Tuesday, February 10, 2009

State Republicans Still Blame Governor for Recession and Budget Deficit. Want to Block Stimulus Help as Punishment.

Republicans just don’t get it.

They don’t understand that the public now understands how illogical and ideological their fiscal solutions are.

Wisconsin Republicans have blamed the state budget deficit on the Governor, instead of the economic crisis gripping the nation and world.

Based on that premise, they have devised a bizarre set of restrictions to prevent the state from getting back on its economic feet. Hold onto your hats, as the Wisconsin State Journal explains:
Republicans want to block the state from spending federal economic stimulus money unless Gov. Jim Doyle comes up with a plan to reduce the structural imbalance in the state budget. The idea … they say will curtail years of sloppy state budgeting practices by lawmakers in both parties.

Remember, it’s not the recession, its Governor Jim Doyles fault. It gets weirder. Here’s my favorite:
Require at least 20 percent of state agencies in 2011-13 and every budget cycle thereafter prepare their budget requests using "zero-based budgeting" rather than on the cost to continue current services.

Despite the increased cost of energy, health care, supplies and continued modernization and maintenance, Republican legislators want to ignore the real world pressures of rising costs, deciding instead to reduce services each and every budget thereafter.

These conservative freeloaders prefer not making the unpopular decision to raise taxes when necessary, mostly because they have taken a pledge to right wing think tanks not to do so, because that would take work and the thoughtful management of state business. It’s much easier to wither government to a point of total inefficiency, complain that it doesn’t work, and sit back and hand the state of Wisconsin over to private business interests to manage it for them.

What a plan. No one is falling for this anymore. But instead of calling the plan incompetent and irresponsible, state Democrats offer their weak, tepid response.

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, co-chairman of the Legislature’s budget committee, said the GOP proposal would set up a "roadblock" to spending the federal stimulus money. "A lot of us are pretty committed to being in a more responsible place in the future," he said of state budgeting. "But I’m not going to say we’re not going to take federal money for education or health care until we come up with some plan."

Instead of calling the Republican bizarre and insulting, Pocan treats this proposal as if it had some credibility.

Its time to say, we’ve had enough.

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