So everyone’s good friends at the Heritage Foundation, a right wing think tank in Washington DC, published a post today commending Scott Walker and comparing him to “great” (and I use that term loosely) Republican governors before him such as Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan. The author, an intern with the Heritage Foundation, waxes nostalgically at how Coolidge handled the Boston Police Strike in 1919 and Reagan handle the air traffic controllers strike in 1981 by firing them all. What the author, Brittany Baldwin, fails to remember are a couple of key things. The Boston Police ended their strike at the urging of AFL because the country was in the middle of a Red Scare after World War 1 as well as the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and people were associating the strike with a Bolshevik inspired insurrection and “agents of Lenin.” The other thing that she fails to remember is that within months of Reagan firing the air traffic controllers he ended up rehiring the vast majority of them so in effect it was just a publicity stunt.
The other thing that I find interesting about comparing Walker to Coolidge and Reagan is that both of them failed miserably during their Presidencies at the one thing conservatives are supposed to love above all other things… the economy. Coolidge was President in the 1920s and an advocate of laissez-faire government. This philosophy worked ok for a few years but then ended kinda badly with the whole Great Depression thing and US Stock Market collapse. Reagan and his economic policy, famously called “voodoo economics” by his Vice President George H.W. Bush, didn’t really do much other than expedite a faster redistribution of wealth to the richest Americans and in large part is responsible for the massive federal debt the US has because while he cut taxes he couldn’t stop spending money on national defense and the military industrial complex. Oh yeah, Reagan’s economic plan also ended with a major recession that started a little bit into George H.W. Bush’s term as President and ultimately help elect Bill Clinton in 1992.
Since we know that Walker hearts Reagan, thanks to his phone call with billionaire (Fake) David Koch the other day, I only hope Wisconsin can get rid of him before he ruins Wisconsin’s economy like Reagan because the State really needs to be open for business now and can’t afford the time to clean up first.