Fiscal Responsibility

Posted in the Kaukauna Forum

Since: Jun 11

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#1 Aug 4, 2011
We are constantly hearing ads about the Republicans providing adult leadership and fiscal responsibility to the Badger State. But one must ask, what is the Republican definition of fiscal responsibility?

Despite revenue shortfalls following the economic downturn that hit its peak with the Bush-era stock market collapse, it is a political fact, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, that the Democrats left a budget surplus of $121.4 million dollars at the end of 2009-2011. Prior to the Walker administration the state had a balanced budget, maintained basic services and high-quality schools and kept employment and business development steadier that the rest of the country.

Then we elected the current Walker Republican administration. Republicans claim they were trying to overcome a $137 deficit. Where did this deficit come from? We had a large budget surplus of $121.4 million. It is not because of a drop in revenues or increase in state union employee contracts benefits or pensions. Walker and his allies pushed through a $140 million spending legislation for Koch and other special interest groups. Even with this new legislation if they had delayed the implementation until it was offset by fresh revenues the crisis would not exist. But they did not. Does this sound like fiscal responsibility?

Walker argues that the tax cuts he gave the Koch brothers and other businesses will create jobs for the state of Wisconsin. However according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Wisconsin unemployment has risen from 7.4% to 7.6% for a net loss of 8000 jobs. Evidently tax cuts donít create jobs. To bad Governor Walker didnít take a lesson out of the George Bush playbook.

Like Walker President Bush came into office after Democratic President Clinton left a budget surplus of $127 million dollars. Under Clintonís administration poverty levels dropped and unemployment was the lowest it had been in 31 years. Bush proceeded to pass legislation creating a serious of tax breaks over his eight year term and yet unemployment steadily declines from 4.0% to a record 9.3%. In addition, Bush increased Federal Spending by 45% during the first 5 years in office and overall quadrupled the size of government before the end of his term.

It appears Walker is following in the footsteps of President Bush and Iím having a hard time seeing this type of economic policy as fiscally responsible. The Republicans must have a different definition for fiscal responsibility than I do. Whatever their definition is I think we are safer with the Democrats.

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