The Formula for the Consolidation of the Global Warfare and Corporate Welfare State, Wisconsin Edition

The ongoing showdown between public sector unions and the state government in Wisconsin provides us with a veritable template of party government in the United States.  The procedure is formulaic and has been employed to implement everything from the Patriot Act to the bailouts of the global banking mafia:  1) if there is no crisis at hand, manufacture one; 2) utilize this crisis to justify the implementation of emergency measures which would ostensibly address the crisis; 3) under the cover of those emergency measures, stage attacks on the fundamental rights and liberties of individuals while securing and consolidating the base of power for the global warfare and corporate welfare state. 

At issue in Wisconsin, of course, is the so-called "budget repair bill" proposed by the state's governor, Scott Walker.  In the press release announcing the bill's introduction, Walker states outright: "Emergency measure is needed to balance the state budget and give government the tools to manage during economic crisis." [Emphasis added.]  It continues:
“We must take immediate action to ensure fiscal stability in our state,” said Governor Walker.  “This budget repair bill will meet the immediate needs of our state and give government the tools to deal with this and future budget crises.”  The state of Wisconsin is facing an immediate deficit of $137 million for the current fiscal year which ends July 1.
So, the crisis facing the state is a deficit of $137 million, and this crisis is so dire it needs to be immediately addressed with emergency measures.  Interestingly, however, just last month the Wisconsin state legislature passed three bills providing $140 million in corporate and individual tax breaks.  From PolitiFact:
Economic development tax credit

Signed into law Jan. 31, 2011, this bill increases the state’s economic development tax credit fund to $98.1 million, up from $73.1 million. The fund provides a tax credit for job creation, capital investment or related activity. The additional $25 million in credits is not expected to be claimed during the 2011-2013 biennium.

So, if employers create new jobs and claim the credits, they would pay less in taxes to the state. No spending would be involved.

Health Savings Account deduction

Also signed into law, this measure allows people to deduct contributions they make to Health Savings Accounts from their state income taxes, as they can from their federal income taxes. Nearly every other state already allows this.

The deductions will reduce state revenue by an estimated $20.7 million in 2011-2012 and $27.3 million in 2012-2013.

Tax deduction for creating jobs

Under this bill, which is awaiting Walker’s signature, employers would receive a tax deduction for each job they create. They would pay an estimated $33.5 million less per year in income and franchise taxes.  
The reader can decide for him- or herself whether Wisconsin's crisis is manufactured or not.  In either case, the "emergency measures" proposed by the governor amount to an attack on long-recognized  rights of public sector workers and unions, with a number of notable exceptions.  From Walker's press release:
Collective bargaining – The bill would make various changes to limit collective bargaining for most public employees to wages.  Total wage increases could not exceed a cap based on the consumer price index (CPI) unless approved by referendum.  Contracts would be limited to one year and wages would be frozen until the new contract is settled.  Collective bargaining units are required to take annual votes to maintain certification as a union.  Employers would be prohibited from collecting union dues and members of collective bargaining units would not be required to pay dues.  These changes take effect upon the expiration of existing contracts.  Local law enforcement and fire employees, and state troopers and inspectors would be exempt from these changes.  [Emphasis added.]
It is worth noting in this context that these emergency measures to address the state's dire economic crisis also provide $22 million to the state's prison industry.  From the press release:
Corrections – The bill provides $22 million GPR to address shortfalls in the Department of Corrections adult institutions appropriation.  These shortfalls are due to health care costs, overtime, and reductions in salary and fringe benefit budgets under Act 28.
We are thus presented with a situation in which a celebrated series of corporate and individual tax breaks aimed at social and economic engineering amount to approximately $140 million.  The $137 million deficit, on the other hand, is framed as a dire emergency.  The response to that emergency requires the erosion of collective bargaining rights for public sector workers.  But the public sector unions of guard laborers, such as those in law enforcement, state troopers, inspectors and fire employees are exempted from the changes, and the prison industry receives a payoff.  The formula is clear as day.  If there is no crisis at hand, manufacture one.  Utilize this crisis to justify the implementation of emergency measures which would ostensibly address the crisis.  Under the cover of those emergency measures, stage attacks on fundamental rights and liberties while securing and consolidating the base of power for the global warfare and corporate welfare state.

Update:  As Solomon Kleinsmith points out at Rise of the Center, both sides in the Wisconsin showdown "are more than comfortable with lying to push their agenda."  This, of course, is standard practice for the partisans of the Democratic-Republican two-party state and duopoly system of government.  PolitiFact checks up on the relation between the state's $137 million deficit and its $140 million in business tax breaks, concluding: "The tax cuts will cost the state a projected $140 million in tax revenue -- but not until the next two-year budget, from July 2011 to June 2013 . . . Walker’s tax cuts will boost the size of the projected deficit in the next budget, but they’re not part of this problem and did not create it."  Apparently, they will only exacerbate it. 

1 comment:

TiradeFaction said...

Great article, puts things in pretty good perspective :)