Wisconsin was not and is not “broke.” Its pension system gets a “gold star” for soundness, and it has no enduring structural shortfall in revenues. Gov. Scott Walker gave business a $500 million tax break and caused the budget deficit thereby, and then claimed that social spending had to be slashed and public unions destroyed because the state is “broke.”
Cutting taxes on the rich does not create “jobs,” as the first 8 years of the 21st century conclusively demonstrated. It throws more money to the rich, who use it to buy legislators to induce more tax cuts on the super-rich, so that over the past 20 years the rich have amassed four times as much wealth as they had before, while the average wage of the average worker in real terms is virtually where it was in 1970. Cutting taxes on the rich is a way of taxing the middle class and imposing extra burdens on working families.
Government is not bad. It builds your roads, funds your hospitals, pays your social security (the elderly were the poorest group in American in the 1920s, now they generally not so badly off, because of a government program), and could help solve global warming by building high speed rail and promoting green energy. Corporations don’t do anything of that sort for you. Some of them are well-run and make things that improve lives. But many of them (as with industrial fishing) are destroying the species-wealth of the planet, or strip-mining it, or pumping enormous amounts of poisonous carbon into its atmosphere. Or they are ponzi schemes or modern-day slavers who get people deeply in debt and charge them usurious interest rates, turning them into serfs-for-the-lender. If someone is charging you 22% interest, he should be in jail, not the recipient of the bulk of your paycheck. Government student loans allow young people potentially to avoid this sort of situation, which is one reason financiers want to destroy government and the whole idea of regulation. Ayn Rand is a recipe for turning the United States into one big Company Town, in which we are born indebted to the corporations and pass the debt on to our children. In contrast, government debt can goose the economy during downturns, is mostly owed to ourselves, and becomes smaller over time because of inflation; and if it weakens our currency slightly it would help exports.
Artificial “budget crises” used to break unions and impoverish the lives of the middle and working classes are just a form of bank robbery, on top of the world-class heist pulled off in fall 2008 courtesy Bush/Paulsen. They are conspiracies promoted by billionaires like the Koch brothers, and promulgated by front organizations like ALEC and lackeys of the super-rich like Walker, and are the real class warfare.