Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The budget hawks are losing their disguises

CONSERVATIVES have long rested their case for nobility on cries to protect the taxpayer from big government. But there is ample evidence that the budget hawks are only cynically putting us on. Like everybody else, they like to have a paying job. Correction: they want a a better paying job than everybody else. Anything they tell us to the contrary is an exercise in public hypnosis.

Up in Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker has attacked collective bargaining with the urgency of a hypocondriac reaching for a bottle of quack medicine, the latest contradiction of such deceptions had been uncovered in the Walker administration's hiring of a young man for a job in the State Department of Commerce. He is Brian Deschane, a college dropout in his mid-20s whose profile is said to include no experience other than tripping around Republican campaign circles as a lobbyist , a couple of DUI busts and most importantly, the ability to name his father as one of Walker's big campaign donors.

It gets worse. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted that within two months on the job the young man received a 26 pct. raise that upped his annual salary to $81,500, none of which achieved through collective bargaining. (In fairness, we should quote his father, Jerry, the executive vice president of the Wisconsin Builders Assn., as attributing his son's meteoric rise to hard work and a super resume.)

Of course, our own Gov. Kasich reflects the same need for "good people" in his cabinet in defending much higher salaries for them than what their predecessors had received under ex-Gov. Ted Strickland. Fortunately, the public hypnosis for both of these birds of a feather - eh, budget hawks - is already wearing off.

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