Showing posts with label corruption scott walker administration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label corruption scott walker administration. Show all posts

May 19, 2013

Scott Walker's Inability to Think on His Feet May Doom Presidential Run

Scott Walker: Wait, wasn't protesting families, April rain caused job loss
I asked Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel political columnist Daniel Bice in an online Q and A in mid-April what he thinks about a Scott Walker run for president, in the face of a national press that likes to feast on dumb hicks from Wisconsin.

Replied Bice in part:

Gov. Walker is not an ideas guy like Mitch Daniels. You saw that during his recent Sunday morning TV appearance discussing gay marriage. Walker trotted out the idea of having [government] get out of the marriage business and leaving that to religions. Not a great idea for any number of reasons. A couple of errors like that during a presidential debate could earn him the distinction of being the Gov. Perry of the 2016 campaign.
Ideas are not Walker's strong suit. And answering straight questions with straight answers would be a first for Walker who is overestimated as a communicator.

Walker often makes inexplicable, uninformed and baffling statements, and he hasn't yet been called on it with what political experts refer to as 'follow-up questions.' Hence, Walker's refusal to appear outside of GOP radio and the like.

In front of the national media,Walker may look like a buffoonish, clumsy con man.

Frankly, Walker has been an embarrassment for the state of Wisconsin and you can almost hear the groans across the nation when he stumbles into the GOP primary debates.

He will not be looked upon with the suppressed smiles directed at a somewhat endearing foe's misspeaking—like with what happened with Rick Perry's "oops" moment when Perry forgot what three cabinet departments he so needed to cut—which could be looked at as stemming from the fatigue resulting from the many GOP debates.

Walker is not benign, nor will he provoke smiles from opponents.

I think the national political press is getting tired of the over-heated Walker, Ryan, Priebus Wisconsin-Koch show.

This is not to suggest that Republican presidential primary campaigns are phenomena intended to provoke thought from the candidates and the electorate. Quite the opposite.

But the 2012 GOP primary did demonstrate that coherent lies applied to policy, and appeals to racism and nativism are required in this neo-fascist fest, and I just don't think Walker has the chops to do that on a national stage.

I mean how does Walker handle the first question about his top aide and confidante, Tim Russell, who stands convicted of stealing from veterans used as props by Walker?

Let's see what comes out of Des Moines this-coming week.

Mar 2, 2013

A Statement of Apology from Scott Walker Is Not Sufficient

Scott Walker is still lying to Wisconsin

Only several no-holds barred, question-and-answer listening sessions can clear the air if Scott Walker truly believes he is innocent.

If Russ Feingold were governor, he would likely hold sessions in all 72 Wisconsin counties.

Democrats are calling for a statement and apology from Scott Walker.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha): "While the governor was not charged, he must make a statement accepting responsibility for the people he trusted, hired and supervised and apologize to the taxpayers, particularly the veterans, who were cheated," Barca said. (Bice and Umhoefer. MJS)
Reading Bice and Umhoefer's piece, apparently, these two journalists believe that the top executive taking responsibility is extraordinary.

Walker issued a statement reading in part: "As many may remember, this entire matter began when we asked the district attorney to look into concerns we had with respect to Operation Freedom. We appreciate the effort that was undertaken and to bring appropriate matters to justice." (Hall and Spicuzza, WSJ)

If Walker had begun the investigation out of his "concerns," why did then the district attorney seek a John Doe Probe citing Scott Walker's office's obstruction?

Not questions answered in the reporting of closing the John Doe probe.

"Milwaukee County prosecutors opened the secret John Doe criminal investigation more than two years ago after being stonewalled by Gov. Scott Walker's office when he was county executive, according to a newly released record," reported Dan Bice (MJS) in June 2012.

More reporting not mentioned in the closing the John Doe probe.

So, we are not going to get the truth or the questions that any thinking citizen has asked by the press.

The press buried the John Doe scandal. People up north and in central Wisconsin during the recall campaign had never even heard of the John Doe investigation.

If Walker is innocent as he and his allies now claim, why not face the people of Wisconsin in multiple listening sessions?

Stealing from veterans? Using secret routers; directing Tim Russell to take down the secret e-mail system? The legal defense fund contributors. The sentencing hearing of Kelly Rindfleisch. There are as many questions today as before the John Doe was launched.

