Cutting the Great Outdoors of Wisconsin, Along With Everything Else!


Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the massive cuts to education and programs for the poor by the new Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner. In that article, I mentioned that Gov. Rauner seemed to be parroting the budget methods of Governor Brownback in Kansas and Gov. Walker in Wisconsin, both of whose state economies have been floundering under their respective austerity programs.

Well, it seems that in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker has gone even farther in his attempts to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class by proposing massive cuts to the Department of Natural Resources, while attempting to wrest control of  various agencies from the public domain and capturing them in the Executive branch of government.

“The DNR is full of scientists who grew up hunting, fishing, boating, or otherwise recreating in Wisconsin and then found a way to turn this into a living. It just so happens that the work they do benefits those of us who love the state’s great outdoors. Perhaps some other lucky state will get the benefits of their knowledge? We can hope so. We won’t know for some time what these cuts mean to the small businesses that are kept alive by people being able to hunt, fish, or recreate in the areas where projects took place. Estimates put the direct cuts to DNR positions at 66. Their knowledge and the research lost, however, are irreplaceable. ” Crooks and Liars

Gov. Walker is cutting 66 different positions and programs at the Wisconsin DNR in an attempt to balance his budgets without having to raise the taxes on the wealthy and on corporations that he cut when taking office.  You can find a partial listing of these program and position cuts here. While the cuts are devastating, Mr. Walker did not stop there.

” Of course, these cuts don’t even BEGIN to make up for the giant budget hole Walker’s dug for himself. And also of course, he wasn’t finished yet. The bigger prize was wresting control from the good people who, in a non-partisan manner, have tried to preserve the environment for future generations by stripping the citizen-governed Natural Resources Board of its authority. It’s now a powerless “advisory panel”, something Tommy Thompson tried to do but was stopped because back then the Republicans were not yet a wholly owned subsidiary of energy companies and other major donors. A few even seemed to understand that you couldn’t continue proud hunting, fishing and other outdoor hobbies without things to hunt or fish!” Crooks and Liars

Cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations and prevent the University of Wisconsin system from raising tuition to make up the shortfall from the cuts, all while increasing money to voucher and charter school programs.  I wonder who benefits the most from that plan?

If Walker’s economic vision had been successful in adding jobs and cutting deficits, his austerity program might be something worth crowing about.  However, his programs seem intent on cutting any and all programs he needs to, just to make sure he can keep cutting taxes on the wealthy and on corporations.

However, the result of the Walker “austerity for everyone else” program is Wisconsin is near the bottom in job creation.

If these austerity programs had an equal impact on all citizens, they might be more acceptable to the vast majority of citizens who are negatively impacted by them. Shouldn’t the wealthy and corporations be required to pay more when ordinary citizens pay with the loss of their jobs and loss of benefits due to the various cuts by Gov. Walker?  Wouldn’t that be equitable?

In light of how poorly Wisconsin’s economy has been doing under Gov. Walker, I can’t understand why our Governor here in Illinois, Bruce Rauner, would want to emulate those programs?

By the way, how is Wisconsin’s economy doing when compared to its neighbor, Minnesota?

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161 thoughts on “Cutting the Great Outdoors of Wisconsin, Along With Everything Else!”

  1. Giggles was killed by Kathy Stepp, Walkers appointee. No fines for factory cattle operations that poison wells. Allow factory farms to use water at will regardless of who or what it will affect. There’s always more with Walker. The roads in this state suck so bad it isn’t even funny. I lived in Maine, so it isn’t the weather.

  2. In a duopoly, w/ both parties being horseshit to varying degrees, it has become which party will self destruct more than the other party. So far, it looks like the Dems. But, 2 years is an eternity in politics.

  3. The “War on Women” fell flat on its face in the 2014 elections. Looks like some are doubling down on stupid

  4. I was referring to Warren’s leadership in the Senate. Your wife aside, Republicans will become repugnant to women, thereby helping Hillary’s election and achieving a change at least in the Senate.

    That was preordained in the 2014 election. Can’t you read the script?

    1. mustardseed – there are a lot of Republican women and men who will not vote for Hillary. Also the Clinton are not popular in the Latino community, so that is a loss. Script is in early draft form. Wouldn’t get excited yet. May end up in turn-around.

  5. Elaine,

    Plus, she can see the writing on the wall which spells nomination for Clinton. Her leadership in the Senate will be essential, however, if this nation is to avoid ruination.

    1. mustardseed – I don’t think Hillary has coattails, so she won’t be bringing Democrats into office with her (assuming she makes it). And, although she is hoping for the female vote, she lost my wife’s when she backed her husband’s lies against Lewinsky.

  6. Mustardseed,

    I agree. I think Warren is where she can do the most good for working people/middle class/college students.

  7. The conservative plot to destroy the middle class: Scott Walker, “right-to-work” and America’s new Gilded Age
    The Wisconsin governor is working tirelessly to disempower labor unions, but he’s just following the GOP playbook

    From the Gilded Age to the Great Depression to today, the economic agenda of conservatives has been easily summarized in two words: “cheap labor.”

    Nowhere is this more apparent than in Republican efforts to make as many states as possible “right-to-work” states—more accurately described as right-to-work-for-less states.

    During his 2014 reelection campaign, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker denied that right-to-work-for-less was going to be part of his potential upcoming term. As an issue that could cost him votes he needed for reelection, when asked about possible right-to-work-for-less legislation in Wisconsin he said, “I’m making it clear in this campaign, as I’ll make it clear in the next [legislative] session, that that’s not something that’s part of my agenda.” Walker continued, “My point is I’m not pushing for it. I’m not supporting it in this session.”

