I write in response to Grant Hermes reporting on my comments at the Law School Forum Wednesday evening. Hermes wrote that I "alluded to the idea that the governor’s proposed bill may have long-term negative effects on political areas outside of labor disputes, such as taxes and the rising cost in higher education." This is a complete misrepresentation of what I said and meant. I was talking about the crisis of debt, and how higher education is part of this crisis because we cost so much. Walker has had nothing to do [with] having caused this problem; indeed, his measures are designed to at least address the crisis of public debt in a forceful way. At no point in my discussion of this aspect of the problem did I implicate Walker's plan as a source of the problem. The cost of higher education has skyrocketed at twice the skyrocketing rate of medical care costs over the course of the last twenty years, and we are the source of this problem, not Walker.Maybe the reporter had trouble hearing a professor imply that Scott Walker might be doing something good.
Meiklejohn Professor of Political Science, Law, and Journalism
ADDED: The boldface is mine. Here's the last 2 1/2 minutes of Downs's talk.