After his success at virtually eliminating Milwaukee County government, Scott Walker plans to do the same in Madison. The Milwaukee Republican wants to use the same techniques that he has employed in Milwaukee, along with a powerful line-item veto, in order to overhaul Wisconsin government into a lean and useless entity.
“My track record pretty much speaks for itself,” noted Walker. He cites elimination of programs and elimination of employees as his most notable accomplishments as County Executive, thereby making his own job and that of the entire county government all but obsolete.
“You know,” says Walker, “I brought my brown bag lunch to work every day and constantly thought of ways to get rid of myself as a government employee. I realize I was only in charge of about a dozen things as County Exec, but I made it my goal to make sure all of those tasks were done poorly and cheaply, thereby balancing budgets and creating general public opinion that the costs were useless in the first place. When I become governor, I will make sure that state government operates as efficiently as my county government has. And by efficiently, I mean not at all.”
Walker used the county parks and county transit system as examples of his policymaking that will lead to less government. Within the last decade, both the parks and buses were rated as near the best in the country, but now the buses are overpriced and unsafe compared to others, and the parks no longer appear to be cared for. “So here’s what I wanted to do,” quips Walker. “I wanted to decrease funding to the buses, which increased fares. Higher fares meant less people used the bus, so then we could run the bus less often to decrease costs, but that led to even fewer riders because of the added inconvenience, so we had to increase fares…See where I’m going with this? Anyhow, this is the 21st Century. Why are people riding a bus, anyhow?”
Walker cites a similar methodology in order to get the parks system off county balance sheets. “First you decrease funding and cut staff hours. Stuff starts falling apart, and some people stop going to the parks. Then the park supporters come out and start to work on the parks themselves. Some of them plant flowers, restore baseball fields so they can play on them, or pick up bullet casings. Then, some parks start to look nice again, so we can pretty much decrease funding some more. It’s a pay to play kind of thing. If you want to play basketball in a park, go to the sporting goods store and put up a hoop. Why should government be responsible for things like transportation or parks? Don’t even get me started on health care or land redevelopment.”
When asked if government should be responsible for anything at all, Walker hesitated. “Ensuring that corporations and individuals have rights, and new roads.And for that purpose, I will retain at least ten state government employees. Everyone else can go and find jobs in the private sector or work for a group of people who want to pool their money together in order to receive the service being offered. Since I’m hoping for a ‘negative tax burden’ in the next few years, citizens will be able to pool that saved tax money to go and spend it however they see fit. Some will want health care, nature preserves, clean waterways, education for their kids, parks, and other wants. However, some will just have a brown bag lunch and a little slice of the American Dream.”<-->