As Joe 'Ragman' Tarnovsky, United States Army (28 January 1968 to 22 Oct 1970) e-mailed us here: "The following award is being presented to Scott Walker, Kevin Kavanaugh and Tim Russell for actions BELOW and INFERIOR AGAINST VETERANS: The Distinguished RAT BASTARD Tail for Thievery and Lack of Accountability."

You have that right.

Dec 1, 2012

A small circle of friends

Cognitive Dissidence has some needed background on Wisconsin's leading scumbag, Tim Russell, who stole from veterans, and Scott Walker.
Scott Walker and Tim Russell have been friend for more than 25 years. Russell has worked just about every one of Walker's campaigns in those years. And when they weren't in campaign mode, Walker would give Russell some cushy job, whether he was qualified for it or not. To say that Russell was in Walker's inner circle is almost an understatement.

Nov 30, 2012

Scott Walker's Ex-Top Aide: 'I stole from veterans'

Tim Russell, friend and
former aide of Scott Walker's

Update: "Gov. Walker strongly condemns the actions taken by Tim Russell which took advantage of all the volunteers who worked so hard to honor military members and veterans with an annual recognition event." (Schultze. Milwaukee Journal Story) It was incorrectly stated here Walker did not blast Russell.

Not one word of condemnation from Republicans, Scott Walker and the Tea Party

It's raining out, so keep your head up.

That's Scott Walker's PR strategy now that Walker's long-time gang are entering guilty pleas, as just has Tim Russell—scumbag.

As for Walker, he encourages speculation that he may run for president in 2016.

Scott Walker on motorcycle at Operation Freedom event.
Walker's personal aides stole from fund meant for veterans
Stealing from veterans, how low can you go?

No word of condemnation of Tim Russell comes from Walker such as: Tim Russell is a disgrace. My God, what the hell are we doing here?

As has been noted everywhere except in Republican and Tea Party circles:

[I]n October of 2009, Scott Walker inexplicably ordered the transfer of $19,000 in Operation Freedom funds and financial control over to his then Deputy Chief of Staff, Tim Russell who had no experience running a non-profit. Mr. Russell then allegedly stole thousands of dollars from Operation Freedom and used the money to pay for Caribbean and Hawaiian vacations and a political trip to Atlanta to meet with Herman Cain's presidential campaign. Walker Investigations.

Sep 24, 2012

Cillizza and Blake Speculate on Scott Walker's Hits on Romney

Scott Walker
Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake ask What’s Scott Walker up to?

And they speculate and speculate.

Who cares?

Walker is an extremist, anti-choice, Christian whack with his hand out to the plutocrats.

Maybe Cillizza and Blake are just fishing around for fodder for their column, but Walker won't get to spend $60-million this 2014 in his reelection bid, and his attacks on women and working families won't be forgotten.

Walker won't be a "major conservative hero" for years and years.

No matter how much Wisconsin media have buried the John Doe and the federal investigation of Walker's corruption and public misuse of office up to now, this won't last forever.

What's Walker up to? Squawking till he can't anymore.

Apr 28, 2012

Scott Walker sticking to using policy to hit political opponents: Wisconsin Families

Teachers - not the bad guys
Scott Walker is a religious zealot who has never had qualms aligning himself with the most anti-social, voracious and predatory moneyed interests in pursuit of his far-right ideology and personal glory in the Republican Party.

When Walker called a special session on "job creation" in May 2011, Walker and the Republican legislature granted Walker the power of executive fiat (governor's say-so) over the language and approval of administrative rule-making. A rule implementing a statute becomes a rule, if and only if, in Walker's mind the rule meets Walker's ideological requirements. (2011 WISCONSIN ACT 21)

Now, Walker has again taken aim at public teachers as the scourge of society and the economy by "systematically attacking the workplace protections, wages and benefits of Wisconsin teachers(,) [an attack on teachers that] is no longer in question" in his quest to dismantle Wisconsin's public school system. (Capital Times, April 26, 2012)

What Walker and his radical ideologues do not realize (or perhaps not care about) is that many families in Wisconsin have a teacher in a the family, a teacher who is part of the extended family, a family friend, and (in a shocker to Republicans) a dedicated former teacher who is a role model, friend and: A teacher.

If this point were not too obvious, I found evidence for this fact in the field when I had the pleasure of gathering signatures in Fond du Lac for recalling that shit-bag, Randy Hopper, and discovering some six of the 10 signatures I gathered on my first petition sheet met one or more of the criteria of the above paragraph. Other field work confirmed this in other districts confirmed this.

