Gov. Walker’s Ideology Impeding Real Structural Change in Wisconsin; Future of Republican Party At Stake
“It’s like Cairo has moved to Madison these days.” – House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) on MSNBC’s Morning Joe February 17
Living in the era of globalization it becomes easier to understand how Neptune’s energy dissolves boundaries and barriers in order to show how everything is interconnected. So it shouldn’t be surprising that when events occur in one part of the world, they spread like waves in similar fashion to other parts of the world.
With Neptune in Aquarius since 1998, the internet has given people unprecedented access to information and its social networks have enabled like-minded individuals to gather in groups which can lead to revolutionary change. The protests that toppled the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt have spread throughout the Middle East, and now the waves of protest have migrated across the Atlantic as thousands of public workers and their supporters have been protesting in Wisconsin since February 15 over Governor Scott Walker’s plan to cut benefits and collective bargaining rights for most state and local employees.
Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024) is transforming government, corporate, and societal structures. Only by bringing the most harsh and toxic elements to the surface can Pluto’s total transformation take place as the old ways of governing and doing business must die to make way for a more solid and sustainable structure to arise in its place. Pluto rules debt, insurance, and pensions. Sky high healthcare costs and unfunded pension liabilities are the largest contributors to state and local budget woes. Pluto in Capricorn is transforming retirement as higher costs and living longer will delay the age that most people can fully retire (if they do at all).
Capricorn’s ruler Saturn squaring Pluto together with Jupiter opposing Saturn and Jupiter squaring Pluto last summer indicated that economic conditions were improving but remained weak, with much of the growth in the markets and economy attributed to fiscal and monetary stimulus. The opposing energies of deficit reduction (Saturn square Pluto) while “growing” the economy through tax cuts that primarily benefit large corporations and the wealthy is further expanding the deficit (Jupiter square Pluto). High unemployment and the incumbents’ feeble attempts at countering the opposition ensured Republican victories in most local and state elections throughout the nation along with a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Pluto’s prominence indicates a deeper agenda is in play that extends far beyond what initially appears on the surface. The Supreme Court’s (Jupiter) decision last year allowing political groups to spend unlimited amounts of money without being required to reveal their funding sources allowed corporate donors to advance their agenda while operating privately behind the scenes.
Saturn represents the status quo whose ultimate goal is to destroy (Pluto) all types of government regulation (Capricorn/Saturn) to give them the freedom to grow their businesses (Jupiter) without regard to the health, safety, and wellbeing of the nation as a whole. They want to tilt Saturn in Libra’s scales in their favor by convincing people that any type of consumer protection will restrict (Saturn) their “freedom” to choose products and services that might benefit them.
Part of the “free market” argument is that products and services that may be detrimental for the majority to engage in might in fact be beneficial to a minority that they are part of. For example, payday loans in general are more likely to enslave working people but when used occasionally might benefit a few people. As long as the Republicans can convince the public that they are responsible enough (Saturn) to handle even the most egregious products and services, their freedom to choose should not be restricted.
Greed during the housing boom overshadowed any sense of responsibility in engaging in dangerous mortgage products, so personal responsibility is only a small limiting factor in trying to regulate the overall economy. Even Maestro Alan Greenspan was shocked that the survival instinct was not enough to curtail irresponsible lending practices by the largest banks, yet Republicans expect individuals to act with greater maturity than the nation’s largest financial institutions.
As the birthplace of the Republican Party and the public employees unions, Wisconsin has now become the battleground where these two divergent energies intersect. The transits of Pluto, Saturn, and now Jupiter and Uranus in Aries to the GOP’s natal Sun conjoining Mercury in Aries reflect the complete transformation of the party’s identity and message to an overly rigid, dogmatic, and extreme one that attacks anyone whose ideas differ from the Party’s point of view. Their strategy of fear mongering and constantly criticizing, together with a lack of cooperation and pragmatic solutions has sharply escalated since late 2009 when the Republican Party experienced a progressed* New Moon in Mercury-ruled Virgo which conjoined the Party’s natal Mars in Virgo. They think most of the public (Moon) resonates with their agenda rather than attributing their party’s gains to high unemployment (Virgo) and scaring senior citizens (Saturn) into believing their Medicare benefits would be cut under the healthcare legislation (even though they’ve actually been increased).
Aries is ruled by Mars; in the GOP’s chart Mars in Virgo opposes Venus in Pisces and squares Saturn in Taurus which reflects the GOP’s love of guns and military spending. These influences also reflect a lot of energy expended stubbornly adhering to rigid fiscal and social policies that financially benefit a limited number of individuals and corporations.
The son of a Baptist preacher who shares the same harsh and austere planetary signature of Mars squaring Saturn as the Republican Party chart, Scott Walker was born with the Sun conjoining Mercury in Scorpio - the other sign ruled by Mars prior to Pluto’s discovery. With the Republican Party’s Mercury in Aries conjoining his natal Saturn, Walker is communicating the GOP’s message in order to promote his career.
