Third Party & Independents Archives

Here's how you run a state, Mr. Cuomo

How Scott Walker and the conservatives saved Wisconsin. America, take note

Remember when the protesters in Wisconsin flooded the statehouse in 2011 to protest the Wisconsin budget repair bill?

Over a hundred-thousand people protested for days. They were taping stuff to the walls and threatening Walker's assassination. Protesters locked themselves in the state house and others laid on the floor until they were arrested and taken away. Superglue was put in the keyholes of the doors among other destructive, illegal acts. Damage to the statehouse is estimated at around three-hundred-thousand dollars.

The Walker-backed bill proposed taking away the ability of public sector unions to bargain collectively over pensions and health care and limiting pay raises of public employees to the rate of inflation, as well as ending automatic union dues collection by the state and requiring public unions to recertify annually.

Nineteen Wisconsin senators actually left the state in an effort to stop the bill from getting a vote by not having the quorum needed. A number of strategies were employed by the legislature to get the AWOL senators back including trying to pass a voter ID bill, insisting staff members pay for using their copy machines, holding back their pay and fining them 100$ every day they were absent. They even tried to get the state police to go get them and drag them back! All for naught.

After the collective bargaining bill was upheld by the Wisconsin Supreme Court on June 14, the number of protesters declined to about 1,000 within a couple days.

Wisconsin Demoralized, Demobilized

Then they tried to recall the Governor. They tried to remove him from office. But, defying all odds and being the first governor to do so, he won the recall vote! Perhaps more bad planning and lack of organization on the part of the protesters, again. Or not! After all that drama and teeth gnashing and flailing of arms, we find that Scott Walker's reforms actually worked! Wisconsin now has a surplus of almost one-billion dollars!
The American Spectator reports:

In 2011, Wisconsin had a whopping deficit of $3.6 billion dollars. But a corporate tax cut and collective bargaining reforms invigorated the state economy. Now, the state is boasting a $911 million surplus, credited to "good stewardship of the taxpayers' money."

Unemployment is also down to the lowest figure since 2008. Maybe not such a difficult task when done right, or for someone who actually tries to reduce unemployment, but it's at 6.2% nonetheless.

"How can this be?", exclaimed the protester.

Well, major cuts with the goal of saving $300 million in two years, welfare reform and changes to public sector employees' contracts, targeted tax cuts and small rises in spending on workforce training and education. You know, conservativism!

It's an example of sensible conservative governance - not, as so much of the liberal media seemed to imagine, a Tea Party coup d'etat. No wonder he beat the recall effort.
It turns out that conservative economics, applied with determination and care, can work.

Take note, America, and take note Mr. Cuomo. You don't need to throw people out of your state to get it to work right. You have to listen to them, let them keep their own money, and give them a chance.

Posted by Weary_Willie at January 28, 2014 8:52 AM
Comment #375906

In WI, Obama and Walker shared nearly identical approval ratings over the past three months:

Yesterday Obama received an national approval rating of 46%. According to CJ, Obama’s approval rating is abysmal. What does that mean for Walker?

Here is the non-farm payroll graph for WI:

Here is the same for the US:

The performance of WI mirrors the performance of the US. It is virtually identical. When Walker took office, the unemployment rate was 9.2%, and it is now 6.2%; the unemployment rate under Obama hit its low at 10%, and is now 6.7%, so the country improved by 3.3% while WI improved by 3%. Again, basically the same performance.

Thanks to the nation’s improving economy, most states will see a budget surplus:

New York will enjoy a surplus too.

In summary, the performance of WI and other states seems to be a result of the performance of the Obama administration. What we are seeing now is the short-term result of administration policies. What will happen to states in the long term- now that is something they will eventually be able to take the credit for, or the blame. WI has chosen to drastically cut its education budget. Good luck with that.

Posted by: phx8 at January 27, 2014 10:54 PM
Comment #375907

Here is an interesting chart on job creation in WI v the US:

Notice how WI slightly outperform the US for job creation in 2009 - 2010. In the next year or two, WI and the US create jobs at about the same rate. In 2012 & 2013, the US pulls ahead, and WI falls behind.

There are a number of ways to measure it, but most recently WI ranked 44th in job creation. The overall number is in positive territory, so that is good, but relatively speaking, job creation for WI compared with the US has been extremely mediocre.

Unless, of course, all job numbers are the product of a conspiracy when they involve Obama… But become reliable again when they apply to Walker… But only if they put Walker in a positive light. Not Obama though. Just Walker.

Posted by: phx8 at January 28, 2014 12:05 AM
Comment #375908

Aren’t those 2 charts the same? Both are for Wisconsin. Same link also. That’s probably why they look similar to you, phx8.

