Our privacy policy has changed. By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Dismiss

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.

Community Watch

» Nicolet School Board approves shared superintendent agreement with Fox Point-Bayside Updated:  4/30

» Solar energy interest is heating up in Shorewood 4/27

» North Shore Sports Shorts: April 28 4/27

» DOT to host hearing on intersection of Brown Deer, Green Bay roads 4/27

» Soccer rivalry heats up on cold night as Nicolet and Bay girls tie, 1-1 4/27

» Youthful Nicolet soccer team off to 8-1 start 4/26

» 26-year-old killed in shooting on Glendale border 4/26

» Teachers continue scholarship program on their own 4/26

» Davis officially retires as Nicolet swim coach 4/26

» New version of Peter Pan to debut at Homestead High School 4/26

» Shorewood's former Village Pub will reopen in May as Cloud Red Updated:  4/26

» Whitefish Bay restaurant Moxie to open in late summer 4/25

» Shared superintendent proposal between Fox Point-Bayside and Nicolet weighed Updated:  4/25

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Previewing NFL Draft with Rob Reischel and Nathan Tanguay 4/25

» How referendums expand the gap between haves and have-nots 4/23

» Whitefish Bay ranked top high school in Wisconsin Updated:  4/22

» Fox Point-Bayside board wants to hire Nicolet administrators under shared services agreement Updated:  4/22

» Shorewood schools cracking down on false addresses Updated:  4/21

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Realignment in area conferences and the status of girls/women's basketball in Wisconsin 4/21

» SPORTS SHORTS: April 21 4/20

» Competition fierce in North Shore Conference boys golf this spring 4/20

» North Shore area boys tennis teams ready to roll 4/20

» Video: Bavarian Bierhaus to open with new beer hall, brewery in Glendale Updated:  4/20

» Brown Deer has secret sculpture garden 4/20

» Homestead girls soccer team hangs on to beat Germantown, 3-2 4/19

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Advertisement

CONNECT    

Advertisement