Sunday, April 17, 2011

You can call Governor Walker anything except unserious

Tax bills for average homes to rise less than 1% under Walker's budget - JSOnline
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau also said Walker's plan would put the state's finances in the best shape they've been in for more than 15 years.

It found the so-called structural deficit - the imbalance between spending and tax revenue as laid out in state law - for the 2013-'15 budget would be $31 million. That assumes Walker's budget passes the Legislature without new spending increases or tax cuts that would add to the deficit.

Under its existing form, Walker's budget leaves the state with a fraction of the structural deficits seen in the past eight budget cycles. The next lowest structural deficit in recent years was $1.5 billion, or 48 times as much as what Walker's proposing.
You may or may not agree with every step the Governor took to propose a budget that accomplishes this kind of deficit reduction, but this is clearly a serious attempt at bridging the fiscal gap in this state.  The Governor has decided to break with the approach to budgeting that was dominant in Wisconsin in recent history. This generally included one time fixes and stalling techniques which allowed politicians to avoid making the really tough decisions.

If the Democrats in this state have an alternative plan they prefer I would love to see it.  Voters could then compare the two plans side by side and the real debate about the future of this state could take place.  As the minority party though, there is little to be gained politically from setting forth their own ideas, so it is unlikely to happen.

As the budget debate unfolds, be sure to keep in mind that the Governor's plan may not be perfect, but it is paid for.  Every time someone denounces a spending cut as "draconian" be sure to ask them which taxes they would raise in order to protect their preferred spending.


Dean Weichmann said...

So what services would you cut in order to cut taxes?

I would prefer taxes to be raised in order to maintain or improve services provided by the state.

Jeremy R. Shown said...

I think the cuts to education spending are a good start and will have far fewer negative consequences than their foes allege.

In 2008 we spent over $10 billion a year on education. The Governor is going to make that $9.5 billion. Is that really going to "destroy" education in WI?

Dean Weichmann said...

Gee Jeremy do ya actually think it will help education to cut spending for it? That is just as stupid as saying that cutting taxes will increase revenues. Of course it will decline. I could see giving school boards back the authority to hire and fire and not have to go to referendum for everything. Bad enough that state aid is to be cut but school boards have to go to referendum to increase their own school budget at all.

Jeremy R. Shown said...

No Dean, I didn't say cuts to education spending would "help" education. I said they wouldn't be as bad as their opponents like to pretend. There is a difference.

I think improvements to our education system are necessary, I'm just not convinced that more spending automatically equals better education, are you?