The tax and spend Republican

Over at Eye on Wisconsin, Cory Liebmann has some interesting number regarding the budgets submitted by Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker during his time in office:


  • Walker Proposed Spending in HIS BUDGET for 2003: $1,100,274,125
  • Walker Proposed Spending in HIS BUDGET for 2010: $1,481,577,120

That’s a 35% increase in spending since Walker has been at the helm in Milwaukee County.


  • Walker Proposed Tax Levy in HIS BUDGET for 2003: $218,708,524
  • Walker Proposed Tax Levy in HIS BUDGET for 2010: $257,637,284

That amounts to nearly a $40 million increase or an 18% raise in the tax levy as proposed by Walker in his own budgets.

I wonder….will we be reading or hearing conservatives attacking Scott Walker for his tax and spend policies as Milwaukee County Executive?

I think not.


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28 thoughts on “The tax and spend Republican

  1. Blame Capper, Zach. He’s been picking up raises and Cadillac health care benefits all along. Somebody has to pay for it.

    (Do you work for the county or the state?)

  2. You didn’t answer my question.

    There’s no blame. It simply IS. When salaries and benefits for county workers increase, the county spending will increase. If the county is like many business budgets, employees are the larger cost. To “blame” Scott Walker for that spending increase is to “blame” him for keeping county workers employed and their wages up year over year.

    I’ll listen to a reasonable defense – say you show me where there’s been an increase in unnecessary spending – but I suspect such will be hard to find.

    I hate to sound harsh, but this kind of post makes you look stupid. You aren’t stupid, so take a little extra time and think it through before you pass along such a poorly crafted argument against Scott Walker.

  3. Re: blame. I drew you out, Zach. It worked. Would it have helped for me to write, “Actually, there’s no blame…”?

    Re: harsh. I know. It’s just me. I’ve learned to live with it, but I’m not always fond of it. People have no idea how much I filter! Strident is another word that’s been used.

    You still haven’t answered my question.

  4. it is actually a very simple argument against scott walker. he complains about more spending but his budgets grow with each year. he complains about tax increases but his proposed tax levy has grown 18 percent while he has been in charge. those are his numbers taken directly from his budgets and he should own them (even if it doesn’t match his campaign rhetoric).

    go right ahead and explain how $1.4 bil in spending is not more than $1.1 bil…please tell me how a $257 mil tax levy is less than a $218 mil one.

    1. Which third should we lop, Cindy? Should we start with corrections officers and sheriff’s deputies, or perhaps child support personnel?

  5. Let’s see how much trouble I can make here.

    First, start with the couple of highest paid in each department. Then find the bottom two performers and cut them, too. If that’s not a third, start looking at departments that aren’t performing well and take them out completely. (I’d put all those folks involved in the daycare mess on that list.) Merge their work into another department, or restaff the department with strong performers from other locations.

    Take out the whiners. (Yes, I know, a few of you might be on that list.)

    By the way, Zach, you still haven’t answered my question. I know you have a government job, but are you state, county or municipality?

    1. “Take out the whiners. (Yes, I know, a few of you might be on that list.)”

      Cindy, I see no need to answer the question you posted (or any other question pertaining to me), given comments like that. Grow up and act like an adult.

  6. just to be clear, i’m not saying that increased spending/tax levy is a bad thing. it is a reality and many times neccesary. i just have a problem with walker complaining about it and then pretending that he hasn’t increased spending/the tax levy himself.

  7. Oh Zach. I knew you’d find a reason to ignore the question. Don’t you think your readers deserve a little honesty?

    Cory: So let met get this straight. If Scott Walker was happy about having to tax more to cover salary increases, it would all be ok. (BTW, technically I think Walker proposes a budget but the county board actually votes the levy. 😉 )

    It’s a little obvious that NO ONE CARES given the three of us are the only comments here.

    1. Cindy, I thought that was common knowledge.

      I have a number of friends that have clerked at the court house. During their clerkships, Walker cut the janitorial budget, which meant that the judges and law clerks had to take out their own trash. In fact, the law clerks swear that they actually had to bring in their own TP. At the same time, Walker’s office was renovated and his floor was cleaned daily. (which made the bathrooms on his floor the bathrooms of choice)

      My take on Walker is that he is penny wise and pound foolish. For example, year after year he attempts to cut the law clerk position, which are a about a $42k positions with no benefits. see e.g.

      The problem with the cuts, even if we consider law clerks a luxury item, is that that the clerks also serve as a bailiffs in civil trials. In the event that clerkships are cut, the county would then have to hire additional bailiffs, which are are a position with benefits that would contribute to the county’s pension exposure.

      As the Chief Judge observed in 2008:

      “The clerk reduction, if approved by the board, would force her to seek about 11 sheriff’s deputies instead, she said. The clerks were authorized several years ago to provide lower-cost staff to manage juries in civil trials”

      That being said, I have voted for Walker for county exec and I probably will for governor. But I still think he is an idiot.

  8. You documented the reduction in positions, which I advocated above, but not the office remodel.

    No judge is going to want to lose a clerk. Of course they will complain.

    1. I’m not sure what kind of documentation you are looking for–anyone can go to county executive offices located in the third floor of the court house and see it with their own eyes.

      Perhaps someone with more motivation than myself can take a picture—Zach?

  9. Cindy, Zach is employed as a Probation & Parole Agent for the State of Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections. He made that known when he ran for school board. I have no idea why Zach would just not answer it when it is a known item and he acted childish not you.

    Capper, Chris Liebenthal, is a social worker for Milwaukee County.

  10. Thanks JeffN. I remembered something like a parole officer, but really didn’t know if it was a state or county position.

    It’s rather obvious these days that Capper is tied to the County.

  11. “Oh Zach. I knew you’d find a reason to ignore the question. Don’t you think your readers deserve a little honesty?”

    Cindy…just because you didn’t know where Zach works doesn’t mean he is/was being dishonest…but…I’m curious…do you require all bloggers to disclose where they work?

  12. Well, Anon, I didn’t know if Zach was slamming the county budget when he worked for the county. Seems like it would matter. It turns out he works for the state, but he wouldn’t tell me.

    I think it’s a good idea for bloggers to disclose all kinds of things. Get a free meal and then review that restaurant favorably on your site? You need to disclose. Work for the county but bash every move of the county executive? I’d prefer to know what might influence your opinion.

    Appropriate disclosure helps a reader to understand the blogger’s opinion. And there’s a whole lot of opinion out there. While withholding such news might not be dishonest, in my opinion (there’s that word again!) it’s not being entirely honest, either.

  13. Believe it or not…I sort of agree with you Cindy. The only thing is Zach has talked about working for the State many times…so the rest of us who read his blog regularly already knew the answer to your question…or at least I did…and if I did I know others did because I’m typically slow on the uptake. It must be something about you that he didn’t answer your question…not that I know that to be a fact…I’m just assuming…I’m certainly not speaking for Zach in any way.

    Anyhoo…the reason why I asked is because there is a conservative blogger who bashes the unions and government workers…and I have asked him directly if he belongs to a union multiple times…and so far he has ignored my question. I can’t help but wonder why he won’t answer my question…it seems like if he’s going to talk bad about unions he should at least let everyone know if he reaps the benefits of belonging to one. Heh…maybe it has something to do with me asking… 🙂

  14. See! Common ground.

    I figure I could have found out had I looked long enough. Asking was easier – at least I thought so at the time.

    1. I’m willing to bet there’s more common ground to be found, if we can all be a little less snarky with each other.

      For instance, I’m willing to bet we’d have more in common in regards to our beliefs about unions than you may think.

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