I still believe Walker and his veteran fund-stealing top aides will put away Walker, but demonizing teachers is not just an outrage, politically it's pretty stupid.

I received a lot of quotes from veteran friends about Scott Walker condoning his aides' stealing from veterans, here are two:

Lem Genovese, Yankee Medic

”What did you expect for a GOP governor that wants to remove unions and collective bargaining from Wisconsin. You get what you paid for in Walker and embezzlement is just another nail in his re-call coffin.”

Joe ‘Ragman’ Tarnovsky

United States Army (28 January 1968 to 22 Oct 1970)
Company A, 27th Combat Engineers
28 August 68 to June 69
Crew Chief/Door Gunner
240th Assault Helicopter Company
Mad Dog Huey Gunships (UH-1C Hueys)
In-Country, South Vietnam (28 August 68 to 22 October 70)

“The following award is being presented to Scott Walker, Kevin Kavanaugh and Tim Russell for actions BELOW and INFERIOR AGAINST VETERANS: The Distinguished RAT BASTARD Tail for Thievery and Lack of Accountability.”

“At least Benedict Arnold had the guts to openly fight against the American Veterans he sold out!”

Feb 3, 2012

Scott Walker Hires Two Top Defense Attys Just to Help Criminal Investigation

Sign the petition, reveal Walker's
secret E-mail network

Scott Walker sure is a trooper, he just wants to help the Milwaukee DA.

Scott Walker has ... hired two attorneys, Mike Steinle and John Gallo, 'to insure that I am in the best position possible to continue aiding the [John Doe criminal] inquiry,' he said. (Reuters)
I think perhaps Walker owes the people of Wisconsin an explanation for why six of his top aides are facing felony charges. That might help him aid the people of Wisconsin whom he is supposed to be serving.

"Walker owes answers not just to prosecutors, but to the people of Wisconsin who expect clean government," said Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Graeme Zielinski.

Come on Scott, speak up.

Feb 2, 2012

Scott Walker Digging More Holes with Easily Revealed Evasions

Scott Walker and Brett Davis - September 2009

Update: Walker summoned to meet with prosecutors on John Doe investigation

This past Sunday, on Upfront with Mike Gousha, Walker claimed that he had no idea his entire campaign apparatus was working to get Brett Davis elected as his running mate and said he hadn't even endorsed Davis.

Someone really needs to teach Scott Walker how to lie better if he is to hang onto to his job in the recall election.

By Jud Lounsbury

The picture above-right was on Scott Walker's facebook page dating all the way back to September 2009. Walker and then State Rep. Brett Davis are pictured yukking it up with Walker saying in the facebook caption: "I am proud to have the support of Representive Brett Davis."

Scott Walker is, of course, trying to minimize his long-standing close relationship Davis, because his county office was paying several staffers, including recently charged Kelly Rindfleisch, to work on Davis's Lt. Governor campaign on the taxpayer's dime. (And, if that wasn't bad enough, Davis campaign manager and current Walker spokesman, Cullen Werwie, was regularly ordering Rindfleish and other members of Walker's county executive staff to do the illegal campaign work at their government office.)

This past Sunday, on Upfront with Mike Gousha, Walker claimed that he had no idea his entire campaign apperatus was working to get Davis elected as his running mate and said he hadn't even endorsed Davis. There is, however, a mountain of evidence that contradicts that ascertion-- Walker may not have officially endorsed Davis for political reasons, but he was doing everything possible to leave Republican primary voters with the impression that Davis was his man.

On December 22, 2009 Walker went to Monroe to a campaign event hosted by Brett Davis. At the time the Monroe Times wrote this about the event:

State Representative Brett Davis, R-Oregon, who is publicly endorsing Walker, hosted the gathering. 'We share the same vision to turn Wisconsin around, to increase jobs and promote economic development,' Davis said. Davis said the office of lieutenant governor needs to be reformed with its focus on those two aspects of the state's economy, and that Walker wants a strong lieutenant governor with experience. Davis is considering running for the office of lieutenant governor, and said he will announce his decision in mid-January.
January 4, 2010 Brett Davis, says in an interview that the best qualification for Lt. Governor (him) should be:

"Who can be the best partner for Scott Walker?"
On March 15, 2010 Tim Russell and Brian Pierick, (members of Walker's inner-circle) sent out a mailer to GOP delegates prior to Wisconsin GOP convention with a Walker-For-Governor sticker where the return address should be located. Here is what was inside the mailer:

The letter was an invitation an event to discuss the importance of attending the Republican State Convention, the dates and locations of both.

