Scott Walker started his efforts at economic treason when he threw away $810 million allocated to Wisconsin for the high-speed rail project linking Madison to Milwaukee even before he was sworn in as governor in 2011. He fully intended to play the extreme Koch Brothers-funded Tea Party playbook that lost thousands of jobs and business opportunities, infrastructure improvements and a 21st century approach to making Wisconsin more than just a flyover zone. Of course, he asked for some of the money later and was rejected hence sticking it to the taxpayers to pay for his bone-headed mistakes.
Walker’s love of economic treason continued with rejecting funds for BadgerCare and continue with the latest rejection of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion program. Over 80,000 current BadgerCare participants will not be covered with their current healthcare programs and the taxpayers will have to pay an additional $120 million because Walker’s next round of bone-headed mistakes.
After the budget passed the Assembly 55-42 and the Senate with the narrow margin of 17-16, Walker signed the recent 2013-2015 budget bill that offered lop-sided tax breaks for his wealthy contributing individuals and corporations that benefit from corporate welfare, attacked public schools while invoking unaccountable school vouchers and other sordid policies that will certainly keep Wisconsin teetering at the bottom of state rankings for jobs and opportunities as well as hurt middle-class families on several fronts.
Here is a good assessment of Walker’s budget that favors his possible run for President and partisan hackery over good governance:
Though he holds one of the most powerful veto pens in the nation, Gov. Scott Walker on Sunday scribbled around the edges of a document that is one of the most ideological in memory. The state’s new two-year fiscal blueprint still contains a cornucopia of policy that has little or nothing to do with fiscal matters.
To his credit, Walker did veto language that would have made bounty hunters legal again, and he excised a petty, last-minute idea by anonymous Republican lawmakers to evict from the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus a student journalism group that had investigated some of them. He also ensured that caps on the new statewide voucher schools program would remain in place.
But the budget rejects millions of dollars in federal aid to expand health care even though it would be cheaper for the state to accept the money and would have meant more poor people received care.
And the budget still contains a sweeping provision to loosen residency requirements for school teachers and city workers. With the city of Milwaukee facing a housing crisis of foreclosed homes and aging housing stock, the Republicans’ timing couldn’t have been worse. On top of that indignity, Walker had the brass to remove $3.5 million in aid that would have made it just a bit easier for the city to address the more than 800 bank-foreclosed homes and an estimated 950 city-owned, tax-foreclosed properties. Walker’s veto of what amounts to a relative pittance makes no sense.
This budget still includes a big tax break for the parents of nearly 100,000 private school school students — yet another partisan shot at public schools.
And while we understand Walker’s ideological and political reasons for the hefty tax cut included in this budget (income taxes will be sliced by $651 million over the two years, which will look good on a potential Republican presidential candidate’s resume), we’d rather have seen a smaller tax cut so that more money could have been parked in the state’s “rainy day fund” or invested in educational institutions.
After Walker’s modest vetoes, the budget remains an ideological document that places big bets on risky policies such as voucher school expansion, tax cuts and the end of residency requirements, all of which could remain in place long after this governor has responsibility for them. But, of course, that’s the idea.
Through their actions, Republicans continue to show they value their political agenda over good government.
With the budget being signed, it’s going to give Wisconsin a $500+ million deficit that proves Walker’s combined pointless austerity, Koch Brothers-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) pre-written policy playbook, war on public workers, war on voters, war on women and war on science will be his legacy of failure.
The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a review of the 2013-2015 budget that the Legislature’s finance committee passed last week, the Wisconsin State Journal reported http://bit.ly/10bXMkq .
The analysis found that the state will have a $670 million surplus as of July 1, but that the new budget would create a $505 million shortfall going into the 2015-2017 biennium, assuming state tax revenues and expenditures don’t change. Such a shortfall is commonly referred to as the state’s structural deficit.
While Walker did had 57 vetoes before signing the $68 billion budget, it is more than obvious Walker wants to be a Fox News Political Rock Star over being a reasonable, balanced governor. It’s Walker’s continuing War On Success.