    This week, Scott Walker signed right-to-work-for-less legislation making Wisconsin the 25th state to do so.

    In Illinois, right-to-work-for-less is taking a far different, and likely unconstitutional path. Bruce Rauner, the newly elected Republican governor of Illinois, issued an executive order just days after his inauguration, declaring that state workers who don’t want to join a union do not have to pay the fees needed for collective bargaining costs: a move meant to starve unions in his state.

    Despite the fact that there is an Illinois law, duly enacted and signed by the governor (a prior administration), Rauner has simply promoted himself to “King” and directed state agencies not to follow that law.

  8. Walker is a nitwit. He is also the preferred Republican candidate for Hillary supporters.

    You can see the setup for 2016 coming from a mile away. Without any other contender emerging so far, Hillary is going to be the Democratic candidate. What remains is the contest between the two powers that have taken over our government, the Goldman-Sachs -Wall St power that crept in with Bill Clinton and laid the groundwork for the Great Recession and the enormous transfer of wealth that accompanied it (thanks Bob Rubin), and the Haliburton- Big Oil syndicate that plunged the world into chaos. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, but it all comes down to a contest between Clintons and Bushes. Walkers just a pawn. He’s being pushed by the Clinton camp.

    As for Walker, in his dreams he wins higher office and bails on Wisconsin before the people of that state realize how badly his policies have screwed it up.

    1. mustardseed – according to many Progressive sites, Hillary’s email screwups have opened the door for Fauxcohauntas Warren.

  9. Just more of the “Repub’s are BAD” partisan BS. This article is clearly an editorial, not a news story. Support the party you like…it is still mostly a free country. But don’t pretend this is news.
    WI clearly is doing much better than your former home state of IL-see The ratings agencies opinions of their muni bonds.
    And don’t forget-union carpetbaggers descended on his state in droves to campaign AND VOTE against him. Quite frankly I was surprised he still won,as he never seemed very charasmatic to me on TV. But I will give credit where credit is due.
    But if Walker keeps getting attacked by the Team D zealots then maybe he is worth more than I thought…we will see
    Hillary Clinton is a walking nightmare for the Dems. Unbelievably corrupt…and besides us common folk are getting sick & tired of the Bush and Clinton names. This is not a monarchy dammit.

  10. Nick:

    1. I am not excited by any candidate offered by either party. Moreover, the subject of this thread happens to be the governor of Wisconsin.

    2. I have always used proper nouns when writing posts. My blue collar parents taught us that respect is not pretentious.

    1. Mike Appleton

      My Mother always taught us to kill them with Kindness. I don’t always do so well as reality seems more straight from the hip.

      However, I do respect your writing style and always have very much but this post does confuse me as it has become increasingly apparent to me the Cities are run by Democratic Machines like Portland and Seattle

      I was looking just today at the DOJ on the coming “Oversight consent decree”

      Millions of billable hours for decades and nothing will change untill they get rid of them 10 years down the road and get together as a true community

      The former chief said he saw another, more immediate impact on a police department while working in Ohio.

      “When I was in Cincinnati, they had a huge uptick in crime after the DOJ announced their investigation, because — basically — the police department shut down and they stopped working,” he said. “They stopped doing proactive things. They had to say to themselves, ‘Do I really need to pull over this car, and then take the chance that I’m going to get tagged with some sort of discriminatory practice that the DOJ will not like?'”

      This also puts me in mind of the 10th amendment
      The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

      Why do I bring these seemingly random and unrelated things up? Because they have come up today and you are talking about 2 different styles of leadership. One is repressive on Business and the other is repressive on Government. I prefer the Laissez Faire one.

  11. Mr. Spinelli – describes himself as The Common Man while

    sprinkling everything with horseshit and cheering the race to the bottom.

  12. MikeA, You berated Reagan just like you do Walker. Who the hell do you think you’re kidding? You didn’t use to BS like this. But, why don’t you assess the Dem field of august pols. I would love to hear your take on those folks. They are, of course, all intelligent, hardworking and caring. And, are you writing for the NYT? You can dispense w/ the “Mr. Walker” horseshit. Most of us are blue collar, the pretentious folks are elsewhere. Walker or Scott Walker will do just fine.

  13. I am amused that posters continue to confuse intelligence with education. And we have come a far piece since the days when educational accomplishment was considered a worthy trait for a leader rather than an elitist conceit. The voters of Wisconsin may have adopted the late Roman Hruska’s views on mediocrity, but I am confident that the nation has not. The idea that Mr. Walker represents the second coming of Ronald Reagan is an instance of delusion posing as analysis. Given the current list of potential Republican standard bearers, the infatuation with Mr. Walker is perhaps understandable, but most such love affairs end in bitter disappointment, as this one assuredly will.

  14. I’d be careful about bragging on Walker’s career as a working man. Someone might actually ask for that history. Walker has been employed by the government since he was 26. Do five years qualify as a history and experience of a hard working man? Funny. I’d call him a career politician.

    I thought you people hated the government? Or is it more accurate to say you hate the government except for all the Republicans who earn their living there? Sorta like Paul Ryan who has lived off the dole since he was in high school. I understand Ryan also longs for the day when there are fewer government jobs and citizens who suckle off the government’s teat.

  15. One thing for certain, Walker is proving he doesn’t need a college degree to gain national prominence. He can just ride the DNC for awhile and save himself a lot of money. 😀

  16. Communists are smart.

    Americans are free.

    Communists are smarter than everything in the entire universe and they will kill to impose their “superior” intelligence and irrefutable cogitations. “The ends justify the means.”

    Americans established a severely limited government that exists solely to facilitate freedom and free enterprise without interference by government.

    Um. Let’s see. I think I’ll take freedom.

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