Wednesday, October 7, 2015

In Wisconsin, little conserved by radical conservatives

Conservatives have been in control of Wisconsin government for given away or sold off early five years, but little is being conserved - and I don't just mean the renewable energy programs being obstructed or the state lands and public water being sold off or given away to the highest or best-connected bidder:

*  Just weeks after signing his budget, Gov. Walker wants to add to that spending by borrowing another $350 million to pay for road projects that were begun without a financing plan or real dollars in hand to pay for them.

That's like intentionally over-spending your earnings, binging on your credit card, then running up a fresh balance on new cards and expecting your friends and family to make the payments.

And it's nothing new in Wisconsin, with the seeds of this current over-spending having been planted in 2003.

* Millions of dollars in job-creating loans and grants have been thrown away by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation without basic vetting of companies, and Accounting 101 tracking  of companies that didn't create their promised jobs.

*  The same kind of loosey-goosey staffing and management practices that put politics over professionalism at WEDC will be installed across state government if conservatives have their way with the sudden killing of civil service they are now rushing through the Legislature.

You'd think after the fiasco that is WEDC, the last thing conservatives would get behind is the further reduction of accountability in state hiring and the public spending the hires oversee.

*  And speaking of accountability, the conservatives want to upend the Government Accountability Board by exchanging non-partisan oversight of lobbying, campaign financing and ethics for partisan direction.

Accountability, transparency, fiscal restraint and by-the-books government spending are principles worth conserving.

Everybody gets that except the phony conservatives running the show.


Anonymous said...

James if I've understood Walker's budget correctly he calls for state agencies to return [lapse] from their existing budgets $2.16 billion over the next 3 years to the General Fund. Never in the history of state budgets have sums this huge been returned as being unspent. Apparently in his haste to get on the presidential trail Walker's budget was lacking in significant revenues to meet the state's spending. To make the budget balance I guess he just decided to have state agencies give back the amounts of money needed to balance revenues and spending. I suspect there was no means [cuts in services or staff reductions] included in the budget as to how agencies would absorb these huge lapses [returns]; $716 million to be returned in 2017 alone. EUREKA..............CHANGES TO THE CIVIL SERVICE SYSTEM ALLOWS AGENCIES TO CUT HIGHER PAID CAREER STAFF BY SUDDENLY FILING UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE REPORTS ON SAID EMPLOYEES! These suddenly unproductive employees can appeal to the agency headed by a Walker appointee. Walker's gets to make his budget whole on the backs of career public employees and he touts that he and his Republican henchmen have downsized government as they promised to do! I suspect the civil service change was a well laid plan hidden from the public and even the state agencies by Walker and friends similar to Act 10.

Anonymous said...

Dear 2:33 PM,
As a state employee whose wages have stagnated over the past 15 years I don't whether to laugh or cry. Should I be happy that I might get to keep my job because my wages are lower than others in my classification? Or sad because I will have to do the work of 10? Thanks for the reminder about the lapses.