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report print email Source: Editorial: Why budgeting reforms are needed
Response to a few of the many false claims
March 24, 2011 | 07:05 PM

Mr. August has submitted essentially the same argument for this repair bill that was written before. The key fallacy in this piece is that this bill was required to balance the current year's budget. After considerable research, I have concluded that yes, the deficit was likely to be $137 million.

On page 41 of the budget brief for the governor's proposed 1011-2-13 budget, there is a table with the clear statement that the pension and health insurance contributions, for which the state unions had agreed to on Feb 19th, would amount to a total savings for the state of $725.1 Million a year. According to my calculator, this is $181 Million for 3 months; and we have more that three months left in this fiscal year. The agreed to budget concessions would have completely covered the deficit.

The reasons that the state assembly and senate did not accept this deal is that they did not want to end this year without getting rid of collective bargaining as well as other significant union powers. This was a target, plain and simple. Want proof? The Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is one of a number of groups that are explicitly set up to fund and manage the Tea Party effort. This group's Michigan Executive Director, Mr. Hagerstrom clearly stated that "what we would like to see is to take the unions out at the knees so they donít have the resources to fight these battles." There is a video of this statement so it cannot be denied. They are now out in the open and admitting they are fully intent on wiping out worker representation.

Make no bones about it, this coordinated effort was planned, funded, and orchestrated by a number of groups and most of the money came from some incredibly ultra-conservative right wing Liberarians.

A second statement in Mr August's article states that "The reductions are partially needed due to legislative Democrats irresponsibly using $789 million in one-time Federal Stimulus funds to pay for ongoing school costs in the last state budget."

This federal stimulus was precisely intended to help us get out of a major fiscal disaster brought on by many in the federal government and many in the financial service industry. Governor Doyle used the funds as did many other states to help from losing more jobs. It was not irresponsible in any way shape or form. What else should we use stimulus funds for? In fact, if we did not elect a Republican majority in the US House, we would be taxing high income earners a lot more these days and that money could be used to continue to offset job losses. May I add that many of the same rich billionaires who are funding this attack made a fortune during this recession and our state employees should not be paying the bill. The state employees did not break the bank in the state of WI or any other state, period.

Williams Bay
Walworth County