In a field littered with bad candidates, presidential hopeful Scott Walker may be the worst choice for educators and other public employees.
The Wisconsin governor, who announced today that he is running for the White House, made a national name for himself attacking teachers and other public workers – and their unions – and, in so doing, he trashed his own state. Now, he wants to trash the rest of the country, and his campaign already is attracting some big anti-government, anti-union, privatization bucks to give him a fighting start toward the Republican nomination.
Although Walker will continue to try to spin his Wisconsin record into a fairy tale, here are some of the real nightmare lowlights, as gleaned from various media sources, including the Associated Press:
# Wisconsin’s middle class has shrunk at a rate faster than any other state, according to a recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
# Weakened employment rights for teachers, bus drivers, school nurses, cafeteria workers and thousands of other government workers, many of whom have lost jobs. Those who are still working have to pay more for their pensions and health care benefits. Remember, these are the real people he is taking about when he brags about attacking unions, which likely will be the overriding theme of his campaign.
# Removed tenure protections for higher education faculty and slashed higher education funding by $250 million. The cuts were to help close a $2.2 billion shortfall created by previous Walker policies, including ill-advised and counterproductive tax cuts.
# Expanded Wisconsin’s private school voucher program, while claiming credit for educational improvements that predated his administration.
# Wisconsin’s job growth trails the national average as well as other Midwestern states.
# The state’s chief economic development agency has been plagued by problems, including the granting of millions of dollars in business loans without properly vetting the recipients.
These are only some of Walker’s bad policies. He is a career politician who has made a career of bashing the public employees who make government work. He has been a disaster for Wisconsin and would be a disaster for the country.