The second paragraph was devoted to the importance of delegates supporting both Walker for Governor and Brett Davis for Lt. Governor. The exclusive event would be attended by Davis and Walker representatives and encouraged everyone to have a face to face discussion with Brett. There was a piece of lit included for both Scott Walker and Brett Davis.
On May 23, 2010 Brett Davis shows a campaign video at the Wisconsin GOP convention featuring footage of Walker and Davis together.

On April 27, 2010 Walker did a campaign event for Davis in Madison, which the campaign cryptically called "Scott Walker and Brett Davis Visit Madison." Here is a picture from the event, which features Walker and Davis signs in the backdrop:

Walker and Davis Campaign Event in April of 2010

Scott Walker and Brett Davis visit Madison - April 2010

On March 30, 2010 Walker sent out a statement praising Brett Davis for his actions to kill the high-speed train deal [$810 million in federal money]:

'I applaud Rep. Brett Davis and the members of the State Legislature for standing up for the taxpayers and fighting this wasteful project.'
On August 26, 2010 Walker sent out a campaign press release announcing that the Wisconsin Grocers Association (WGA) had endorsed Scott Walker for Governor and Brett Davis for Lieutenant Governor. As is typical, the campaign provided quotes for members of the WGA, including:

'The Walker/Davis team will bring to Wisconsin what has been missing for a long time--a common sense approach to issues and the philosophy to not spend what we don’t have.'
September 15, 2010 Immediately after Brett Davis loses his bid for Lt. Governor, his campaign manager joins the Walker campaign as press secretary-- a position he still holds today.

December 2010 Walker announces that Brett Davis will be part of his cabinet as Medicaid Director.

There is no doubt Walker was backing Davis for Lt. Governor and was doing everything he could-- both legally and illegally to help him get elected. Which is why, of course, Walker is trying to distance himself from his support of Davis. After all, common sense dictates that it is much more plausible his county executive staff was illegally working to help Davis because that's what their boss (Walker) wanted them to do.

Jan 26, 2012

Two more former aides to Scott Walker charged with crimes

Scott Walker

Update: Scott Walker'a inner circle was responsible for setting up a secret e-mail-computer system that was used to conceal illegal fundraising.

Wisconsin wonders if it can get a statement of condemnation from Scott Walker as his former aides keep getting charged with criminal acts.

Is Scott Walker in favor or against criminal acts? The circle is closing in on Recall target, Scott Walker.

By Chris Bowers

Already, District Attorney John Chisholm's office has charged Tim Russell, former Walker deputy chief of staff, and former county veterans official Kevin Kavanaugh with stealing more than $60,000 in donations intended for Operation Freedom, an annual event honoring veterans at the county zoo. Both are facing multiple felonies.

Russell's domestic partner, Brian Pierick, was also charged with two felonies for child enticement. [Bice, Umhoefer. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Jan 26, 2012]
Two aides to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker during his time as Milwaukee County Executive have been charged as part of an ongoing investigation of Walker staffers:
By Dan Bice: Two staffers who worked directly for Gov. Scott Walker while he was county executive were charged Thursday with illegally doing extensive political work while being paid by taxpayers to do county jobs.

Kelly Rindfleisch, deputy chief of staff to Walker in 2010, faces four felony counts of misconduct in office for working for then-Rep. Brett Davis' 2010 campaign for lieutenant governor while on the county clock. Davis, who lost in the Republican primary, is now Walker's state Medicaid director.[...]

Also facing two misdemeanors is Darlene Wink, Walker's one-time constituent services coordinator, who is accused of using county resources to raise money for Walker's 2010 gubernatorial bid. Wink, a former vice chair of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, resigned in May 2010 after admitting that she was spending part of her work day doing campaign work. [Wink is represented by a writer for the Waukesha, Wisconsin Freedom Weekly. Wisconsin's Pravda.]

