Madison fair Madison

I had a fun evening last night.  The table was filled with an assortment of folks who liked to talk; with whom if you said the sky was blue they would reply "wadda ya mean...that isn't blue" and so it would go.  We got onto that scamp, Gov. Walker, of the cheese state for some reason so it brought up this as I was thinking it through later - something I wrote back some years ago, which should explain the tense usage.

"If you remember your Pinocchio (The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi) one of his episodes takes place in the city of Catchfools when Pinocchio is briefly imprisoned for being so foolish as to be gypped out of his gold coins by the Fox and the Cat.  The long and short of it is that Pinocchio was persuaded to bury his coins in the "Field of Miracles" where they would spout roots and grow like a tree thus multiplying. When Pinocchio returns to the field to get his coins and all the new ones he finds out that not only didn't they multiply but they were stolen.  He goes to the city and tells his tale and is tossed in prison for being so dumb.  

One might think that this mystical city is actually Madison, Wisconsin for they indeed have a Governor in residence there who, like Pinocchio, is a puppet of sorts and appears to actually believe what the foxes and cats are telling him about gold.  In turn, this Governor Pinocchio is repeating the tall tales back to the rest of us - and the miracle is that he hasn't been tossed in prison for being so dumb and gullible.  At the very least his nose should be growing.

Let's just get a few of the silliness issues out in the open.  First is this public employee pension business. The pension fund isn't "matched" by the State of Wisconsin. It is funded by the employee contributions. Now, after 9 years of virtually non-existent interest rates on government bonds - the triple A stuff that pensions invest in - it is still healthy and easily able to meet its obligations for decades to come. The fund isn't in crisis and sure employees can pay more into it but all one is doing is asking them to pay more but it saves the State no money to do so.

A second huge lie is that public workers in Wisconsin make more in wages than their counterparts in the private sector. Actually not. Not even close. Wisconsin ranks 19th in private sector per capita income and 28th in public sector per capita income.  That isn't apples and oranges. That is sour grapes and gold buried in Pinocchio's Field of Miracles.

The last silly of sillies - and only one of many remaining but one I really like for its originality - wraps itself up in the notion that Wisconsin taxpayers are paying for some sort of vicious cycle of democrats, through these unions, are  taking their tax dollars in the form of political contributions.  How it works is that taxpayers are alleged to pay the union members dues which in turn go to political contributions that result in sweetheart deals with democratic officials and these unions - they keep making more money and getting more contributions that all go to democrats. Got it? Have you heard that before?

Governor Pinocchio Walker is really fond of this chapter in the Adventures of Pinocchio because it gives him a chance to break the cycle that is purely a straw dog. Ohhhhh his nose must be on some sort of political Viagra with this whopper. Governor Pinocchio Walker forgot to tell you that union dues are paid by the workers who, incidentally are also taxpayers, and it comes out of their salary and not out of the state budget. Oooops. Little detail there. When the taxpayers pay for state services - like driver's licenses, trash pickup, state parks, plowing roads in winter; all those things that make life livable in the city of the Catchfools, the people who perform these services are paid a salary.  From that salary the workers contribute to the union and to their pension system. They also pay taxes that help pay their salaries (name another job where you, as a worker, contribute money back into the company to help pay you???? - good point there huh).  I suspect Governor Pinocchio Walker believes that money given the employees of the city of Catchfools isn't really theirs because it came from taxpayers. This salary still belongs to them and the workers aren't free to do what they want with it. That is the logic of the Fox and the Cat.

Look here folks. Governor Pinocchio Walker Geppetto has carved this little dummy out of a block of rotten wood and it has now sprung to life.  Instead of being a mis-adventure in the land of silly and make believe, the long nosed puppet now has become something of Chuckie the Monster Doll and should scare the heck out of all the boys and girls in Catchfools. This blockhead (see how apt the imagery is!) has now turned vicious and is no longer a children's bedtime story of political foolishness in the land of mis-adventure.  This fable is real."

A SHEPHERD-BOY, who watched a flock of sheep near a village, brought out the villagers three or four times by crying out, 'Wolf! Wolf!' and when his neighbors came to help him, laughed at them for their pains. The Wolf, however, did truly come at last. The Shepherd-boy, now really alarmed, shouted in an agony of terror: 'Pray, do come and help me; the Wolf is killing the sheep'; but no one paid any heed to his cries, nor rendered any assistance. The Wolf, having no cause of fear, at his leisure lacerated or destroyed the whole flock.

There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth.