With the new year upon us, we have so much to look forward to – new goals, new hopes and new proposals to dispute.
In his first week in office, Gov. Scott Walker released eight bills he wants the Legislature to pass by March. Among his goals and hopes for 2011 are an 1,800-foot setback requirement for wind power and a tax break and lawsuit reform for businesses. This is the first show of how Walker hopes to create 250,000 jobs by 2015.
It appears Walker did not want a high-speed rail in people’s backyards, nor does he want wind turbines on the horizon. But sky-reaching company offices and the fat smoke pipes of operating plants seem to be OK.
This is not to say I am against incentives for new companies coming to Wisconsin. As an engineering major, I am rather excited by such prospects. However, I do not think many companies could offer more jobs and better prospects for Wisconsin than high-speed rail or wind power plants can.
A lot of people have been calling Walker “just a cheerleader.” Although I am sure the imagery of him in a skirt with pom-poms amuses many Democrats, I do not agree. His first week in office says otherwise. He obviously is trying. However, there’s a difference between trying with direction and trying aimlessly. I think Walker is doing more of the latter.
Before I entirely whip out my sword of judgment, however, I am trying to be fair. I acknowledge it is the man’s first month in office. He wants to prove himself. He wants to show ambition. Perhaps most importantly, he wants that golf clap from his fellow Republicans. I get it. However, I would like for Walker to step back and really realize what he’s doing, because I do not think he does.
In a time in which Wisconsin could really innovate and prosper, Walker is setting the state back. This is not what I would call a cheerleader. Rather, I think he is more a linebacker, playing defense against our state’s progress.
According to the UW System think tank, without any government intervention there could be as many as 250,000 new jobs, dictated by normal expected economic recovery for 2011. So essentially what this is saying is that Walker could do nothing, and the state could bounce back on its own due to recovery of demand. This does not sound too shabby of an idea after having witnessed the Great Train Loss and now observing his hasty proposals at recovery.
I understand his desire to prove himself, after having dropped out of Marquette University and all. But, for me, his New Year’s resolutions show haste and lack foresight. So perhaps his reign in office is best served in dormancy.
Victoria Yakovleva ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in chemical engineering.