Walker has chosen to politically express his natal alignment of Venus, Uranus, and Pluto in Virgo through extreme (Uranus) views in order to attract attention and increase his political star power. These energies also express his desire to have power over curtailing women’s (Venus) reproductive (Pluto) rights. (Walker is against abortion with no exceptions and supports giving pharmacists the right to refuse to fill prescriptions for oral contraceptives.)
The true essence of Saturn in Libra (2009-2012) is to learn the lesson of cooperation and compromise. Jupiter opposing Saturn during March could show how out of balance our economic, political, and societal structures have become. Much work is required to rebalance Libra’s scales to bring equality to the nation’s laws and regulations.
Walker began his first term as governor in January by passing a total of $117 million in tax cuts for businesses before proposing his “budget repair bill” February 11 to address a $137 million budget deficit in the current budget and a projected $3.6 billion shortfall in the two year budget beginning July 1. Under Walker’s proposal, state employees would have to contribute 5.8% of their pay toward pension costs and pay at least 12.6% for healthcare premiums. Since the unions have said they would agree to these contributions, Gov. Walker’s agenda has little to do with fiscal discipline.
Pension shortfalls exist nationwide due to governments not funding them over the years. Most public pensions are defined benefit plans; the government defines the benefit but not the contribution. True pension reform would require governments to make the transition from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans. In a defined benefit plan the government contributes a certain amount each year; the amount the employee receives depends upon the investment income accumulated over the years. But governments are reluctant to incur the transition costs to switch because no current employee contribution would be available to cover the costs of existing retirees.
The healthcare legislation which will finally close the gap between the healthcare haves and have nots does not fully take effect until 2014 as the legislation seeks to match revenue with expenses (and the Obama Administration wanted to appease opponents who claimed there needed to be a “transition time” which in the interim is having the opposite effect).
Republicans claim our current healthcare system is unaffordable for state governments, corporations, and individuals, yet they are battling to keep the current system in place! Beyond the many benefits in getting the nation covered, one of the major provisions of the healthcare legislation that Republicans are adamantly opposed to is determining what the most medically effective treatments are for the lowest cost.
The quickest way for governments to lower costs would be to put all current and retired workers into original Medicare or a state run plan to eliminate the cut taken by the “middlemen” (private health insurers). Alternatively, in 2014 governments could put all workers on the new exchanges which would be far cheaper than negotiating with the health insurers.
Gov. Walker claims his only objective is balancing the budget. Yet his proposal does not contain long term structural changes that address the root of the problem which is the essence of Pluto in Capricorn. The parts of the governor’s proposal that have sparked protests since February 15 and teachers calling in sick over the last three days are that wage increases would be limited to the CPI and unions would lose their collective bargaining rights. And in what has no relationship whatsoever to balancing Wisconsin’s budget is that unions would be required to hold annual elections and members could no longer have their union dues automatically deducted from their pay.
If the budget crisis was as “dire” as Gov. Walker claims it is, he would not have exempted firefighters, police, and state troopers from collective bargaining. The governor claims they were exempted because they provide public safety. (Apparently Gov. Walker believes teachers not showing up for work pose a greater risk to public safety than if police and firefighters go on strike.)
It just so happens that the unions who are exempt from the governor’s plan are the same unions who supported him in last year’s election. Cronyism, corruption, and power grabs is Pluto in Capricorn manifesting at its lowest level. Gov. Walker is using Wisconsin’s budget crisis to destroy the unions. He’s admitted as much in an interview when he said that by “pushing the envelope and setting an aggressive example, Wisconsin might inspire more states to curb the power of unions.”
Pluto was exactly squaring Gov. Walker’s natal Saturn in aggressive Aries February 14, the day the Senate introduced Walker’s proposal that has become Senate Bill 11. The Republican-controlled legislature was thwarted from passing the bill after all 14 Senate Democrats fled the state which left the 19 Senate Republicans one person short from obtaining a quorum to vote on the budget bill. Democrats say they’ll remain united and out of town until the governor takes collective bargaining off the table. (The governor’s stance that Democrats can offer amendments to change the bill but he refuses to renege on eliminating collective bargaining rights, again proves that this is not about the budget.)
Following the new Republican strategy, Gov. Walker refuses to back down, viewing this as an opportunity to increase his power and enhance his reputation on the national stage. Pluto squaring his natal Saturn in Aries reflects Walker’s threat to use his power as governor to call out the National Guard to fill in for the teachers who have called in sick in protest since last Wednesday. Saturn and Capricorn rule the police; Pluto squaring Walker’s Saturn in Aries reflects the governor dispatching state troopers last week to try to hunt down (Aries) Senate Democrats even though Wisconsin’s Constitution prohibits the police from arresting a member of the legislature when the legislature is in session unless a lawmaker is accused of committing a serious crime.
