Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Artless Leadership Of A Stupid Man

If one subtracted the applause and comically endless introductions of random people Scott Walker mentioned during his state budget preview pageant last night in Madison, it is reported the actual content of his speech was about twelve minutes total.

Not bad for a moron.

Over the coming days many a capital staffer and policy wonk will pour through the minutia of Scott Walker's budget proposal and try to make sense of what evil the drop-out has planned for the good people of our state.

In the meantime, we do know a few things:

~ After making the biggest budget cut to Wisconsin public schools in state history just two years ago - Walker has proposed a school budget increase of a whopping 1%. Start writing the thank you cards now - but before you do, check your map because Walker proposes expanding school vouchers to 9 nine possible communities across the state at a cost of $73 million.

~ Walker will increase transportation budget by $500 million.
~ Increase spending by 3% to 5% (depending on the source) - take a special note of that one teabillies.
~ Add about 700 new state jobs.
~ Cut income taxes by $343 million over two years - before you start cheering, that's a return of $106 for a family of four making at least $81,000 a year. Your mileage will vary.

Now some of you may be wondering how the heck is Mr. Brown Bag paying for this? Well, three ways really. A freeze on state aid to local governments, selling off state assets like power plants and borrowing the cash of course.

But wait, you say - Walker balanced the budget. Oh yes, on paper he did. This new budget will actually increase the state deficit by $600 million dollars to a total of $2.64 BILLION. That's a figure listed by his own accounting department - funny he didn't mention it in the speech.

Naturally, Walker tossed in some red meat for the teabillies to distract them from trying to add up the numbers in their fingers and toes by introducing a repeal of residency requirements for state workers and a mandatory job training program for "able-bodied" food stamp recipients.

There will be much more to come in the coming days...