State Revenues Are Coming Back. Walker Says, ‘So What?’

by Clyde Weiss  |  May 16, 2011

There’s finally some good news for states on the financial front: Revenue collections are coming in better than anticipated in Delaware, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina – even in Wisconsin. Yet, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) says he’s not going to back off plans to slash critical public services, school funding or even the retirement and health benefits of public employees.

These are the same public employees that he so hypocritically honored recently with his “public service appreciation week.”

What’s clear here is that Walker and other right-wing governors are using whatever excuse they can to cut taxes on the wealthy, reduce regulations on Big Business, and undermine the power of public service workers to improve their working conditions, wages and benefits through collective bargaining.

When the economy turns into positive territory, as it appears to be doing throughout the country, lawmakers should invest that extra revenue in building the foundations for lasting economic growth. That means investing in programs that build the middle class, not tear it down. But Walker’s refusal to reconsider his plans to cut services in light of new revenue proves to us that this never really was about the economic welfare of his state. It’s always been about power – the power of the corporate elite.

We will keep exposing this hypocrisy. Stay tuned.

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