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Scott Walker: Reverse Robin Hood

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The fact that Scott Walker has abominable positions on abortion shouldn’t cause us to forget his abominable positions on pretty much anything. He has savagely cut education spending in order to fund tax cuts that of course did not produce the promised stimulative effect.

This is all driven by Walker’s principled commitment to small government, right? Haha no:

Tomorrow, Scott Walker will stand on a stage at State Fair Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and betray virtually every conservative economic principle there is by handing out up to $450 million in taxpayer money to wealthy sports owners to pay for private infrastructure at a time when public infrastructure is crumbling.

The massive sum will go toward the building of a new sports arena for the Milwaukee Bucks basketball franchise, pleasing the team’s billionaire hedge-fund-manager owners, who threatened to move the team if they weren’t given taxpayer tribute. Conservatives in recent years have feigned concern about corporate welfare, and this deal is really the ultimate expression of it: hundreds of millions of dollars from teachers, waitresses, factory workers and shop owners funneled to pay for an aristocrat’s show palace rather than needed public service.

Of all the things desperately wrong with this, perhaps the most salient is the fact that the “old” arena, the BMO Harris Bradley Center, is only 27 years old, inaugurated in 1988. Incredibly, this makes it the 3rd-oldest arena housing a professional basketball franchise, behind only Madison Square Garden in New York and the Oracle Arena in Oakland, both of which have been substantially renovated over the years.

The fiscal principles of Scott Walker are 1)redistribute wealth upward and 2)that’s it.

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  • Regulust

    The economic principle of these stadium/arena deals is eerily similar to “austerity”, “tax cuts for the rich”, and other conservative economic principles: They can’t fail, they can only be failed. Over and over again.

    • JKTH

      They’re not failing though. See principle 1.

  • The fiscal principles of Scott Walker are those of the Koch’s and other billionaires. Walker is a dummy.

  • SamInMpls

    This doesn’t happen if Herb Kohl is still the principle owner, right?

  • Sebastian_h

    Ugh, ugh, ugh. I really hope that the Chargers don’t somehow pull that off with San Diego.

    • I would rather see the Chargers stay in San Diego. On the other hand, fuck the Raiders, and fuck their idiotic fans.

      • Steppanhammer

        Oracle: Not where the Raiders play.

        Even if it is next to the Coliseum, which the A’s also use.

      • dilan

        I think the same way players ought to have free agency, owners should be able to move their franchises. I’ve never gotten the argument that Walter O’Malley, for instance, is some sort of devil for moving the Dodgers.

        They shouldn’t get any public money. But if they want to move, so what? If anything, we should have a lot more sports franchises in big cities like LA and New York. The artificial scarcity is what creates disparities in franchise value and is the reason why the Yankees win so damned much.

        • wjts

          The artificial scarcity is what creates disparities in franchise value and is the reason why the Yankees win so damned much.

          I assume this artificial scarcity also explains the Mets, Jets, Rangers, Islanders, and Knicks dynasties? And why LA has managed to lose two pro football franchises in my lifetime?

          • Scott Lemieux

            You have to admit, Dilan has a point about the NHL — I’m really tired of the Maple Leafs winning championships.

            • wjts

              Fair enough. His hypothesis also explains why teams from places like Pittsburgh and Green Bay never win anything.

    • StellaB

      I don’t care either way about sports or religion until my tax dollars get used in their support.

      The Chargers can’t reliably sell out their games in their current location — the most recent renovation of which is still being paid for by the city. Spanos should not get one stinkin’ dime from the city, county or state.

  • Gwen

    Maybe they should rename the lousy, moocher basketball team the “Million Walker Bucks.”

    • Duvall

      To be fair, it’s a young and improving moocher basketball team now.

  • MAJeff

    So, these are the big strong Bucks Ronald Reagan was babbling about when discussing welfare dependency?

    • Lee Rudolph

      I’m sure that not a few of them do devour T-bone steaks by the bushel. Cadillacs I’m not so sure about—those are old people’s cars, aren’t they? Or Mary Kaye distributors’.

      • wjts

        “Man says, you wanna shoot nails, this here’s the Cadillac, man. He mean ‘Lexus,’ but he ain’t know it.”

