Herbert Hoover Walker, the Man Who Would Be Governor, wants to stick it to Milwaukee.
Trouble is, Walker is the Milwaukee County executive, not some two-bit political hack from Elroy, as one of his GOP opponents once called Tommy “Stick it to ‘em” Thompson.
Walker’s already said county taxpayers shouldn’t pay for programs that only help the city of Milwaukee.
In the name of holding the line on property taxes, he’s decimated public services in the county, with deteriorating parks, and a bus system being purposely killed by neglect, just to cite the top of the list.
He’s vetoed an attempt to ask county voters whether they would favor a half per cent sales tax to reduce property taxes and fill some of the county’s financial hole.
Now he’s turned his back on potential federal economic stimulus money, too.
The Journal Sentinel reports:
The only federal economic stimuli Walker endorses are tax cuts…
“The last thing you want to do is put money in hands of government,” if the goal is to pull the economy from recession, Walker said.
Tell it to FDR. That’s the quote that earned Walker the Herbert Hoover tag. (It was Calvin Coolidge who observed that, “When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results.” But it was the principle of Hoovernomics.)
Walker’s county is arguably the one in Wisconsin that needs help the most. Janesville’s unemployment rate may be higher, but Milwaukee’s widespread and persistent poverty problems and central city joblessness are unmatched.
Calling him Herbert Hoover — or even Hoobert Heaver — maybe giving him too much credit.
Gretchen Schuldt asks a lot of pertinent questions, starting with the big one: Has Walker totally lost his mind?
Cory Liebman wonders if Walker knows that Milwaukeeans pay federal taxes, too.
A caller on Eric Von’s show on WMCS radio this afternoon said he called Walker’s office and was told by a staffer that Walker didn’t support the federal spending because “we’re going to have to pay for this sooner or later.”
The point is that Milwaukee County taxpayers are going to pay for the stimulus anyway, whether they share in it or not. They’re going to pay for those tax cuts Walker loves, too.
I seldom find myself quoting County Board Chair Lee Holloway as a sage observer, but he got this one right:
“The county executive is out of touch with the wishes of Milwaukee County residents. We’re in a recession. The City of Milwaukee’s poverty and unemployment rates are among the highest in the nation. It’s nave for the county executive to take such a narrow position on this matter…
Rejecting a federal helping hand makes no sense given the severity of the recession, Holloway said.
“I support any stimulus package that puts Milwaukee County residents back to work and improves our infrastructure,” he said.
The most bizarre aspect to Walker’s positioning is that he clearly thinks this will somehow help him be elected governor.
It will set him apart from the field. I’ll give him that.
It may earn him a spot in the Hoover-Coolidge hall of fame.
But it won’t get him anywhere near the statehouse.