Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin survived a recall election on June 5, 2012 thanks to $60 million in outside money and $10 million from the Koch brothers. In what was a contentious and divisive contest that has lasted for months, a record number of Wisconsinites turned out to vote.
It all began last year when the Tea Party governor and his Republican controlled legislature passed legislation taking collective bargaining rights away from public employee unions as a way to close the state’s budget gap. As a result of the attack on public unions, tens of thousands of demonstrators filled the capital building and grounds for days and began the recall drive that collected over 900,000 signatures.
There were no winners in this election except for corporations and the super-rich. This is so for the following reasons. First, the state remains bitterly divided. Walker succeeded, in his own words, by “dropping a bomb and dividing and conquering.” This is all part of an ALEC blueprint being played out in Republican controlled legislatures across the country and in Congress where right wing radicals, the ponds in this scheme, have succeeded in bringing our government and our democracy to the brink.
Furthermore, the Democrats won back control of one senate seat in the recall and now can completely block Walker’s agenda and create gridlock. Not much good will happen to improve the lives of the working people of Wisconsin, and NO jobs will be created. People have got to stop believing this bullshit. It doesn’t trickle down. Never has. Never will.
Second, because of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that allowed unlimited and undisclosed amounts of obscene money in elections, corporations (naturally bent on busting unions to increase their bottom lines), Super PACs, special interests, and the obscenely rich contributed more than $60 million to put Walker over the top. His opponent, Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, trailed far behind with only $18 million raised. When factoring in the money each campaign raised, the disparity was 7-1.
This demonstrates just exactly why the super-rich and corporate dollars have trumped our voices in elections. Because “money is speech,” Scott Walker is not beholding to the people of Wisconsin but to the Koch brothers and super rich who contributed to his campaign.
Consider this: the number of registered, corporate lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled since 2000 to more than 34,750 who lavished $3.5 Billion on the 535 members of Congress in 2010 alone! That’s millions of dollars for every U.S. Senator and member of Congress. Corporations and the rich own Congress and us!
This very same agenda is being played out in the presidential election and in state elections all across this land. We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars to buy politicians and to win elections.
Third, there is no shortage of money – anywhere – except in the pockets of the poor and the middle class. Productivity has risen steadily over the past 30 years. Corporations have been earning record profits. The only problem is the 1% have increased their wealth by 361% over that period while the wealth of the 99% has remained flat or decreased. More and more of the middle class are falling into poverty while the richest 1% have tripled their share.
CEOs and financial industry employees made more than all 16 million unionized employees in the United States, and they made as much as all 17.5 million full-time government workers in the United States.
And, as if to pour salt in the wound, the richest 1% pay less in taxes than the average American. According to the IRS, the wealthiest 6 families in the United States reported an average income of $202.4 million, down for the second year as the Great Recession slashed their capital gains.
In addition to the six who paid no tax, another 110 families paid 15 percent or less in federal income taxes. That is less than half what the rest of us pay!
Overall, the top 400 paid an average income tax rate of 19.9 percent. The top 400 earned five times that much every day. Corporations like G.E. and Exxon Mobil not only do not pay taxes, but receive huge government subsidies! And yet, the Republicans and their Tea Party rogues would have us believe that cutbacks in social services, infrastructure, education, pensions, and more taxes on the working class are required to balance the budget!
Corporations, Congress, and state legislatures are victimizing the working class and blaming us for all of our problems. Americans has been duped into believing that unions, government workers, and the poor are the problem in this country. This is the biggest scam in the history of the United States. No wait, it is the biggest heist in our history.
Fourth, Americans still cannot see that the Republicans and Democrats we elect do NOT represent us. We are still locked into the belief that America is a democracy where everyone has a vote and that our elected politicians represent us. This is a myth that blinds us as to who is really in control of the economy, defense, agriculture, energy, and education.
At the top of the pyramid are a small group of wealthy families who control the Federal Reserve, Wall St, and the banks, that in turn lend money to corporations. Those corporations in turn contribute billions of dollars each year buying the members of Congress, who in turn do their bidding.
George Carlin was prophetic and way ahead of his time in this famous piece on “its a big club and you ain’t in it.” It is a must watch, even if you’ve seen it before.
We’re not talking just about corporations like Proctor & Gamble, Kraft, Coke, Pepsi, and Disney. We’re talking about the military industrial complex and the Department of Defense that soak up 60% of our tax dollars every year! They are the corporations that are building warships, advanced fighter jets, bombers, and drones. They are the corporations that have turned space into a giant spy network and into the battle ground of the future. They are the corporations that are manufacturing rockets and missiles and all of the weapons we sell all over the world. America’s largest export, by far, is weapons and military technology!
Here’s what the scheme looks like.
And for what? The answer to that question is frightening. 1) to control the world’s resources: oil, water, precious and rare metals, and food; 2) to dominate and control the planet and space; and 3) to control us by neutralizing our voices in elections and doing away with our constitutionally protected rights of free speech, peaceable assembly, and the redress of grievances to our government.
Don’t believe it. Watch this video of Paul Weyrich, the founder of ALEC, the shady, right wing organization behind the Republican assault on workers, the middle class and the poor.
The Walker recall and every other election are merely distractions that serve to continue the myth that the politicians we elect represent us and are capable of caring for the common good when, in reality, they are doing the bidding of the rich and powerful. The only thing that governments do in this scheme is to collect our hard-earned money, control our lives and keep us in check.
The recall in Wisconsin is nothing more than an expensive side-show designed to deceive and distract while the 1% continue to plunder the planet and make serfs of 99%.