The light of the February 18 Full Moon in Leo (the sign representing leaders) exactly opposed Wisconsin’s progressed Neptune in Aquarius together with Madison’s natal Saturn conjunct Neptune in Aquarius (as transiting Neptune in Aquarius conjoins the natal planets). This reflects the rebellion (Aquarius) against the governor’s partisan agenda which ultimately seeks to dissolve the unions entirely. Just like in the Middle East, the leader through his cronies arranged for pro-Walker demonstrators (Saturn) to be bused into Madison Saturday in an effort to counter the protesters.
Jupiter in Aries squaring Pluto in Capricorn (exact February 25) describes a new level of political combativeness focused on promoting issues believed to generate the greatest confrontation to keep followers battling for “freedom” from “big government”, not understanding that their actions are part of the deeper agenda of corporate interests bent on advancing their own power and profits at the expense of individual power and freedoms.
Jupiter square Pluto exaggerates the increasingly blatant excesses and hypocrisy of the status quo. These energies also reflect a rapidly growing backlash by various groups who are asserting themselves against those seen as abusing their positions of power.
Like the protesters in the Middle East intent on removing their dictatorial rulers, a movement is underway aided by internet social networks to recall Gov. Walker for his refusal to compromise. The Jupiter/Pluto square impacting Walker’s natal Mars in Capricorn and Saturn in Aries increases Walker’s conviction that he must play hardball with the unions and the Democratic state Senators to further his political ambitions.
The Moon represents the general public. In particular it represents women (along with Venus). Mid to late March could be a difficult time for Gov. Walker as the March 11 First Quarter Moon in Gemini (the sign ruling teachers and primary education) squares the governor’s natal Venus and Pluto in Virgo while opposing his progressed Sun in Sagittarius. One week later the Full Moon conjoins his natal Uranus in Virgo just as Mars in Pisces squares his progressed Sun and opposes his natal Venus/Pluto/Uranus in Virgo. Virgo represents labor and healthcare issues; Mars in Virgo’s opposite sign Pisces represents actions that affect the collective.
Wisconsin’s chart is also being impacted by Mars in Pisces. Mars conjoins Wisconsin’s natal Neptune (February 25), squares natal Sun in Gemini (March 1) and Mercury in Gemini at the time of the March 11 Full Moon, followed by Mars conjoining natal Saturn in Pisces March 25. During this same timeframe Jupiter and Pluto are impacting Madison’s natal Uranus in Aries while the opposition of Jupiter and Saturn affects Madison’s progressed Uranus in Aries.
The protesters actions could erode Gov. Walker and the Republicans resistance, resulting in the budget bill being passed after the collective bargaining and other unrelated budget provisions are removed from the bill.
At the same these planetary influences are in play in Wisconsin, Uranus in Aries conjoins the Republican Party’s natal Sun in mid-March. A successful rebellion in Wisconsin against the GOP’s dogma could rattle the Party’s leadership. Neptune moving into its home sign Pisces April 4 and opposing the GOP’s Mars in Virgo could indicate the Party’s drive to maintain its ideological purity of no compromise could begin to backfire.
Ideological purity is of no value if Republicans are unable to accomplish anything. Repealing the healthcare law, net neutrality, funding for NPR and Planned Parenthood and other examples of mixing business with social issues not only fails to make the slightest dent in the deficit but only antagonizes rather than cultivates cooperation from the opposition. Passing these bills through the House is irrelevant if they can’t make it through to the President.
Neptune transiting natal Mars and then Venus in 2012 reflects that Republicans will need to stop pushing to pick fights and greatly soften their rhetoric by clearly demonstrating they are sensitive to the collective’s concerns (the nation as a whole) and are not solely at the beck and call of corporate interests as people begin to tire of their ideology. Neptune impacting the GOP’s Venus/Mars opposition could bring scandal or accusations of fraud.
Rep. Ryan’s remark comparing Cairo to Madison shows that Republicans are becoming concerned about a counterrevolution (Uranus in Aries) to their agenda to destroy the social safety net (Neptune). While the pendulum has swung away from the government largesse that emanated from the New Deal (the last time Uranus was in Aries), there are still limits (Saturn) to the amount of worker protections and rights the public is willing to sacrifice (Neptune).
The protests spread from northern Africa into the countries surrounding the Persian Gulf, and the protests in America are beginning to follow a similar playbook as they begin to spread from state to state.
*A mathematical calculation that moves the planets forward in time as a method of prediction.
Republican Party: March 20, 1854 “on a cold and windy night” Ripon, WI
Scott Walker: November 2, 1967 time unknown Colorado Springs, CO
Madison Wisconsin Inc.: February 3, 1846 time unknown
Wisconsin Enters the Union: May 29, 1848 time unknown
Posted 2/22/2011 05:24:00 PM