Sunday, September 2, 2018

Walker's Surreal Idea of Success sets the bar Lower every Year!

While I have other more civilian duties as a family guy, here are a few stories I wish I had more time to detail and beat to death.

Walker Ignores Transportation, Promises more if Reelected? This was covered well at Jakes Wisconsin Funhouse, but here's a brief and scorching taste. Having driven through a number of southern states on my weeklong vacation, I can now see what Walker aspires to:

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reports that total funding across all state transportation programs has fallen since Gov. Scott Walker took office in 2011, despite statements Walker has made insisting he has made historic investments ... spending has fallen across every road program, including major highway development, local road aid and assistance and southeast Wisconsin freeways, which saw the most dramatic decline.
1. From fiscal year 2011-2012, funding for major highway development decreased by 31.2 percent, highway improvement funding fell by 23.8 percent and local road funding fell 13.4 percent in constant 2017 dollars. Funding for southeast freeways dropped by 51.1 percent.

2. Debt service on transportation borrowing has increased 66.9 percent since fiscal year 20121-12, according to the report.
 In short:
Does lying make it better, or politicizing transportation funding?
Walker has maintained that he has put $3 billion more into the state's transportation system than his Democratic predecessor, Jim Doyle, investing $24 billion over eight years. That statement has been rated "mostly false" by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for failing to consider inflation and for counting the amount of money that was borrowed, then spent on transportation twice, once when the money was first borrowed, and again when payments were made on the debt.

Walker's former transportation secretary, Mark Gottlieb, said, "Debt service has increased 85 percent in the last eight years, to the point where we now spend five dollars on debt service for every three dollars we spend on the maintenance of state highways. Gottlieb is the third former Walker secretary to criticize his former boss, alleging that during Gottlieb's six years at the helm of the state's transportation agency, Walker increasingly politicized transportation issues.

Wisconsinites Barely Surviving, Falling Behind...After $8 billion in Walker Tax Cuts? Gee, I wonder who got those tax cuts? Not the poor and middle class. For audio coverage, check out this interview on WPR:

The 2018 Wisconsin ALICE report looks at household need beyond the federal poverty level to better understand where people who are living paycheck-to-paycheck struggle most. ALICE is an acronym for the criteria that bring this group of Americans together — Asset limited. Income constrained. Employed.
1. 37.5 percent of Wisconsinites had income levels that do not meet the true cost of living, a new study by United Way found. Between 2010 and 2016, the number increased five percent, compared to the total increase in the state's number of households (two percent).

2. People who fall under the ALICE threshold struggle to make ends meet, often despite working more than one job ... And with almost 1 in 3 people in the state making less than what United Way researchers determined as Wisconsin's "Household Survival Budget" ($19,848 for a single adult and $61,620 for a family of four), it's unlikely that ALICE has an unfamiliar face.
And you can blame some of this on the lack of healthcare, again. In Walker's world, things like below don't happen. Universal nationwide insurance would put an end to this:
36-year-old LaWanda McCullough was a "success story" in the Wisconsin Works (W-2) job training program — that is, until she got sick. Two years ago, she was working, her children thriving in school. Seven months ago, she came home from work and blacked out … several issues including diabetes and sarcoidosis … wore a heart rate monitor. At her doctor's recommendation, she went down to working part time. She was denied disability assistance. McCullough said, " no matter what I do, I can't get ahead."

AG Brad Schimel Politicized Justice Department:  Like politicizing the Transportation Department, Walker has done the same to AG's office thanks to his willing dupe, the incompetent Brad Schimel:

45 former assistant Wisconsin attorneys general have signed on to a letter criticizing current Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel: Schimel's Democratic opponent Josh Kaul contends the GOP incumbent has "blatantly politicized the office, dropped the ball on his role as the lead crime fighter in Wisconsin, and abdicated the AG’s traditional role as 'the people’s lawyer' representing Wisconsin citizens’ interests in criminal and civil matters alike."

One of the letter's authors denies partisan intent. "Nothing like this has ever happened before," said Dan Stier, who served as an assistant attorney general from 1979-89. "We've all been around a long, long time. We've seen lots of attorney generals come and go, and no one has ever been motivated to do anything like this until now." 

Only 10 of those who signed the letter have worked directly for Schimel, but Stier said knowledge of the attorneys general's policies, including overseeing staffing cuts in the state Department of Justice's Environmental Protection Unit and choice not to sign on to a lawsuit challenging for-profit colleges, are evidence of political motivation. Schimel's campaign dismissed the letter as a statement from "partisan activists."

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