Friday, February 25, 2011

Is Jonathan Alter REALLY This Stupid?

Someone named Jonathan Alter dashed off a piece on the Madistan Mess. Evidently, he was assigned to write something--ANYthing--so that his employer 'covers the news.'

Too bad that a 5th-grader coulda fact-checked the column and pulled it before it hit the 'net.

...That means that in the ailing communities of Wisconsin and other states, teachers and social welfare workers are often the best- paid people in town. Because they are compensated the same whether they work in Milwaukee or Eagle River, their paychecks go further in rural areas with lower costs of living.

State of Wisconsin employees are paid uniformly, of course.

Teachers? Not so much.

He also repeats the puke-a-points of the Committed Left:

...Wisconsin is in better shape than most states -- or was, until Walker rammed $117 million in tax cuts for corporations through the legislature, now controlled by the GOP. Those tax cuts take effect in July, making a difficult budget outlook even worse.

Sure. $117M is SUCH a HUGE NUMBER, whereas $3.6 BILLION (the structural deficit) is so tiny, so....manageable.

ZERO, Jonathan!!

...Walker’s true intentions were made clear by his hands-off treatment of those police and fire unions that supported his candidacy last year

Four of three-hundred fourteen cop/fireman locals supported Walker. OK, Jonathan, that's another ZERO.

...The billionaire Koch brothers, whose organization Americans for Prosperity spent $40 million nationwide in the 2010 elections on behalf of the GOP, are pumping money into Wisconsin

Here Jonathan gets half-credit. The Koch brothers ARE spending money on this campaign. But how much? If the total cost on the issue is, say, $100 million, did they spend $100 million? $50 million? $10 million? $1 million?

Here's the converse, phrased just the way Jonathan would approve:

Several national unions are pumping money into Wisconsin. In addition, organized labor has sent thousands of its members into the State to chant and holler in Madison, Milwaukee, and the Fox River Valley. Remember that the AFSCME alone contributed $80 million to the Democrat Party in 2010, and that Unions compose 5 of the 10 largest (D) contributors in the last few election cycles.

Sorry, Jonathan. The 5th-grader wins this round.

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