2010. That bill will protect borrowers against abuses in mortgages, credit cards and other types of lending. The legislation also gives the government new powers to regulate derivatives and complex financial instruments.
Sometimes you wonder where there priorities are; the GOP pushed for the extension of the Bush era tax cuts for millionaires, which added $36 billion into the deficit. Now they are looking to take money away from the middle class, the poor and children to eliminate the deficit. The next time you say “my vote does not count,” think about the consequences. The lack of action by the citizenry creates a government that is morally corrupt and dysfunctional.
Alicious S. Phillips