Let’s Debunk a Few Budget Myths

Kathleen Vinehout
April 22, 2015
 
Let’s Debunk a Few Budget Myths
By
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
 
“I’m okay with the cuts,” the man wrote me. “It’s shameful to pass debt on to our children.” In the man’s message, he implies a common misconception about Wisconsin – there is no state debt.
 
Wisconsin owes a lot of money. The state budget proposes that we borrow even more money. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) reported in January that the state owed about $13.8 billion. This is slightly less than the previous year, but almost $600 million more than when Governor Doyle left office.
 
The conservative Tax Foundation reported in 2011 Wisconsin ranked 18th of 50 states in terms of the worst state debt per person ($4,013). In 2013, Wisconsin ranked 16th of 50 states ($4,044 per person). Wisconsin is headed the wrong direction in paying off the debt.
 
The Governor is proposing a great deal more borrowing in the new budget. Of greatest concern is the borrowing to pay for roads and bridges. The LFB estimates by the end of the coming budget almost a quarter of every dollar in transportation will be spent on debt payments.

Under Walker, WI Trade Deficit with Germany has Increased by 153%

As Governor Walker continues on yet another taxpayer-financed "trade mission" to Germany, here's a little German-Wisconsin trade trivia:  When Scott Walker took office in 2011, the trade deficit with Germany was 274 million.  In 2014, that number grew to 694 million-- a 153% increase. 

In fact, overall Wisconsin has gone from an overall trade surplus of 146 million in 2011 to a trade deficit of 82 million in 2014.  That's a pretty damning indictment for a state that used to be a leading manufacturer of American goods and be called "the tool shop of the world."  

Hmmm... maybe instead of taxpayer-financed campaign trips to bolster his presidential resume, maybe Walker should focus on actual trade and the very real trade deficit. 

People Speak Out About Consequences of Budget Decisions

Kathleen Vinehout

April 15, 2015

 

People Speak Out About Consequences of Budget Decisions

By Senator Kathleen Vinehout

 

“This is not my cup of tea,” the farmer said quietly as he moved up to the microphone at the Eau Claire budget hearing.

 

“I’m a UW grad. I’m a farmer. I’m a tech college grad. My kids went to public school. There’s a lot I could talk about today. But I’m here today for Craig, my son. He loves where he lives.”

 

“I don’t want to lose that,” said Craig sitting between his parents. Craig had surgery to remove brain tumors at 3 years old. His mind is quick and his words are heartfelt.

Adamczyk Heating and Air Conditioning Son Denies Climate Change!

OK, now it is official, Wisconsin no longer is a real State. It is a charade run by some third party that is trying to see how bizarre it can be made to look and still have the citizens act like everything is just fine. It is like a State sized Candid Camera! I keep waiting for someone to step in and say “Smile, you're on Candid Camera!”

When the son of a family that has run a heating and air conditioning company for 30 years denies climate change, we are truly living in a world were capitalism is disconnected from reality.

This is NOT what Robin Vos had in mind when he insisted Milwaukee put more skin into new Bucks arena

Headline over at UrbanMilwaukee.com:

Bucks Plan Envisions Arena Streetcar

Well, that's the end of that! Even worse, at least if you're an anti-rail Republican, the arena developers also would tear down a nearby parking ramp used by [OMG] automobiles! Man, that is like, so socialist! Republican heads no doubt already are exploding.

Urban Milwaukee's Michael Horne provides more detail:

Shirley Abrahamson sues to keep chief justice position

Shirley Abrahamson

Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson has filed a lawsuit asking for an injunction to keep the constitutional amendment approved in yesterday's vote from taking effect. 

Abrahamson, 81, argued in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Madison that the change should not be applied until after her current term ends in four years or if she leaves before then.

To have the selection process change immediately would shorten the 10-year term of office to which Abrahamson was elected as chief justice, she argued, and would therefore violate her constitutional rights to due process and equal protection rights.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/chief-justice-shirley-abrahamson-sues-over-amendment-approved-by-voters/article_e448ebbb-f376-5a40-a2f0-ac0515b31ba3.html#ixzz3WlRvs9gV

Coming Up on Uppity Wisconsin

Stuff we're working on - some of which will be here sooner than others:

  • A directory of resources around the state - If there are organizatins you would like to see listed - poltical groups, web sites, news sources, etc. - please add them in here. 
  • More work on our progressive calendar - please feel free to stuff in your own events here.
  • (this will take longer) - a comprehensive list of Wisconsin legislators and bills thanks to the OpenStates project.
  • Nicer handling of our bloggers, including more information about them.
  • Some nice aggregation of video from other places.
  • Fancier home page and layout.
  • Performance tweaks and enhancements, including routing through a CDN.

Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

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