Dec 24, 2011

Scott Walker's $810 million Rail Road Blunder Looks Even Worse One Year Later

This model train, featuring the slogan "Wisconsin is Open for Business,"
is running around the base of the Christmas tree
at the state Capitol in Madison. Photo by Larry Tamiso

Update: See also Absurd: Tea Party Mayor Rejects Federally Funded, Job-Creating Amtrak Line.
"In what could be a new high water mark of anti-Washington sentiment, the city of Troy, Mich., is rejecting a long-planned transportation center whose construction would have been fully financed with federal stimulus money. The terminal, which would help Troy become a transportation node on an upgraded Detroit-to-Chicago Amtrak line, was hailed by supporters as a way to create jobs and to spur economic development." (NYT)

Suppose that a given state is offered $810 million in funding for a labor-intensive [lots of jobs] project to improve and expand its rail road system. And the state's governor said, in effect, 'no, we don't want the $810 million, or the jobs.'

This is precisely what happened when Scott Walker made one of the most foolish decisions in the history of Wisconsin public policy in this period of sustained high unemployment.

Scott Walker, taking his cues from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Koch brothers, has dictated over a no-growth, crony capitalistic, corrupt period of Wisconsin history that will take a years-long, damage-repair effort.

For an excellent analysis of the scope and danger of what is happening to our country, especially the state of Wisconsin (ground zero in the battle to take our country back starting with the recall of Scott Walker), see:

The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin) has a tremendous editorial looking back at Scott Walker's corrupt and imbecilic rejection of $810 million:

A year later, Walker rail blunder looks even worse

Last Dec. 9, exactly a year ago, federal officials redirected $810 million in transportation funding that Gov. Scott Walker had rejected to improve Wisconsin's rail system.

That rejection may go down as one of the biggest political goofs in state history.

Walker had campaigned against the proposed Madison-Milwaukee passenger train project, saying it represented "runaway government spending" and would cost state taxpayers in the long run.

"I'm going to stop that boondoggle train to Madison" became a rallying cry for Walker, whose own polling showed that dissing Madison — and the train — was a winning issue despite the wider long-term implications for the state's transportation system.

Walker played that high-stakes gamble throughout the race, saying he could persuade Congress to redirect the money to fix Wisconsin's highways or bridges.

But after the election, when it became obvious the Obama administration was going to send the rail funds to other states, Walker had to fall on his sword to save face. That prompted the Los Angeles Times to famously write "Thanks a billion, cheeseheads" after the money was sent instead to California.

Now, as other states move forward to upgrade their rail systems — the 110 mph train could be a reality by 2015 — Wisconsin is floundering. No 2,300 construction jobs, no track improvements, no plan.

In fact, the only new train running in Wisconsin is the toy train around the Christmas tree in the Capitol proclaiming the state "Open for Business."

"At least we have one train we can enjoy while other GOP governors get a real train," quips Rep. Brett Hulsey, D-Madison.

And Wisconsin is still trying to figure out how to pay for badly needed rail improvements that would have otherwise been covered if Walker had not acted so foolishly.

This week, the Legislature's budget committee slowed planning for a permanent train maintenance facility in Milwaukee, opening the possibility the Amtrak cars will be serviced in Chicago instead. Republicans have balked at spending an estimated $53 million on the maintenance facility, saying it wasn't worth it for only two dozen permanent jobs. But not building the facility would result in the state defaulting on its contract with Spanish train company Talgo.

Sadly, the $810 million federal grant would have covered the cost of the maintenance facility, along with upgrades of tracks for the Milwaukee-to-Chicago Hiawatha line.

Earlier this year, the Walker administration went back to the feds and begged for $213 million to pay for upgrades to the Hiawatha line and most of the cost of the maintenance facility. But that request was denied.

"The Walker administration made a bad choice in wasting federal resources," says Rep. Tamara Grigsby, D-Milwaukee, in a statement. "Now Wisconsin taxpayers must foot the bill."

The state has already spent about $25 million on maintenance equipment and a temporary maintenance facility in Milwaukee for the Hiawatha line. All of that would have been covered under the money Walker rejected.

A sad day indeed.

Nov 24, 2011

Black Friday Is Shining Day for Democracy

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, love, football and food.

It's also the beginning of the holiday season; and this Black Friday demonstrates with striking clarity the commitment to recall Scott Walker.

This weekend recall Walker canvasses will be a common site for Wisconsin shoppers.

In fact Recall Walker workers will be everywhere.

The recall Walker movement has to gather 540,208 signatures and formally submit them to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) on Friday, January 13th.

Recall Walker is asking that ALL petitions be submitted to United Wisconsin or a recall office by January 10.

Look for the number of signatures gathered by Monday, November 28 to turn national heads, as Wisconsin offers the country a lesson in democracy against Republican corruption.

