Gov. Walker: Wall Street Greed Has Nothing To Do With "Real Issues"
Republicans are portraying a movement predicated on physically occupying the home turf of the financial institutions that wrecked the economy through the same old right-left prism, with some help from a man who knows how to lie about protesters. On this morning's edition of Fox & Friends, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) dismissed unions joining in the protests as "looking for a way to draw attention away from the real issues."
He went on to explain that "we need to ultimately put more power back in the hands of the people...not more money back in the hands of big government, and that's really the debate going on here."
GRETCHEN CARLSON (HOST): What do you make of the unions getting involved in these protests?
WALKER: Well I think they're looking for a way to draw attention away from the real issues, which are, what do we need to do to put more people to work? The biggest thing we need to do I think at least in Wisconsin, across the country, is get government out of the way, make it easier for job creators to create more jobs. All these other things are kind of distractions. They're ways of trying to show activity, show action, suggest that they're being advocates, but in the end that doesn't put people to work. You were talking in the earlier segment about the new jobless numbers coming out, the new unemployment rate coming out tomorrow, we need to ultimately put more power back in the hands of the people, and that means the American consumer, the American entrepreneur and the American job creator, not more money back in the hands of big government, and that's really the debate going on here.
This is just the latest illustration that Republicans are determined to avoid talking about the substance of the Occupy Wall Street protests, and instead cram them into stale narratives about communism versus capitalism or big government versus small government. Of course, those frames are lies. As Adam Serwer and Steve Benen have explained well, big government is not a progressive goal; good government is.
And it was the government's failure to prevent some very smart, very greedy people on Wall Street from enriching themselves at everyone else's expense during the Bush years that put us in this hole.
Walker, Newt Gingrich, Rep. Steve King (R-IA), and the rest of the GOP aren't just papering over the catastrophic failure of their party's ideas about financial deregulation and economic policy. They're trying to avoid talking about who is really represented in the Occupy movement: the overwhelming majority of Americans, who have not only failed to receive their promised trickle-down share of prosperity, but are now faced with crushing debt and a stagnant job market despite trillions of dollars sitting idle on corporate balance sheets.