Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Republican Scott Walker: The Man Who Would Be Governor has a “Deferred Maintenance Problem.” Is He the George Bush of County Executives?

I don't think I've ever seen a more unqualified politician as a candidate for governor in my entire life here in Wisconsin. This guy is coming up with more baggage for the voters to sort through than General Mitchell International Airport handles in a single year. A problem solver he is not.

According to WisPolitics:
A new Public Policy Forum report paints a dire picture of Milwaukee County's fiscal condition, detailing how short term budget fixes have kept the county afloat without addressing structural problems, leaving the county's long-term solvency “questionable at best.” Milwaukee County Exec. Scott Walker said he will address problems highlighted in the report. “While the county's in decent shape right now, long term we're not financially sustainable without changes in the structure that we have in place for wages and benefits and the way that we budget.”
Ah, a question for the TWO term County Executive: After so many years, when would it be a good time to take on these difficult structural problems Mr. Walker?

According to the report: Milwaukee relies too heavily on inflexible and external sources of revenue, leaving it vulnerable to budget cuts at other levels of government. The county has balanced its budgets, but has done so through depleting reserves, deferring maintenance, restructuring debt and using one-time revenues to fill budget holes. Unfunded health and pension liabilities exceed $2 billion and are likely growing, the transit system soon faces a $21 million budget gap, and the county faces an $87.9 million county budget gap by 2013.

“indicators that insolvency is not imminent – it is clear that annual reductions have not achieved financial equilibrium, and that its long-term fiscal outlook is grim,” the report says. To stave off long-term fiscal crisis, the report recommends a solvency plan that considers additional local revenue sources. If leaders fail to act on a plan, the report recommends outside intervention to address the situation. “New or enhanced local revenue streams?” You mean taxes to pay your bills? Are you kidding?

Walker said the county already relies heavily in sales and property taxes and county residents don't have the “appetite for anything else.”

It appears that county residents “appetite” for a lower quality of life is about to be satisfied. The freeloading mantra of Republicans like Walker has finally taken its toll on the majority of Democratic voter’s way of thinking. It’s all downhill from here.

After all, a dysfunctional county government is now just the way things are for voters who have reelected the ultimate economic trouble maker and philosophical partisan they have grown to admire.

Walker believes he's not a lazy county executive, just a fiscal conservative, and deferred maintenance is just another example of government not working.

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