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The Masque Cometh Away


Futurist Alvin Toffler once said, "We are advancing the sophistication of deception faster than the technology of verification. The consequence of this is the end of truth." We have been subjected to a blizzard of deception concerning this Wisconsin recall mudpit for months now. Columnists, spokespersons, seminar letter writers and assorted pundits have been listing a litany of vile transgressions by Governor Scott Walker and his Republican supporters to justify spending $10 million in an eruption of so-called democracy to save us from this evil dictator in the State Capitol.

He has been accused of depriving school children of an education, disenfranchising 80,000 of our elderly, depriving the disadvantaged of health care and the working class of their livlihood. He is accused of taxing the poor to benefit the rich, who are his only friends, as well as despoiling our environment.. He is also accused of lying by omission by not explaining in detail how he planned to eliminate a $3.59 billion largely structural deficit. (Yes, I know, there's still a piece of structural deficit left if you employ GAAP, which no-one has done in Madison since the Civil War. O.K., he materially cut the structural deficit.) Of course, no-one asked.

Finally, this past week the "masque" came off. As I have maintained right along, this whole six months of recall mania was and is about a single issue: union money and power. As Marquette University Professor Walter Farrell used to say, "Follow the money." The largest Wisconsin teachers' union, WEAC, corralled the potential Democrat Governor candidates and demanded that they--as Governor--agree to veto any state budget that does not contain a restoration of collective bargaining rights. Only one candidate agreed: flaming Madison liberal Kathleen Falk. (Surprise!) WEAC immediately endorsed her candidacy. There was no mention of any other issue.

Unions, especially public service unions, have become big business. WEAC even runs a health insurance business that they crammed down the throats of school district administrations in their so-called collective bargaining sessions. Union leaders command substantial salaries, well into six figures. They employ hundreds of administrative personnel. This is all funded solely by union dues. Anything that threatens the union dues golden goose must of needs strike fear into their hearts and that's exactly what Walker's and the Republicans' ACT 10 legislation does by breaking the stranglehold WEAC and other teachers' unions had on school districts.

Loss of collective bargaining rights for benefits--something most other unions do not have!--pulls most of their teeth and greatly reduces their influence. This, coupled with the elimination of dues checkoff (automatic union dues payroll deduction), threatens to materially reduce membership as teachers and others who disagree with union politics bail out, something that already is taking place. They've also lost their health insurance monopoly, resulting in major layoffs and requiring competitive bidding which forces them to reduce premiums to compete with private insurers.

Thus, this whole taxpayer-funded recall movement is about one single issue: union dues. The rest is all smoke and mirrors. Democracy my ----! Tell me, Wisconsinites, do you want to spend millions of your money just to maintain union fatcats?

Sorry, folks, but it's too late to stop this travesty. All we can do is ensure that their plan fails. Get out there and vote! Don't let the union special interests carry the day.

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