Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Walker’s Trojan Horse

Governor Scott Walker’s manufactured $3.6 billion state budget deficit in the next biennium is rapidly unraveling as a bogus figure. Yesterday I pointed out that the figure is based on $3.9 billion in new agency requests (Table 1) for a spending increase of 6.2%, a figure we noted is never approved by the legislature. Those are REQUESTS, not actual dollars expended.

Well today the non-partisan legislative Fiscal Bureau released a memo showing that in the current state budget, agencies requested a 9.7% increase in GPR dollars, yet were given an actual REDUCTION of 2.6%. That’s a difference of nearly $3.5 billion!

That means this isn’t just a bunch of Democrats looking at the numbers that are being used to put a budget together and crying foul; this is hard and cold reality from a respected, unbiased resource – the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Further, we also know that there was no statutory requirement for a “budget repair” bill from the same non-partisan source, yet Governor Walker is claiming we needed to act due to impending payments to the state of Minnesota and the money owed the Patient’s

Compensation Fund. Well, chalk up another lie. Walker’s “Repair” bill addresses NEITHER.

So just what is Governor Walker up to?

Remember the Trojan War.

The only way you can slip a bunch of bad public policy into law in Wisconsin is to disguise it as something else.

Create a crisis, claim you are the sole path to resolving that crisis needing to enact whatever measures are necessary and be a hero to the people. Right...

This week Walker is trying to be a darling of the national conservative movement by taking away workers rights, destroying collective bargaining and setting the stage for big cutbacks in Medicaid. Next week he announced a budget that is full of cuts to education, healthcare and funds for police and fire.

All of these actions are hidden in the Trojan horse called the “budget repair” bill.

Back then they warned “Beware Greeks bearing gifts.”

Today the problem is the national conservative special interests get the gifts, while we get what comes from the tail end of this Trojan horse.

(Next blog….How much of the $2 BILLION in tax breaks and loopholes Walker promised the wealthy during the election will be put into his budget causing a REAL budget crisis?)

14 comments:

  1. Rep. Pocan:

    It is not at all suprising that the Governor is using such tactics and I appreciate your bringing it to our attention.
    However, If $3.6 Billion is a manufactured number, then what exactly is the correct number? Your description seems to say that the actual deficit, factoring in the reduction in agency GPR dollars, is closer to $100 Million ($3.6B manufactured figure - $3.5B diff in agency spending). Is this correct or am I missing something?

    If we are told what the actual deficit is, and the real facts and figures that number is based on. We could use that to discredit the governor's claims. Thanks and keep up the good work.

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  2. Thanks for this clear explanation of what the heck is going on here -- and thanks for all your tremendous advocacy and work for our community.

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  3. Personally, I would like to hear former Governor Jim Doyle speak out and refute Walker's budget claims. People would listen.

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  4. Personally, I'd like to hear Jim Doyle speak out an refute Walker's budget claims. I think people would listen to the former Governor.

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  5. As someone who was born and raised in Wisconsin (I now live in Texas), it was my understanding that WI was supposed to have a Constitutionally-mandated balanced budget. I was wondering why things had gotten so out of whack. This explains it... they aren't, at least not by much.

    A link to this blog has been posted on a Progressive (PlantPOV) website so our members can see what is happening, and I thank you for the clarification about what is going on behind the scenes and the rhetoric.

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  6. Good Work and thank you for this clarification.

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  7. The government has been sticking it to citizens at the point of a gun (taxes) for years.

    The citizens are delighting in the opportunity to return the favor. The facts play no role in this. Everybody is gunning for the Mafia.

    BTW I'm a citizen of Rockford, Illinois. We thank the Democrats for their business. We need all the help we can get.

    You want to get back on the winning team? Propose bigger cuts than the Republicans. Make them squirm.

    Or how about Med-Pot? That should be popular in WI with the yearly fall harvest festival.

    If you go with Med-Pot contact me. I can give you lots of information. Esp. Soldiers and PTSD. Here is a starter link:

    PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System

    Leave a comment at any current post.

    Tout it as a compassionate revenue raiser.

    And also a subtle dig at the police unions.

    Stop defending. Counterattack.

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  8. You know if the Democrats were the Party of fiscal responsibility AND civil liberties I'd way rather vote for them than Republicans.

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  9. Thank you Sen. Pocan. This is really helping get the word out.
    I wish you the best.

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  10. Thank you Rep. Pocan! I'm so proud to have you as my elected representative. Keep up the good work, and I'll keep protesting in Madison until this bill is defeated!

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  11. I have an idea for your Senate colleagues to set a time when they will return to continue this legislative session: when the governor releases his budget bill. This forces the governor's hand to admit either his lies about the budget crisis or his inability to propose a set of responsible budget cuts for the next biennium.

    I am a constituent of your district and also a Research Assistant at the University. I can afford the $26.50/month increase in my monthly health insurance contribution, but we as a state cannot afford to dismantle collective bargaining for public employees. Thank you for your support, and thank you for your explanation of how Scott Walker manufactured the budget crisis.

    I hope you can reach your Senator colleagues with this idea, if you agree it has merit.

    Thanks again,
    Mark

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  12. This isn't just Wisconsin. Governors across the country, Democrat AND Republican, are lustfully using the economic crisis which their own pro-corporate policies created as a cover to attack working people across the country and lower all of our standards of living. And Obama's "bipartisan" orgy with the Republicans is leading the way from DC. We are under attack and we have been for nearly three decades. Thank God for Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East showing us Americans what democracy looks like. Solidarity!

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