Scott Walker, Koch Addict

From The Washington Post:

You’ve probably heard politicians fret that state governments – or, worse, the federal government – will default on their debts. House Speaker John A. Boehner called the prospect of a federal default “a financial disaster not only for our country but for the worldwide economy.”

And why will it be so bad for the economy? Because the powerful actors who make up the entity we loosely refer to as “the market” – that means everyone from banks to hedge funds to China – will go nuts.


So America’s various governmental entities are looking for ways to avoid defaulting on their debt – or at least defaulting on their debt to the powerful. That addendum is important, because one of the strategies that’s emerging is to default on debt to the less powerful, the people who don’t have the power to wreck our economy.

This is a crucial fact about the economy: Power matters. It’s worth more, in many cases, than money. And that’s what’s really at issue in Wisconsin.

Original DVD cover

It’s why Gov. Scott Walker (R) is uninterested in taking concessions from the unions on wages and benefits if they don’t come alongside concessions on collective bargaining. What he wants isn’t a change in the balance of payments. It’s a change in the balance of power.


Rather than stiff the banks, in other words, he wants to stiff the teachers – but the crucial twist he’s added, the one that’s sent tens of thousands of workers into the streets, is that he wants to make sure they can’t fight back once he does it.


Unions – through collective bargaining, strikes and other means – give workers power. They make reneging on contracts with their members painful. They also make negotiations less lopsided.


To get a sense of what a world without unions would look like – a world where power is distributed radically differently – you need look no further than Walker’s own proposals. In his State of the State speech, he said, “The decisions we face are not easy and the solutions we must approve will require true sacrifice.” He’s already called for plenty of it from not only state employees, but also the low-income residents who rely on Wisconsin’s BadgerCare program.

But some won’t have to sacrifice nearly so much. Walker’s campaign platform called for sharp cuts in corporate taxes, including “eliminating corporate taxes for the first two years of operation.” His budget repair bill proposes to allow the state to sell energy plants “with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state,” and goes on to say that “any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest.”

What you’re seeing there isn’t necessarily a world where deficits are lower. Rather, it’s a world where power is distributed very differently. Maybe that’s a good thing. But let’s not confuse a discussion over political power with a discussion over deficits.

From New York Magazine:

It turns out that not only did billionaire conservative brothers David and Charles Koch support the candidacy of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, but they also pushed Walker to have a showdown with state unions. So says Tim Phillips, the president of the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, who are helping to lead anti-union counter-protests in the state and leading anti-union measures in Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania, too. But it’s all in the name of equality. β€œA balanced budget will benefit Koch Industries and its thousands of employees in Wisconsin no more and no less than the rest of the state’s private-sector workers and employers,” said Koch Industries lobbyist Jeff Schoepke.


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54 responses to “Scott Walker, Koch Addict

  1. The Mubarak internet block move in Wisconsin got me digging around about Walker. Preacher’s son. He didn’t graduate from college. In fact he left school shortly after humiliating himself in a run for student government:

  2. jean-philippe

    I’m wondering if the American citizen understands what’s going on.

  3. Friend of the court

    read a diary on dk4 that said koch bros. are in line to buy WI state owned power plants on the cheap with no bid contracts. this is to be made legal by a provision in the same bill that would end collective bargaining. walker is a shitheel of the first order.

    • doing the koch brothers’ bidding is walker’s true agenda. it’s so transparent, and still the teabaggers are backing him. when they’re sitting in the cold with no food and no health care, i hope they realize that they made their own beds, and now they have to sleep in them.

  4. MNLatteLiberal

    here’s some blatant Minnesota self-promotion:

    well over a thousand (my guesstimate) of us turned out a day after a 16″ snow fall in the midst of a St. Paul snow emergency to show solidarity with our Wisconsin working middle class brothers and sisters. If you squint George-Costanza-like to 20/20, that’s OUR Governor, Mark Dayton speaking. (because of the number of folks who turned out, my better half had to beg for a temp. spot to snap that photo).

    ~ Latte

    • MNLatteLiberal

      img src tags don’t appear to be working.

      click here for the photo. (if that doesn’t work, i’ll just post the url.)

      • wordpress doesn’t allow for posting pix in the comments. i can’t understand why you can post youtubes but not pix.

        what walker’s done just might backfire on him and his corporate overlords. they’ve awoken a sleeping giant. a lot of people might not belong to unions, but they know that their parents or grandparents did, and they’re grateful for the advantages they had because they were members.

        • MNLatteLiberal

          ‘zactly, nonnie.
          neither of us here are union, and never have been. as in “Latte”, right?
          we’re over-educated, over-achieving children of lower middle class who got where we are through hard work and opportunities that had been availed to us through and by collective bargaining. that’s why we’ll turn up and speak up for the unions every chance we get.

          btw, we heard the same story about the WI state utilities being voted available for sale through no-bid process thanks to the same legislation that Friend of the Court mentioned. afair, Rachael’s stand in today reported that that bill (separated out of the budget) passed today.

          • the only time i was in a union is when i was a teenager and worked in a supermarket for a few summers. i even went to a union meeting, but that was mostly to hang out with everyone else. even though i was too young to take it seriously, it was apparent to me years later what a difference being in a union can make. floriduhhh is a “right to work” state, which means that employers can treat you like shit, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

          • Friend of the court

            damn. bad news about the utility sale. taking the power (as in utilities) from state and giving it to private interests is not going to result in lower costs to end users. it will result in higher cost for the people and less regulation and more money for the uber$$$$ folks.

            • and lower wages for the workers. scary as hell, and i hope that the voters of wisconsin realize what they’ve done by electing this asswipe. they might as well rename the state kochconsin (keeping the con and the sin seems appropriate).

