Maybe average Wisconsin voters didn’t consciously know each household must pay $1,563 in extra taxes every year for the next 30 years just to fund public pension shortfalls.
But they probably realized they don’t have a pension anymore, even if they have jobs. And any lucky enough to have jobs know that before Scott Walker became governor, they were paying higher taxes while working harder and longer at lower pay with slashed benefits.
Hey politicians, wake up: This is not just about jobs; it’s about which jobs.
It’s not about envy; it’s about the desperation of paying property taxes and making house payments.
It’s not a struggle over collective-bargaining “rights; it’s a pure power struggle over an entrenched elite squeezing more out of citizens already getting by on less.
That reality overwhelms every other factor in Walker’s astounding 1 point rematch gain defeating Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Tuesday.
It has national implications. Fewer Americans working harder for less and paying more taxes to increasing numbers of government employees who get more is not a shared-sacrifice program that wins elections.
Before Republicans and Democrats start imputing much to Walker’s victory, they should think about that reality and how it represents an untenable future for America.
Wisconsin job numbers are so stark that no amount of campaign propaganda spending by either side could overcome what citizens know is happening to them and their neighbors.
In just a decade while private-sector jobs dropped 4 percent—down more than 6 percent from the 2007 peak—state and municipal government employment steadily grew by 2.9 and 2.4 percent, respectively, through 2010.
Wisconsin numbers show below national average government employment growth, but much worse private-sector job losses, according to federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
But beyond the net loss of almost 94,000 private-sector jobs in a decade as of the end of 2010, Wisconsin lost the most from businesses that offer the best pay and benefits.
Looking at preliminary numbers from January 2001 through January
2011, businesses that employ 50 or more workers lost more than
173,000 jobs. Businesses that employ 49 or fewer workers added more
than 36,000 jobs.
Through September 2011, the bigger businesses were trending up, though still far below pre-recession peaks.
Smaller businesses were trending down.
More ominous is the fact that the biggest losses of business establishments over the decade were concentrated in bigger businesses, which makes recovery less likely.