With years of revenue estimates coming in lower than expected, can the state afford more tax cuts to justify a corresponding increase in the gas tax and registration fee? That's the false trade off we're supposedly going to have to make, according to Scott Walker.
Walker's glaring disconnect is breathtaking, from the states crumbling roads to the strain it's putting on local governments, he's just not going to do anything. People are waking up to the shocking reality that things aren't as good as Walker's wants us to believe.
Walker wrote a comment in the Journal Sentinel that bragged:
Since we took office, more than $18 billion has been invested into our transportation system, and we increased the amount sent to local governments to help maintain their infrastructure in 2015.
Wow, guess we can't even believe our own eyes, car repair bills and jarring rough home because Walker says, hey, look at what we've invested.
After 6 years as governor, Walker is still blaming Gov. Doyle. Doyle you might remember was lambasted by Republicans for transferring transportation funding to public education...the horror. That money, which was so important to Republicans, still hasn't been fully replaced.
In contrast, former Gov. Jim Doyle raided $1.4 billion from the transportation fund. Along with voters, we helped pass a constitutional amendment in 2014 to ensure that never happens again, and we've paid back hundreds of millions in raided funds as we worked to put our fiscal house back in order.
While Wisconsin roads and bridges crumble around him, Walker's sticking to his promise (no, not the 250,000 jobs promise):
During the 2014 campaign, I made it clear I would not support a gas tax increase or a vehicle registration increase without a corresponding decrease in other state taxes. I will not raise the overall tax burden on the hardworking people of Wisconsin.
Keeping my word is incredibly important.
Even as circumstances have changed? Ah, gotta love those conservative princibles. And despite one good month in jobs numbers, for summer low wage work, Walker continues to pretend economic growth needs protecting:
Jacking up taxes would throw a wet blanket on our economic growth.
Oddly, Walker thinks it's great our roads are in "fair condition" or above "fair condition," state statistics that are in conflict with other nationwide comparisons. This is one of those times we're supposed to believe "the government" I guess. Personally, the following Walker description does more to disprove his argument:
According to the most recent numbers available from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, more than 97% of our most heavily traveled highways are rated in fair or above fair condition. These roads carry roughly half of all traffic and 70% of our freight.
And despite all the transportation borrowing, the last budget borrowed less than before, happy now?
For those who suggest we have relied too heavily on borrowing, they are leaving out important facts that aren't kind to their argument. In our last budget, we approved the lowest level of overall borrowing in at least 20 years. Going forward, we will continue to do the work necessary to maintain a safe and strong transportation system.
That's what we have, a "strong transportation system."