Scott Walker’s presidential campaign began with good early polling numbers in Iowa, then turned into an absolute trainwreck before they even got to the Iowa Caucus. And now his campaign is in debt: a LOT of debt.
Typically the word “debt” is a naughty word in Governor Walker’s household. So naughty that Walker’s entire campaign was centered around supposedly balancing the Wisconsin budget and getting a free shirt at Kohl’s, an anecdote he shared frequently. Check out the synchronized video below.
The self-labeled fiscal conservative got a lot of mileage out of these themes for a guy that spent insane amounts of money during his short-lived presidential campaign, leaving him with a campaign debt which currently still sits at about $1.2 million.
So, last weekend, Mr. Walker sprang into action. Did he go pull up his bootstraps and get a second job like the rest of us had to when he ruined the state? Of course not.
Instead, he was “fiscally conserving” all over the place with a fundraising email asking for a $45 donation to “retire campaign debt” in exchange for a t-shirt that commemorates the absolute failure. I guess that’s not a terrible idea, unless he says I don’t get to choose the size or color…
“With one caveat: Due to our lack of resources, we are unable to honor size or color requests.”
— Jessie Opoien (@jessieopie) April 10, 2016
Oh come on! I mean, I’m kind of a big dude. What am I supposed to do if I get an extra small? Mr. Walker says don’t worry, because according to his wife Tonette, I can frame them or turn them into a pillow. I think I might get one to clean the dust off my ceiling fans. Seriously cannot make this stuff up.
Walker is of course playing this off as if he has no idea how much debt he has or how many t-shirts are laying around:
“I don’t have them in my basement, or anything like that.”
Raise your hand if you just shuddered to think about what Scott Walker has in his basement.
With the amount of money coming into Walker’s early campaign, you would think there’s no way he could spend it all, especially for such a fiscally responsible conservative such as himself. But you would be wrong. Walker’s campaign somehow managed to spend an average of $90,000 a day during his campaign, driving the campaign deeper into debt with seemingly no plan to get out of it.
For those of us who have suffered through the last 5 years of Governor Walker, this really comes as no surprise. See, when Walker touts himself as a fiscal conservative and glorifies himself for balancing the budget, what he’s really saying is that he figured out how to cut a bunch of stuff that doesn’t immediately affect him and eventually the revenue and expense lines added up. So roads, public schools, freedom of information…these are the kinds of things Walker wants on his chopping block.
So what is it exactly that makes Walker a fiscal conservative? He took money out of the pockets of schoolteachers, nurses, and prison guards right out of the gate in 2011. He took money out of taxpayer-accountable public schools and gave it to unaccountable private schools through an expanded voucher program. Twice. He created a hybrid public-private agency called the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) to focus on providing government loans and grants in order to bring in new business to Wisconsin, but the agency has been rife with corruption and cronyism, wasting millions in taxpayer dollars on corporate welfare.
It’s time to admit that in today’s political vernacular, “fiscal conservative” now has more to do with screwing with women’s rights, subtle racism, and banning same-sex marriage. It no longer has anything to do with how you even out a balance sheet, and real fiscal conservatives would be wise to take note.
Featured image via Getty/Win McNamee