  5. jeb

    I thought that Dickless Cheney told us that “deficits don’t matter.” Guess it’s only when they’re running up the tab.

    Why am I not surprised to find the Koch Bros oily fingerprints all over this?

  6. Even a C student could work out this solution: 1 in 5 adults are out of work= decreased income taxes. Sales taxes markedly down so cities have much less. Moneychanger have destroyed the real estate equity you thought you had. And when he hands the electric over to his cronies, you will get the same result we got in Texas. 10 years later our cost were double the KWhour of Oklahoma, triple that of Arkansas who didn’t deregulate (must be commies). Another key to getting this tax crap ironed out would be bringing an end to the Thirty Years War before it becomes The Hundred Years War. The two rich boys ought to just go back with daddys money and promote his main cause- the birch society.

    • the C student doesn’t think he should be required to do any math, because he’s screwing the principal and assistant principal, who are both ironically named koch. what’s wrong up in wisconsin? they voted out russ feingold, voted in a teabagger, and chose this asswipe as governor. i guess what bill clinton said is true–when you make a decision when you’re angry, 80% of the time, you’ll make the wrong one. wisconsin got it so wrong. the same goes for the floridiots of this state.

  7. whiteylawful

    All this vindicated paleoconservatives and our views on the welfare state. Also Mid-east wars of nation-building do not help either.

  8. Pingback: Tweets that mention Scott Walker, Koch Addict | HYSTERICAL RAISINS --

  9. Snoring Dog Studio

    This is what I hear over and over again – “Why did people elect this guy?” And it applies to Walker as well as to my own reprehensible, drunken governor, Butch Otter. Why do people elect these destroyers of the lower and middle class? Wake up, U.S. citizens – if you don’t want a power-mad politician to create havoc for years to come – start reading and THINKING.

    • i guess it’s about cause and effect. the consequences of what an administration does might not show up for a few years, but people associate whomever is in office with present conditions. how many people think st. ronnie got the hostages in iran freed, when he had absolutely nothing to do with it? yet, there are imbeciles who will tell you that he did it, even though the hostages were freed the very day of his inauguration. this is mostly true of the economy. it takes a while for economic policies to effect everyday life (they sort of trickle down πŸ˜‰ ). obama didn’t cause housing prices to go down or the high unemployment rate, and there’s no magic wand he can wave to make things turn around on a dime. the same is true of the governors. however, voters had a knee-jerk reaction, urged on by faux news and the hate-talkers on the radio. it’s like someone who has been abused all his life taking out his anger on the person who comes along to save him.

  10. Hey nonnie, I think your point about people voting against their own interests is an important part of this ugly story. There are such potent media barriers preventing people from seeing this Walker character for what he is, despite his obvious relationship with the likes of the Koch brothers…

    • it’s up to the dems to point this stuff out, and most of them aren’t doing it. what are the koch brothers if not the elitists that the teabaggers purport to hate so? why aren’t the dems making more of the connection between the kochs, the chamber of commerce, and the other self-interest groups and these elected asswipes? yes, there are dems who have dirty hands, too, but the rethugs are bought and paid for and tied up in a neat little bow. why aren’t the dems confronting the teabaggers in townhall meetings and asking them why they are supporting the people they claim to hate?

  11. Frame24

    Sorry, but the game has not changed. Huge disappointment. No important admissions, not tricked into saying something embarrassing; just a bit of weirdness. Summary of conversation: The “Koch” scam caller did nothing but crack stereotypical right-wing-asshole lines, which the governor basically chuckled along with politely but mostly dismissed. Had the prank caller done some homework, he could have destroyed the governor’s career. Instead, he ended his secretary’s.

    • hello frame24,

      welcome to the raisin! πŸ˜€

      i didn’t know what you were referring to, as i haven’t even turned the news on yet. however, i googled, and now i know what you were talking about. i don’t think the call was a disappointment at all. walker revealed his entire game plan, and he sounded a little too cozy with “koch.” why should a governor be so friendly with someone who wants to do business in wisconsin, to the point where he lays out his plan? i don’t know how well that will sit with people. on top of that, he can’t say that he wants to listen to dems, because he very clearly said that he won’t listen to a word they say, and his inviting them would only be a ruse. on top of it all, he’s made an ass of himself. plus, when “koch” suggested sending in some thugs to start trouble, walker never said that he didn’t want anyone to get hurt. instead, he was just worried about how it might upset his plans. to top it all off, he spoke to a prankster for 20 minutes, thinking it was one of his masters, and he sounded like he was reporting to headquarters. he didn’t even have enough sense to confirm whom he was talking to before discussing state business. i think this makes him look stupid. not that he needed any confirmation of that.

  12. whiteylawful

    ***EDITED because the commenter was told before to go away and that all his future comments would be deleted due to idiocy***

  13. It’s a funny/disturbing thing that “civil service” so often turns out to mean making sure that if things don’t go well, your benefactors are the last to suffer, and most of your constituents are first.

    • hello tom,

      welcome to the raisin! πŸ˜€

      gee, you realized that scott walker isn’t very popular around here, didn’t you? i thought we were hiding it so well. πŸ˜‰

  14. So the troll wants to take us from a welfare state to a fief? Just imagine every region will have it’s own Duke of Earl and we can all bow and courtsey! At least he didn’t call all the Raisins poopyheads…..Here’s the big little numbers culled from a TV interview with the head of the American Manufactureres Assoiciation-jobs in the US mfg. sector=9%!!!…percentage of US GDP-11.2%!!! We are so fucked.

  15. didnt you like how ailes-the-liar got fox news to switch the poll #s on the graphic making it seem like people supported walker