You say the performance of the states is a result of the performance of the Obama administration. I could also say the performance of the Obama administration is a result of the performance of the states. Kinda’ like saving jobs, isn’t it? Can’t prove it, but it sounds good.

I would go back to what I’ve said a number of times. This country is prosperous in spite of the federal government, not because of it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 28, 2014 12:07 AM
Comment #375909

Overall job growth comparisons between one state and the entire U.S. is apples and oranges. Each state has it’s own job growth and their combined total makes up the growth for the U.S.

Unemployment Rate Dropped In Every State That Elected A Republican Gov. In 2010

This was not the case for states that elected Democrats in 2010. For instance, the unemployment rate in New York actually went up
Posted by: Weary Willie at January 28, 2014 12:18 AM
Comment #375910

GOP Grabs 30 Governor Seats, Highest for Either Party in Over a Decade

North Carolina elected its first Republican governor in more than two decades, securing 30 gubernatorial seats for the GOP.

The Democrats now have 19 governor seats. One state, Rhode Island, has an independent governor.
“If you have two-thirds of the nation’s governors on the same policy and that share similarities, then you have something that has a combined larger effect…
Posted by: Weary Willie at January 28, 2014 12:26 AM
Comment #375911

Where Obama Fails, GOP Governors Find Solutions

Almost half the jobs created during the Obama recovery have been created in Texas. Which perhaps means it should be called the Obama-Perry recovery. Or the Perry-Obama recovery – it’s not clear who should get top billing, though outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry certainly has pushed a better pro-growth agenda than the president.

In fact, while the “blue states” are running up debt and flirting with bankruptcy, the “red states” continue to take the lead in cutting taxes, streamlining government and job creation, according to a report issued Monday by the State Government Leadership Foundation and being distributed by the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 28, 2014 12:29 AM
Comment #375916

RE same link. I was hoping to link an enlargement of the graph to the left, which shows a chart comparing job creation for WI & the US.

The biggest driver of state surpluses comes from capital gains generated by the stock market. A huge bull market, with no drops greater than 10% since 2011, has resulted in huge and unexpected tax revenues for individual states, including WI, NY, and CA.

It is entertaining to see conservatives tout the WI economy, but denounce an identical performance by the Obama administration; they cheer the leadership of Walker, even though he has identical approval ratings with Obama.

Posted by: phx8 at January 28, 2014 12:13 PM
Comment #375918

I’ve always found it interesting how people will change their tunes as time goes by…

Like how the very people who are touting the stock market were the same people who were cheering on the Occupy Wall Street crowd, upset at the 1% (who are, btw, the ones getting rich in the stock market and helping create the divide between the haves and have nots that they are currently upset about).

And these are the same people who were denouncing the use of the stock market as any kind of economic measuring stick when Bush’s stock market was going gangbusters…

Just an observation. When everyone starts getting to talking about real things and not imaginary partisan gamesmanship, let me know.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 28, 2014 12:42 PM
Comment #375920

…in spite of the federal government.

What you’re saying, phx8, is the federal government is guilty of using the trickle down theory.
You’re saying the federal government is granting the states the right to create jobs. I thought trickle down was bad.

You’ve got it wrong. This is not Europe where everything is illegal until the government says it’s legal. This is the U.S. where everything is legal until the government says it’s not.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 28, 2014 1:34 PM
Comment #375921
the performance of WI and other states seems to be a result of the performance of the Obama administration.

Evidence to support that claim that isn’t a correlation does not imply causation fallacy?

What we are seeing now is the short-term result of administration policies.

Which policies exactly? Show your work.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 28, 2014 1:57 PM
Comment #375922

BTW, were these policies NSA spying? Or Signature Strikes? Keeping uncharged terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay? Killing US citizens without formal charge, warrant or trial?

Or perhaps this one?

A suspected U.S. drone bombed an area in southern Somalia on Sunday, reportedly killing five people, at least two of whom are said to be members of the al-Shabab militia.

Though the number was not confirmed, it remains unclear who the other three people killed in the attack may have been. Reports from the scene indicate that a car or envoy was targeted.

The latest apparent drone attack in Somalia follows on several recent U.S. bombings in Yemen, including one earlier this month in which a farmer was killed and another in December that hit a wedding convoy that left at least a dozen civilians dead.

All part of the U.S. global war on terror that began in 2001, attacks like Sunday’s in Somalia—a country with which we are not at war—have now become remarkably common. And, so long as alleged “terrorists” are said to be the targets, almost no objection to the ongoing aerial assassination campaign is raised.

