Scott Walker aims for the GOP Presidential Anti-Intellectual Sweet Spot with Wisconsin Budget

Anti-intellectualWith his continuously obedient, obsessive efforts to appease the Koch Brothers’-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)‘s agenda and turn Wisconsin into an Oligarchical Kleptocracy with some theocratic trimmings, Scott Walker’s “bold and fresh” ideas are nothing more than obediently paying homage to Republican anti-intellectual principles that coincidentally seem to mesh with his presidential right-wing ambitions.

Walker’s agenda takes direct aim at how the citizens of Wisconsin can participate in key programs and levels of participation, whether it’s property rights with environmental controls, parental participation with school boards, making passing referendums nearly impossible, making it harder to vote, defunding seniors’ support programs, rejecting infrastructure improvement programs, making taxpayers pay millions for not expanding Medicaid expansion as well as attacking women’s legal reproductive health rights.

If Walker can’t convince those who aren’t paying attention and vote for his agenda, he simply will make up a story to pad his anti-union cred that is loved so well by the Republican base.

Scott Walker raised Wisconsin educators’ eyebrows late last month when he told an Iowa audience that the 2010 “outstanding teacher of the year in my state” was laid off to make room for a teacher protected by union rules.

This was one of the reasons he fought so hard for Act 10 — his “bold way” of dismantling teachers unions and their contracts — Walker told the impressed Iowa Republican audience.

Many in Wisconsin education circles suspected the governor was telling yet another of his trademark fibs.

And, indeed, he was.

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Don’t expect Walker not to use the lie about the laid-off teacher because of “evil unions” as he runs for President. He’ll call it a “clerical error”.  Then he’s call it something else, obviously out of his micro-managed control and someone else’s fault.

Although he brags he magically balanced the Wisconsin budget through his Godly miracles, Walker does however want to borrow $1.3 billion funding over the biennium for transportation needs, which goes against his usual Tea Party austerity obsessions.  Essentially, the money that could have been saved by accepting Medicaid expansion and tax breaks for those who didn’t need it has blown a hole in the budget and Scott Walker mathematical errors are leading to huge borrowing gimmicks.  Being $2.3 billion in the hole after slashing and burning worker rights, environmental and public educational programs, one does wonder exactly what kind of magic Walker does practice.

Seemingly unaware that Walker is borrowing a billion dollars to stop the fiscal bleeding in Wisconsin, Fox News had Fred Luntz on to shore up the Republican “Stupid Party” agenda defending “overly successful” Scott Walker’s lack of a college diploma:

LUNTZ: Who are the worst educated presidents — the ones you would argue didn’t do much. Harry Truman, who did not graduate from college, and Ronald Reagan. So which side are you on?

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Luntz did get some giggles with bellowing that “who are the two best educated presidents of the last 50 years? Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.”

Get it? Get it? They went to college and finished!

Of course, there are comparisons where Scott Walker is somehow an “equal” to Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Harry Truman. Talk about anti-intellectual.

College Dropouts

Walker’s budget requests include devastating $300 million budget cut ($150 million in state funding for UW campuses for both 2015-’16 and 2016-’17) to the University of Wisconsin (UW) System, which will actually greatly affect rural UW locations greater, according to UW estimates.  It comes to between 13-16% of the budget depending on if you exclude UW’s required debt payments.

The Wausau Daily Herald editorializes that Scott Walker’s proposed UW budget cuts are going to hit the small campuses the hardest and that is the opposite of what ought to be done. It’s the small campuses that help students get started on their college degrees at a cost that’s much smaller than the big campuses, the paper points out. In an age of uncontrolled student debt, we ought to be bolstering these schools, not attacking them, it says.

In a Sunday editorial, the Appleton Post-Crescent insists that there’s a lot more to teaching than just knowing the subject. All Gov. Scott Walker has to do is look at the number of great professional athletes who failed at coaching to understand that just because you have experience in a subject doesn’t mean you can teach it, too. That, of course, is what Walker plans to do with allowing anyone with a bachelor’s degree to teach.

