by James J. Devine
Gov. Chris Christie is in Wisconsin campaigning for the notoriously anti-American Gov. Scott Walker, who is facing a recall election because of the disastrous union busting policies and stupid economic actions that undermine the average working family.
It is a sign that Republican Christie is more beholden to arch-conservative con-artistry than to the people of New Jersey that elected him, and it is a damn shame.
During the Progressive Era, Wisconsin was a laboratory for democracy because it applied the expertise of the state’s university to social legislation that benefited all the state’s citizens.
The Wisconsin Idea is the principle that the university should improve people’s lives beyond the classroom, prompting teaching, research, outreach and public service that led to a series of political reforms in the late 19th century and early 20th century, resulting in legislation that served as a model for other states and the federal government.
Reforms in labor and employee’s rights were among the major aspects of the Wisconsin Idea, which introduced worker’s compensation, well-funded public universities, the first state income taxes, as well as legislation prohibiting pollution and police brutality.
Progressive taxation, where the wealthier pay a higher rate of tax than the less-affluent, direct election of United States Senators, and primary elections were other progressive reforms aimed at benefiting the greatest number of people.
Wisconsin progressives did away with monopolies, trusts, high costs of living, and predatory wealth, which they saw as the problem that meant “no advancement of human welfare or progress can take place.”
There is nothing more American than a genuinely democratic popular government, and it is sad to see the birthplace of so much good government turn into a slaughterhouse for unkind, stupid and greedy reversals.
President John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society initiatives caused a severe conservative political backlash, which effectively ended the United States’ post-World War II prosperity.
Although the Great Society’s programs expanded under the administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, Reaganomics has prevailed over the past 30 years, eating away at these beneficial programs.
Walker and Christie are the latest in a 30-year long line of Republicans who are hell bent on destroying the America where people care for one another and restoring the one that had slavery. That is why real wages for working families have stagnated, why income inequality has reached extremes, why American jobs have been exported, and why public schools and government employees’ unions are under attack.
Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Older Americans Act and federal education funding, continue to face threats by right-wing radicals, like Christie and Walker and the anti-American Republican Party.
Walker and Christie have been slashing state budgets and busting unions, which are stupid moves compared with making millionaires pay their fair share of the tax burden.
Most disturbing about this is that while Wisconsin citizens have risen up to cast Walker out of public office, Christie did many of the same things in New Jersey with the aid and support of corrupt Democrats in the Legislature.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!