Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Next Walker Budget: Two More Years Of Rightwing Rule

Not much reason to tune in tomorrow night and watch Scott Walker deliver his 2013-'15 budget address, though we'll still go through the document line-by-line looking for the landmines hidden in bureaucratese or footnotes that confer a generous benefit to a special interest or a sucker punch to the powerless and the unsuspecting.

Walker has drained the speech of drama by announcing or leaking what his side will call reforms and initiatives, and the rest of us see as dropping another bomb on important services, middle-class priorities and basic fairness that used to be part of The Wisconsin Idea:

Health care for lower-income Wisconsinites: Walker turned down available federal funding for a Medicaid expansion. Some persons will be newly covered by a state program, but more will miss the federal expansion to satisfy the right's ideological need to teach the poor a lesson.

Public schools will get a few new pennies after two years of massive cuts, while home-based, private and charter schools free of union teachers get a taxpayer-paid windfall. Local boards and government bodies will try and make up some of the shortfall, but state-imposed caps will continue the Grover Norquistian suffocation of public education that is job-one in Walker's privatized world.

Speaking of jobs: Walker will toss out a symbolic cut in personal income taxes - - putting something like an extra $2 a week into your pocket.

And he'll make some effort to brew that extra cup of coffee into some kind of Reaganesque free-market achievement, but any fair assessment of Walker's first two years in office will rate his leadership on employment growth - - especially that absurd, 250,000 new jobs campaign PR pledge - - an abject, caffeine-free failure.

Walker will twist data, manipulate terminology and point self-servingly to governing through economic "uncertainties," like Act 10 protests, Obamacare, fear of the fiscal cliff or the defeat of an environmentally-crippling mining bill he still oversells as a real, and real time job-creator - - but the damage he inflicted on the purchasing power of thousands of public employees with Act 10 benefit cuts and their multiplier effects is a major factor in the state's relatively-slow job growth and recovery.

The highway lobby - - including contractors and compliant politicians who get back a dollop of highway expansion dollars in campaign donations - - is ticketed to receive fresh billions to overbuild in an era of declining driving.

And holding a yard sale to pay for some of the unneeded concrete.

Left at the curb: local transit systems, which disproportionately serve urban minorities, lower-income citizens, the elderly, and students.

Whether you're without a car in Milwaukee and cannot access work in Waukesha or Washington County, or you're a low-income woman now hours away from a Planned Parenthood clinic Walker's ideology-first spending is closing, or you teach in an urban school system, the message is the same:

There's nothing compassionate about the conservatives running Wisconsin right now.


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

And the Public Policy Forum issued a report showing that MPS is outperforming the Choice schools in Milwaukee.


So, spend less on the superior approach. Ideological blindness.

LOP said...

Yup, nothing new to see here. Just another Walker crap bomb.

Joshua Skolnick said...

Don't forget the destruction of the regional transit authorities, the trashing of the KRM commuter rail, and the repudiation of the Madison leg of the high speed rail system, replete with the Talgo lawsuit against Wisconsin. All so Walker can chain us to the oars of $4 and $5 and climbing gas prices.

Anonymous said...

If only President Obama could learn to balance a budget, and eliminate the nation debt.

Think about all the unemployed Americans we could have in gainful employment paying income taxes.

Dream about all the social programs not needed and the prosperty Milwaukee could once again enjoy.

Anonymous said...


It wasn't a superior approach to sign a new contract with the teacher's union before Act 10.

The education of children in MPS was thrown under the school bus in favor of who? That's right, the greedy teachers.

Never fear though, Scott Walker will give failing schools a chance to produce an improvement plan as incentive to place educational outcomes as (hmmm) a priority.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

The two anonymous trolls are so loaded with fail on those comments.

Walker's cronyism and Baggery failed in Milwaukee, it has failed in Maduson, and will continue to fail. And the fact that his paid supporters are trying to do hard to say otherwise proves it even more,

Nothing this sociopath has done has been for better results. It's all about money-funneling and power-grabbing. PERIOD

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Oh, and PS. Wisconsin is already further in debt after Walker's first two years, and his Transportation budget has huge increases in borrowing to put us further in the hole by the time Gov Dropout leaves office in 2015 (if John Doe hasn't gotten him by them)

Max B said...

Can't wait to miss it.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

If only President Obama could learn to balance a budget, and eliminate the nation debt.

the deficit chart that should embarass deficit hawks.

Looky there. during Obama's term, the deficit has been reduced more than it ever was during GWB's tenure. However, I know nonny-trolls are beyond embarrassment.

Also, our son is in an MPS school, and the other nonny-troll knows nothing of which he speaks. Public school Teachers are amazing and need STRONGER unions. What kind of country have we become where we demonize firefighters and teachers, and pretend we can't afford decent schools (37th in the world in education). And let's just reiterate my point up there: the voucher schools are not outperforming MPS.

Reagan's Disciple said...

@Anon 5:06,

In order for Obama to balance a budget... He would actually have to have a budget.

I hear what you are saying.

jpk said...

Yes, the president's budget proposal is technically "late." OMB has requested more time to put together a new budget as a result of the fiscal cliff negotiations earlier this year.

Gov Walker's budget proposal is also technically late. WI law says the gov is required to present it before the last Tues in Jan (s. 16.45).

The gov, like the president, can present budget proposal after these statutory deadlines by request, as both have. Walker also presented a late budget last biennium.

You are nitpicking and dissembling. Please stop it.

jpk said...

Oops, the president actually has already communicated his budget proposal for FY 2013, even though it was "late":


Unknown said...

Reagan's Disciple:

Now there's some hypocrisy on steroids. Let's review; Reagan doubled the national debt. Bush I had the first 100 Billion+ deficit, Clinton produced a budget surplus, Bush II had a record breaking deficit in EVERY budget, and that doesn't even count boondoggles like the Iraq War.

Yep, those repugnicans sure know how to budget.