Our state budget is about $3 billion in deficit without requested budget increases. Gov. James Doyle would only have to freeze budgets now, if he had been allowed the $3 billion in tax increases in his last budget request. The Republicans blocked that. Thus, the shortfall. Will they avoid bringing up subject? Not at all, Rep. Fitzgerald actually frames the blocked $3 billion as a victory, and never makes the obvious connection.Watch his blissfull ignorance:
It doesn’t end there.
The Democratic Legislature and governor are now stuck with a huge budget shortfall. Will the Republicans help solve the deficit with compromise? Assembly Minority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald, a Republican from the busy swamplands of Horicon, had this AP response:
"I don't have to solve that problem. Obviously that's the Democrats' problem. When it comes to the core principles of the Republicans in the Assembly, we've always tried to solve things without raising taxes. That has been our No. 1 priority and I think it should be.""That’s the Democrats’ problem?" It would appear to be everyones problem, regardless of political affiliation. Strangely, many would argue that their number 1 priority should be to make nesseccary tax increases and budget cuts, not protect their failed ideology. Go figure.
As the rhetoric goes: Republicans are willing to support Democrats, kind of, but as Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, brother of Jeff, said, “Raising taxes must not be part of that.”
Despite the Republican acknowledgement that the state can’t just cut it’s way out of the deficit, the only other option-tax increases and closing loopholes-is off the table. Got that? Amazingly, the news media never seems to bring that little fact up in interviews or editorials.
For example: Gov. Doyle wants to balance the budget with a targeted tax increase on hospitals. According to a sarcastic press release from our freeloading Representative:
The Democrats’ first order of business will be to raise taxes on hospital patients to supposedly increase payments for medical assistance. Never mind that President-elect Obama has promised to increase payments for medical assistance with a new state bailout plan. The problem with the Obama plan is that there is not a built-in raid on the money for the state’s general fund; the money would actually go to those who need it. For Gov. Doyle, what good is a pile of freshly-printed federal bailout money if you can’t skim from it to balance another one his irresponsible budgets?”
Fitzgerald is a typically short sighted conservative; he’s oblivious to the fact that the state bailout money in a short term, one time shot, while the hospital tax is LONG TERM and sustainable. But the sound bite driven Minority Leader has elections to win and an ideology to protect.
Doing the job of the people isn’t even a party priority anymore.