H 70° L 52°
Cloudy | 0MPH

Bad Budget Made Worse

June 5, 2009

When Governor Doyle introduced his budget of punishing tax hikes, reckless government spending increases and job-killing policy ideas in February, I was optimistic the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee would seize the opportunity to make major improvements to the fiscal document. Unfortunately, after months of backroom meetings and late night deals, Democrats on the Committee have managed to make a bad budget worse in four specific ways.


This budget taxes too much. Gas, phone, hospital, electricity, property and garbage taxes are going up for everyone in the budget. Others will soon see higher income and sales taxes too. In the midst of a recession, Democrats have now enacted or proposed roughly $3 billion in new tax hikes. These are tax increases that will slow economic growth and stretch middle class family budgets even thinner.


This budget spends irresponsibly. Considering the state budget was $6.6 billion in the red, now was not the time for new or unnecessary spending. But the Democrats’ budget actually increases spending by about 7%. And their multi-billion dollar spending choices fail to match up with the priorities of the average taxpayer. This budget doesn’t provide enough money to keep arsonists in prison for their whole terms, but it does provide $500,000 for the Oshkosh Opera House, $46,000 for new recycling bins for the Town of Wrightstown and bunch of other pork-barrel spending to fund some legislators’ pet projects.


This budget contains several provisions that are job-killers. The budget is meant to be a purely fiscal document that is only about how much it takes to fund state government services. Unfortunately dozens of “policy items” that are actually complex bills that should have been considered separately on their own merits were crammed into this giant budget bill. New “joint and several liability” rules would make a home or business owner who is only 20% at fault in an accident financially liable for 100% of the damages. New auto insurance coverage mandates will raise the average family’s rates by $300 per year. A new “prevailing wage” requirement will force up local municipalities’ road and economic development project costs.


The process by which this budget was assembled was awful. Huge portions of this budget were negotiated at night, behind closed doors and then sprung upon Republican committee members only moments before the vote was taken. The public was robbed of its right to have controversial state law changes debated and considered in public.


Now that it has advanced from the Joint Finance Committee, the budget moves to the full Legislature. Senate and Assembly leaders say they hope to have the budget on the Governor’s desk before the end of June.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.

Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» North Shore fire service consolidation saved millions, report says 06:00 AM

» Brown Deer will build new public works facility 10/5

» Milwaukee suburbs trick-or-treat times 2015 10/5

» Animated characters help patients discuss ailments, levels of pain 10/3

» Homestead High graduate killed in Afghanistan plane crash Updated:  10/2

» Badger Meter River Park opens in Brown Deer 10/2

» Updated week seven rankings of area prep football teams and players Updated:  10/2

» Glendale's 27th Street renamed to Sidney Place after homeowners' request Updated:  10/2

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Is Aaron Rodgers really the best QB in football? 10/1

» Kirkendoll saves day with pick as Whitefish Bay takes NSC grid lead 10/1

» Nicolet boys volleyball team holds off Homestead in NSC thriller 9/30

» Energized Shorewood swimmers just miss in Woodland meet 9/30

» Homestead still controls its own fate in NSC football race 9/30

» Whitefish Bay soccer team runs win streak to 9 with rout of East 9/30

» Parkway Elementary School hosts Color Run to benefit all-inclusive playground 9/30

» Sport Shorts: Oct. 1, 2015 9/30

» Homestead girls win North Shore Conference golf title 9/30

» Joanne Lipo Zovic appointed to Shorewood School Board 9/29

» Lake Shore Middle School earns blue ribbon award 9/29

» 3 things you can do to protect your family, pets from coyote attacks Updated:  9/29

» Mequon middle school earns 2015 Blue Ribbon honors 9/29

» Woman charged with shoplifting, causing fiery car crash Updated:  9/29

» Mary Nohl house in Fox Point to be restored 9/28

» Seniors invited to free retirement information programs at Shorewood Senior Resource Center 9/28

» Michael Kirkendoll's pick lifts Whitefish Bay football team over Germantown 9/25

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss



Local Business Directory