During his keynote address at this year's right-wing Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker likened himself to a new CEO who is hired to turn around a failing company.
Next time he uses his business analogy, Walker would be more accurate to compare himself to the head of Bain Capital, the investment firm co-founded by GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, which amassed profits for itself by running companies into the ground.
As reported a few days ago on National Public Radio, Bain set out in the early 90s to create a paper empire. Its first acquisition was a file folder company in Indiana.
Like Walker, Bain took swift action once it became the boss of American Pad and Paper. It terminated all the employees, broke the union, cut wages and changed the work rules. The workers went on strike in protest.
Bain then made more bad choices, couldn't balance the budget and eventually bankrupted the company. Bain and its wealthy investors were the only ones who benefitted on the deal.
Unless he is stopped in the upcoming recall election that 1 million citizens have demanded, Walker is on course to do the same thing to the State of Wisconsin.
During his campaign for governor, Walker's central promise -- the promise that most likely got him elected -- was to create 250,000 private sector jobs by the end of his four year term.
Walker is breaking that promise big time.
Instead of investing in the things that truly create jobs and provide security to families -- like education and health care -- Walker chose to give over $2.3 billion in giveaways to corporations, the wealthy and special interests over the next 10 years.
Walker's divisive agenda may be paying big dividends for the Koch brothers and other out-of-state Walker investors who are funneling millions in unregulated cash into his campaign. But it's destroying Wisconsin's middle class.
Wisconsin is leading the nation in all the wrong areas under Walker.
Wisconsin is No. 1 in job losses since Walker's budget passed last summer. We're the only state to have lost jobs six months in a row.
Wisconsin is No. 2 when it comes to cutting funding to public schools. Walker's budget slashed K-12 education by $1.6 billion when including levy limits.
And we're No. 3 in cuts to higher education. State support for Wisconsin's state university system has been sliced by almost $300 million.
Walker also wants to drop health care for 64,000 Wisconsin families, including almost 30,000 children, marking a swift retreat from his predecessor's courageous commitment to having every child covered by health insurance.
In his CPAC speech, Walker touts that he balanced his budget without using any gimmicks. He is wrong on both counts. His budget is running a deficit after just seven months. And now he and our attorney general are raiding $25 million of Wisconsin's share of the national mortgage foreclosure settlement to help close the shortfall.
Unfortunately Walker has decided to leverage the future of our state for his short term political gain and to benefit his wealthy out-of-state investors.
Bain bankrupted a paper company. Walker is working to bankrupt a whole state.
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