Sep 14, 2011

Anthony Hardie Resigns from Wisconsin Veterans Agency over Corrupt Walker Appt

Anthony Hardie
The recent nomination of John Scocos to serve as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs has led another decorated veteran to resign a state veterans' post in protest.

Under the ultra-political Scott Walker administration, veterans have expressed concerns over the state's commitment to facilitating care, advice and benefits in the face of Scott Walker's ideology denigrating veterans and other public servants.

Walker's appointments lacking effective performance fit the worst practices of what is generally regarded as a corrupt administration facing a recall next year.

Update: Today, a top Scott Walker aide was served a warrant with about a dozen law enforcement officers, including FBI agents. Other top aides, suspected of corruption and shady dealings, have recently resigned as well in the past two months.

Observers say more resignations in protest of the corruption in the Walker administration and its commitment to political fealty over public service are likely. Additonally, a corrupt Bush-era U.S. Attorney, Steven Biskupic, now working for a GOP-connected law firm, is defending the Scott Walker campaign in a John Doe investigation expected to reach deep into the Walker administration and campaign.

"Walker's top two lieutenants for the last three years of his eight-year tenure as county executive, including the busy months leading up to the November election," are now under criminal investigation the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

By Dan Bice

Anthony Hardie, former executive assistant to Scocos, announced today that he was leaving the Council on Veterans Programs because of Walker's selection of Hardie's former boss.

"Perhaps this small action by one individual will draw some small bit of needed attention to these and other serious issues related to this flawed nomination," Hardie wrote in his resignation letter.

The council advises the state Department of Veterans Affairs and the Board of Veterans Affairs on issues involving the problems of veterans.

State Veterans Affairs Board Vice Chairman Peter Moran stepped down from his post last month, offering only a one-sentence resignation letter. Sources told No Quarter that Moran was quitting because of Scocos' nomination as veterans affairs secretary.

In 2009, Moran was one of five board members who voted to fire Scocos as veterans affairs chief.

Board members blamed Scocos for financial and communications problems at the agency he led for six years. Scocos then sued the agency and its board members over his firing, alleging his rights to return to his job after deploying to Iraq were violated. His lawsuit is pending.
Press Release and Letter - Another Veteran Resigns Over Scocos Nomination

Jun 16, 2011

Robert Reich: Why the Republican War on Workers’ Rights Undermines the American Economy

Workers’ share of national income
Update: See also Workers’ share of national income plummets to record low.

By Robert Reich

The battle has resumed in Wisconsin. The state supreme court has allowed Governor Scott Walker to strip bargaining rights from state workers. ...

This war on workers’ rights is an assault on the middle class, and it is undermining the American economy.

The American economy can’t get out of neutral until American workers have more money in their pockets to buy what they produce. And unions are the best way to give them the bargaining power to get better pay.

For three decades after World War II – I call it the "Great Prosperity" – wages rose in tandem with productivity. Americans shared the gains of growth, and had enough money to buy what they produced.

That’s largely due to the role of labor unions. In 1955, over a third of American workers in the private sector were unionized. Today, fewer than 7 percent are.

With the decline of unions has come the stagnation of American wages. More and more of the total income and wealth of America has gone to the very top. The middle class’s purchasing power has depended on mothers going into paid work, everyone working longer hours, and, finally, the middle class going deep into debt, using their homes as collateral.

But now all these coping mechanisms are exhausted — and we’re living with the consequence.

Some say the Great Prosperity was an anomaly. America’s major competitors lay in ruins. We had the world to ourselves. According to this view, there’s no going back.

But this view is wrong. If you want to see the same basic bargain we had then, take a look at Germany now.

Germany is growing much faster than the United States. Its unemployment rate is now only 6.1 percent (we’re now at 9.1 percent).

What’s Germany’s secret? In sharp contrast to the decades of stagnant wages in America, real average hourly pay has risen almost 30 percent there since 1985. Germany has been investing substantially in education and infrastructure.

How did German workers do it? A big part of the story is German labor unions are still powerful enough to insist that German workers get their fair share of the economy’s gains.

That’s why pay at the top in Germany hasn’t risen any faster than pay in the middle. As David Leonhardt reported in the New York Times recently, the top 1 percent of German households earns about 11 percent of all income – a percent that hasn’t changed in four decades. ...

The current Republican assault on workers’ rights continues a thirty-year war on American workers’ wages. That long-term war has finally taken its toll on the American economy.

It’s time to fight back.