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Other towns where UW is critical to their local economy are also very concerned:

The UW-Stevens Point would lose $12.8 million in state funding in two years under the proposal, chancellor Bernie Patterson told Stevens Point Journal Media. On top of that would come $1.5 million in cuts to other programs at the university, which are funded separately.

It would mean layoffs, certainly, and cutbacks that would have an immediate and harmful impact on students.

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Wisconsin Idea

Scott Walker’s proposed budget made changes to the text of the Wisconsin Idea, which he backed down from after getting caught.

Walker’s attempt to literally take out “the truth” in UW’s “Wisconsin Idea” as part of the budget is actually hard to defend despite excuses it was a “clerical error” that then turned to backing down  on the reckless attempt while mumbling it was “someone else’s fault”.  Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) stated it best when he said: “I really believe the governor has lost his bearings as to who he is and what he does,” he said. “His job is not to rewrite the Wisconsin Idea. It’s to promote the Wisconsin Idea.

Walker has actually surmised that the UW budget cuts are “like an Act 10 for the UW.” It is a reference to the “Act 10 “Budget Repair Bill” Walker inflicted in 2011, which removed most collective bargaining rights for public employees and led to the Wisconsin Uprising and recall efforts, where Walker got nearly $60 million from outside Wisconsin “groups”.

Since Walker is barely at 50% of his 2010 new private sector jobs promise, it appears job-creation is not one of his interests. So it would probably not be on his radar to see that the UW budget cuts will hurt Wisconsin’s economic growth with 21st Century jobs:

Wisconsin is in a fight to create good-paying jobs for the 21st century economy. Wisconsin’s trend of declining household incomes only will be offset if we can generate new, good-paying jobs and stop the exodus of college graduates to other states. The recent proposal to cut $300 million from the University of Wisconsin System’s budget, in the absence of a concrete plan to ensure that our standards of excellence remain intact, will strike a blow to a key source of potential economic growth and undercut a major opportunity to translate the system’s scientific research into new, high-growth companies and jobs.

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Walker’s attacks on public education by trying to bring more school vouchers accessible that directly hurt K-12 resources actually are also bad for the same voucher/school choice interests that he is trying to placate:

An important thing to understand about Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal for making an unlimited number of private school tuition vouchers available across Wisconsin is how unattractive, as a practical matter, his plan is to the schools that it could serve.

An upcoming gusher of private school vouchers? More likely, as it stands, it would mean a modest increase at most, and it might even be a setback.

Statewide uncapped vouchers would be something Walker could promote as an accomplishment—perhaps in Iowa or New Hampshire or to potential donors to a presidential campaign.

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Walker is clearly riding the Anti-Intellectual Train to comfort the extremist right-wing Republican base he has to coddle for his Presidential ambitions. He clearly knew he couldn’t say he was for evolution since the Republican base overwhelmingly would find him at odds with their usual Magical Mystical Mythical Mind Meld. Even his high school teacher was miffed.

Walker said, “I’m going to punt on that one… That’s a question that a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another.” He was in London on a trade mission.

Among those who questioned Walker: the chair of his high school science department, Ann Serpe, 73. “Answer the question when they ask you!” Serpe said in an interview. “He could have manned up a bit. That’s what I would tell him.”

Serpe, who taught chemistry and chaired the math and science department at Delavan-Darien High School in Delavan, Wis., before her retirement in 1998, now lives in nearby Elkhorn. She recalls that Walker, her pupil and an advisee in student government, was a bright, committed participant in class. Walker graduated in 1986.

What would Walker have learned in high school? “We taught the theory of evolution, and human evolution, as a prerequisite to understanding biological classification. I went out and looked at my biology textbook just to make sure.”

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Anti-intellectualism is indeed the philosophy Scott Walker finds solace.