JONATHAN CHAIT FEBRUARY 24, 2011
Stephen Stromberg calls attention to something I didn't notice:
Wisconsin's Republican governor, Scott Walker, says that concern over his state's relatively modest budget crisis motivates his drive to strip public-sector employees of their ability to bargain collectively. And, yet, he just decided to put Wisconsin into a fiscal strait-jacket, signing a bill Tuesday that would require a two-thirds supermajority in the state legislature or a state-wide referendum to raise a range of taxes. This is not the sign of a serious budget hawk, whatever you think of Walker's policies on public-sector unions.
It's beyond obvious that Walker's goal is to use his majority to lock in future Republican power. He has framed his policies as being driven by a deficit, but the relationship is purely coincidental. Moreover, for all his Reaganesque posturing, Walker is unwilling to forthrightly admit his ideological goals. He's hiding behind a pretext.