Shut up, it's magic.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker continues his efforts to carve up the state piecemeal. Walker is one of those governors and Republican presidential maybe-contenders whose entire reason for governance can be summed up as We Can't Have Nice Things Anymore
Gov. Scott Walker's plan to cut the University of Wisconsin System by $300 million over two years would likely lead to layoffs, but closing campuses is not on the table at this time, top school officials said Tuesday.
"At this time" is an interesting hedge, but the central premise is that the state university ought to be able to absorb budget cuts of $300 million over two years by eliminating "waste," which is a talking point that predates Scott Walker's birth by roughly an eon or so. Eliminating this waste, by which we mean people and services, will be accomplished in the usual Scott Walker way. The universities will be detached from state government and therefore the labor rules that regulate them, which will free up Walker supporters on the Board of Regents as they implement those rules in a manner more fitting of a kleptocracy.
One such law provides faculty with tenure, which protects them from dismissal. Another provides for shared governance, which allows professors and students to have a role in how universities are run.
Such matters would be left for the Board of Regents to decide — a better arrangement, said Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), co-chairman of the Joint Finance Committee.
There are no plans to remove tenure or reduce student influence, supporters are quick to add, but it sure would be handy to axe the current requirements so the Wisconsin future, which predominantly seems to be made up of politically appointed grifters narrowly avoiding (or, in the case of Scott Walker's own staff, conspicuously not avoiding) jail time, can have a bit of flexibility. It also is another hoarier-than-hoary party maneuver, freeing state Republicans from the responsibility of deciding how to apply a whopping $300 million budget cut by declaring that those people over there will have to figure out the details, we're just in charge of sending over the smaller checks.
Please read below the fold to find out why the money is being slashed from the budget.
If you are wondering why the Wisconsin university system needs to have its budget slashed by $300 million over the next two years, the proximal cause is that the previous Scott Walker tax cuts, which were going to pay for themselves what with the resulting boom in state growth caused by all the wealthy people needing new yachts to sail down the wider streets of Madison, instead continue to hemorrhage money. And we need that money to build rich people a new sporting arena.
Calling his plan a "common-sense, fiscally conservative approach," Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday said new growth in income tax revenue from Milwaukee Bucks players, employees and visiting teams will generate enough money to cover debt payments on $220 million in state-issued bonds for a new arena. [...]
A new arena had been expected to cost $400 million to $500 million. Based on the new calculations, it appears the cost will be at least $500 million.
"There's absolute security for the taxpayers," Walker said. "No new taxes, no drawing on existing revenues, no exposure to the future..."
Because that $220 million of new state bonds are expected to pay for themselves, you see, what with the great gobs of money Milwaukee Bucks players will personally be paying in state income taxes, plus those hotel rooms for the other teams and whatnot. It's like printing money, and forking over hundreds of millions of dollars to build extravagant sporting venues for wealthy sporting team owners is a sure thing that has never, ever gone wrong, and Scott Walker is a Republican financial brain-genius whose past predictions on these things have been so spot-on that people can hardly contain their admiration for their man or wait for him to work his budgetary money-making voodoo on all of the rest of America.
Educating Wisconsin's residents, however, is just a gigantic money drain. How does getting an education help anyone? How does having a college-educated workforce help Wisconsin, especially when compared to the revenues that could be gotten by wooing hotel visits by visiting sporting teams? No sir, you young people and educated people need to learn that we in America can no longer afford to have nice things these days. If you wanted a high-paying career or want to work in a well-appointed, state-funded venue that the politicians of the state can devote themselves to building, you should have done something decent with yourself and become a member of a prominent sporting team and/or the owner of a sporting team. You know, a real career. Grab a ball, junior, and hope you make the cut.
And this is why we cannot have nice things, and why Scott Walker will run for president on a platform of doing for the nation what he did for Wisconsin, which is to explain to all the little people that they should not expect to have nice things and then setting about to prove it to them good and hard.