Of course, Walker blames the workers who protested when he attacked collective bargaining even after public employees had agreed to brutal salary cuts. But blame can only keep the media busy for so long. Walker and his state Republican Party have lined up a series of distractions to keep everybody busy until austerity finally starts to work — someday.
Here are five things Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s GOP are focusing on instead of creating jobs.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File
Attacking Women’s Health And Mandating Ultrasounds
Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s GOP have already defunded Planned Parenthood — now they want to make it impossible for the family planning institution to even operate in the state. To do this, they’re demanding byzantine regulations that could deprive women of crucial health care and force medical professionals to administer an unnecessary procedure before performing an abortion. The Senate will vote on the final bill later this month. And Walker has said he will support it.
“I don’t have any problem with ultrasound,” Walker told reporters, according to the AP. “I think most people think ultrasounds are just fine.”
Planned Parenthood has already had to close four clinics in the state because of Governor Walker’s cuts to health care. The organization says that this will force them to cut cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and HIV screening to about 2,000 patients.
Wisconsin’s GOP. They want a government just small enough to force women to have an unnecessary ultrasound.
AP Photo/Eric Gay
Giving The Rich Another Tax Cut
The state that brought us Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is filled with Republicans who never stop worrying about the well-being of the rich. The Journal Sentinel reports:
The top earners in Wisconsin, who pay more in income taxes, would likely receive the majority of a $444 million proposed cut to tax rates and fees that would more than double Gov. Scott Walker’s tax cut plan over the next two years, according to both an academic and the plan’s author.
Trickle-down or supply-side economics has only one proven effect — besides creating deficits — transferring wealth from those who work for their money to those who already have money. But to Walker and his cronies, that seems to be exactly the goal.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Throwing More Than 80,000 Wisconsinites Off Health Care
Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s Republicans are going a step beyond turning down Medicaid expansion that would cover thousands of working families. They’re actually using the Affordable Care Act to gut their incredibly successful Badgercare program.
Tens of thousands of Wisconsites will be forced from completely subsidized health care to the federal insurance exchanges, where they can purchase private plans with a subsidy. To do this, Walker has to give up federal funding that would cover 84,7000 residents, which would lead to a $119 million cut to his state budget.
That money could be used to create jobs and save lives, but that’s obviously not Scott Walker’s goal.
Photo: Nicolas Raymond via Flickr.com
After the 2010 election, Wisconsin’s state GOP did what Republicans and Democrats did across the nation — redistrict in their own favor. The difference in the Badger State is that they did it just to the point of being completely illegal, with files being deleted and transparency completely disregarded, according to PR Watch‘s Brendan Fischer.
A federal court reviewed the new map and decided that “the people of Wisconsin deserve better next time.”
The court also could not discern what was purposely covered up: “At the end of the day, the best that can be said for [Republicans] is that, through ‘inadvertence or ineptitude, or otherwise,’ compliance with Plaintiffs’ subpoenas and the Court’s orders ‘was not complete.'”
AP Photo/Andy Manis, File
Targeting Non-Profit Investigative Journalism
This is possibly the most perplexing way state Republicans are wasting their taxpayers’ time — attacking investigative journalism.
Just after midnight on June 5, Republicans through a party-line vote approved legislation that would kick the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism out of its University of Wisconsin-Madison campus and force the school to sever its relationship with the institution.
“It is the height of arrogance, and everybody who voted for that should be embarrassed,” state Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) told Wisconsin Public Radio. “It smacks of the kind of tactics you would expect from Vladmir Putin or Hugo Chavez — not in Wisconsin.”
Even right-wing radio host Charlie Sykes called the move “petty, vindictive and dumb.”
Journalists across the nation are in an uproar over the decision. But apparently Wisconsin’s Republicans figure that there’s no such thing as bad PR — especially if it’s not focused on the state’s terrible economic news.