Go team USA apparently… :/

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 28, 2014 2:03 PM
Comment #375923

Deficits are a bag of nonsense. Money is supposed to be spent—what’s ALL this saving crudoli? Spend like a Reaganite. America needs new leadership—how’s about stupid?


Posted by: simpleheaded at January 28, 2014 2:14 PM
Comment #375924

Personally, I thought the Occupy movement was too unfocused to stand for much of anything, other than a grass roots dissatisfaction with the general state of things, especially income inequality.

The stock market under Bush was good for about two years, but the word “gangbusters” could never, ever be applied to it, even during those two years. The stock markets under Bush gained about 40% over 6 or 7 years at its very peak. We know it was fueled by debt and refinancing funds from the housing market. The three main reasons for that debt during the Bush administration were the following: tax cuts, unfunded wars & the TSA, and skyrocketing health care costs.

The economy under Obama is a very different thing. The gain as been something like 130% in 5 years. Job creation has come almost entirely from the private sector, and with little help from the housing and construction. Debt was used, but it was specifically to ameliorate the disastrous consequences of the crash of the financial sector and the economy, and NOT tax cuts, unfunded wars, and skyrocketing health care costs.

As we are seeing, it is not just the 1% becoming wealthy through the stock market. The capital gains revenues generated by profitable stock sales are showing up in state budgets.

What makes this interesting is that it gives a Republican governor the best chance to be a viable presidential candidate in 2016. Christie blew himself up, so he’s out. Walker is too divisive and lacks charisma. It will be really interesting to see which GOP governor can take advantage of these unexpected budget surpluses to claim the mantle of leadership for the party. Jindal?

Posted by: phx8 at January 28, 2014 3:04 PM
Comment #375927


Except that Obama is down to around 42% and Walker is at 51%. That means that Walker would win an election, while Obama would lose it. Beyond that Walker is doing that well in a state that has gone Democratic since 1988.

What might be Obama’s approval ratings in a mostly red state?

Re Walker - my relatives live in Wisconsin. They are all blue collar, working people. Some are union members. They love Walker. I have been surprised by this myself. My family used to be Democratic. I guess that as they learned more, they changed their minds. My father used to tell me that Democrats were the party of the working people. Now it looks like they have become the party of the non-working people.

Phx8 and Willie

Willie makes a good point. Maybe Obama is not saving the states, but the states are saving Obama.

The “Obama recovery” is largely the service of fracking and energy. That is how Texas is creating so many jobs. Without that, we would be in a world of hurt. The best you can say is that Obama let it happen. His plan was not to base our recovery on fossil fuels. Without fracking, there would be no Obama recovery. Obama should express more gratitude to George Mitchel. He is the true father of the recovery.

Posted by: CJ at January 28, 2014 8:54 PM
Comment #375933
As we are seeing, it is not just the 1% becoming wealthy through the stock market. The capital gains revenues generated by profitable stock sales are showing up in state budgets.

You mean as the wealthy gain more wealth, they are also making life easier and better for the working class and poor through taxation and increased spending?

That’s a great theory you have there, we should give it a name…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 29, 2014 10:43 AM
Comment #375953
The stock markets under Bush gained about 40% over 6 or 7 years at its very peak.

It did? Looking up the historic DOW numbers, the low for the Bush administration was September 2002 @ 7591.93. The high was 13930.01. That’s a bit more than ‘40%’, it’s 83%.

I guess you can say that 83% isn’t ‘gangbusters’, but the economist at the time didn’t agree with you. When the Austrians economists were warning of the housing bubble, the Kensyian and neoclassical economists were telling us that there was no such worry. Both Democrats and Republicans were oblivious to the perils of the FED manipulation of the markets that led to the collapse in 2008.

The point is that the current leaders of the economy have learned NOTHING about the problems that led to the 2008 collapse, and we are going to be heading for the collapse of another bubble soon. It’s the cycle of things when the FED is tasked for trying to fix things that they shouldn’t be fixing. Not using the right information (as I have shown before) is another problem. And the new FED chair doesn’t seem to have learned either, based on the interviews she gave while filming Money for Nothing.

The slowing down of QE3 is causing the markets to crumble, mostly because it was artificially strong, only up because of those purchases. As they extract themselves, the markets will come down to more realistic numbers. And if more meddling is done in response, it could get worse. The debt bubble is going to come to an end soon enough. Money lending is already free, any interest rate increase will crash it, but not increasing it will ensure that a whole generation, maybe more, has no incentive to save anything at all…

The economy now is built upon things that this administration has been against, yet are willing to take credit for it, it’s kind of hilarious to watch.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 30, 2014 1:46 AM
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