  • Tomorrow, Scott Walker will stand on a stage at State Fair Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and betray virtually every conservative economic principle there is by handing out up to $450 million in taxpayer money to wealthy sports owners to pay for private infrastructure

    Sounds like his employers have decided that his shelf-life is limited so it is time to drop the pretence of principles and make out like bandits while they can.

    • Monty

      The Brers Koch aren’t getting any younger; likely they want to enjoy what time they have left.

    • Derelict

      No pretense was ever involved here. Walker’s been quite up-front about his core principle of using the instruments of the state to take public money, goods, services, and land and give those things directly to wealthy individuals and large corporations. From the taconite mine he gave away early in his administration to this latest give-away, he’s been very consistent about making sure the well-off and well-connected benefit enormously from the labor of the average citizens–while making sure that those citizens benefit as little as possible.

  • “He steals from the poor
    and he gives to the rich,
    Stupid -”

    Here’s hoping Walker is pelted with some scrapings from the cattle barn.

  • Nobdy

    Truly grotesque. All sports franchises should have distributed ownership like the Green Bay packers (or public ownership by the state or city where they play) because when wealthy people own teams disgusting spineless treacherous politicians can’t help but empty the public treasury for private gain.

    That Walker feels comfortable doing this in the middle of a presidential campaign is even more disturbing. This particular kind of corruption is so widespread that he doesn’t think anyone will care. It’s like Chris Christie with Bridgegate and that Revel Casino white elephant. These people are convinced that they can do obviously corrupt things in public with only paper thin pretenses hiding their true intent and pay absolutely no price. Maybe they’re right.

    • Phil Perspective

      And the TradMed never holds them to account. Further puts lie to the “liberal media” canard.

    • dilan

      The Packers have gotten a ton of public subsidies over the years. Distributed ownership is certainly not a bad thing (and league rules that prohibit it should be made illegal), but it isn’t a solution to this problem.

  • Todd

    Cutting programs to fund tax cuts to stimulate the economy to increase tax revenue to fund future programs.

    And now I’ve gone cross-eyed.

    • muddy

      Just like Scott Walker!

  • Four Krustys

    This is the Milwaukee Bucks we’re talking about. They have been mediocre for their entire existence and despite having a very exciting young team and making the playoffs this year, they were still near the bottom of the NBA in attendance. And the ownership group, and the NBA for that matter, would probably prefer to move the team rather than get a new stadium in Milwaukee.

    So it’s not like Walker’s going to win a lot of goodwill for doing this. It can only hurt his career. And yet, he did it anyway. He just couldn’t help himself. And that encapsulates all anyone needs to know about Scott Walker.

    • Bill Murray

      They have been mediocre for their entire existence

      As long as you forget 1970-1986, when they won their division 12 times in 16 years and the championship in 1971 and averaged more than 50 wins a year

      • Matt

        The only way that 44-year-old stat is relevant to this is if half of the $450 million is for a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar cloning machine in the basement.

  • RPorrofatto

    Sounds like a typical Republican. Turning a projected $1 billion surplus into a $2 billion deficit in such a short time is a Dubya level accomplishment.

    • RPorrofatto

      Also:
      betray virtually every conservative economic principle there is

      I don’t know which is funnier: the idea that conservatives have economic principles or that betraying them would be exceptional behavior.

      • Bill Murray

        or that what he is doing is the primary conservative economic principle

        • somethingblue

          1. Cut rich people’s taxes, screw over teachers and other public servants, hollow out the state university system, stomp on women, minorities and the unemployed, send the state’s economy down the river.

          2. …

          3. Profit!

          • Bill Murray

            that seems to be the only one of those gnome sets that ever actually works

  • Bitter Scribe

    Hey, missing the playoffs or getting bounced in the first round is so much nicer when it happens in a new arena.

  • efgoldman

    The fiscal principles of Scott Walker are 1)redistribute wealth upward and 2)that’s it.

    Not entirely true. A portion of that redistributed wealth goes down into Walker’s pockets.

    • Brad Nailer

      Walker’s another middle-class wannabe who thinks that one day he’s gonna be rich, rich, rich! Trouble is, he’s got the mechanisms at hand to get a jump on that dream. The Kochs must have promised him the world.

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