Just like Walker's "we're moving in the right direction" talking point after leading the nation in job losses, the Gov. is now projecting a budget surplus in 2013.
We're all hip to the game now.
Milwaukee County residents learned in his early years as County Executive not to trust Walker and budgeting:
In his past two budgets he has systematically over-estimated revenues, causing a fiscal crisis that will automatically trigger by mid-summer. This mechanism allows Walker to keep his tax freeze pledge and true to his extremist ideology, cut programs and employees mid year. This past year there were several mid-year cuts with the pool closings gaining the most attention.
Luck played a large part in the 2003 Walker budget. Walker under budgeted snow removal costs and with little snow this past year in January through April, projections were on target. He also eliminated lifeguards at Milwaukee County beaches. Normally this would have been a crisis, which could have led to drownings. But again Walker dodged the PR bullet since beaches were closed due to high bacteria counts that made swimmers stay away from the water...
He wasn’t so lucky with overstated parks revenues...Walker dictated the artificial inflation of revenues to match projections, ordering the parks department to increase revenue estimates by $2,000,000 but providing no means for the increase.
As the deficit became clear Walker ordered then-Parks Director Sue Baldwin to lay off employees and to recommend mid-year cuts. On Walker’s request, Baldwin had already made drastic cuts to personnel and there was nowhere else to cut but services. On the list of cuts he could make was the early closure of pools that are open for the summer.
Walker ordered the pools be closed and when the temperatures rose, so did public outrage. Walker used Baldwin as his scapegoat and fired her, but not before he invited television news cameras to the Parks department to transform the firings into a media circus.Hat tip, Jim McGuigan.