A few days ago, I wrote a piece called, "Attacks on Scott Walker Getting More Personal" where I outlined the personal attacks made on Walker by County Board Supervisors and liberal bloggers. In the second half of my piece, I focused on a particular blogger named Cory Liebmann, who has knack for taking a set of facts and rearranging them to mean something else. In his article entitled, "Walker Lives Large as Workers get the Shaft", he made a few presuppositions that were necessary for him to show that Walker is "living large."
In his article, he states,
"When he was first running for County Executive, Walker promised to only collect part of his salary but last year he decided that it was time to ditch that idea. So instead of bringing home about $69,611 a year, he now brings in closer to $119,611. Please correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't that amount to a 72% raise as he was calling for layoffs of frontline workers?"
Without this presupposition that Walker gave himself a pay raise, he cannot claim that Walker is living large. As Liebmann intimated, when Walker ran for County Executive, he promised to return $60,000 of a total $130,000 to the county to to show he meant business about being fiscally conservative.
Of course, this financial commitment was for the duration of his political term. When Walker started his second term, he renewed his $60,000 a year commitment. And by the end of both terms, Walker had saved the county in excess of a quarter of a million dollars. Upon entering his third term, however, Walker scaled back and created a new commitment of $10,000 a year. This scale back is what Liebmann refers to as a 72% raise.
A few things here. First, when someone consistently gives annual contributions of $500 to the Red Cross, it's not considered a pay raise if they decide to scale back and only give $250. Nobody will fault the philanthropist for reducing contributions, especially if contributions are still being provided.
Now, whether Walker returns part of his income or not, his County Executive salary is still set at $130,000. Unless Liebmann can show that Walker has increased his salary or income to exceed that of $130,000 a year, then he cannot show that Walker has given himself a raise. There just is no easier way of putting it; Liebmann is wrong.
And second, Liebmann knows that if Walker's givebacks are considered charitable, then Walker has every right to reduce his contributions. Liebmann cannot allow that, so he assumes that Walker's voluntary givebacks are obligatory. In order to do that, Liebmann advances the argument that because Walker made a campaign promise to a $60,000 per year giveback, then it became obligatory. And when givebacks becomes obligatory, reducing them is not only wrong, but an actual raise in one's personal income.
What Liebmann neglects, however, is that Walker's promise expires at the end of each term. Why? Because making a promise that extends past one's term presupposes a successful reelection. One simply cannot promise a giveback of government income if one is not receiving it. Bottom line, at the end of each term, Walker has the right to renew his promise or to create a new one.
And finally, more can be said about Walker's quarter of a million dollar sacrifice than his decision to scale back his voluntary contributions. But because Liebmann is a self-professed "Walker-Hater", he can only see the scale back. This is unfortunate because Walker's contribution probably saved a few more county jobs.