Progressives Behaving Badly – Milwaukee County Edition:

I am on the Grassroots North Shore email list and look forward to the information that they forward and the activities that they arrange. As a result of that affiliation I have also been receiving emails from North Shore for Mary Burke. I received their latest email last Thursday and was interested in their take on the campaign.

Of course one of the current hot topics in the campaign is the recently announced projected deficit for the still nebulous state budget for the 2015 – 2017 biennium.

And this newsletter didn’t disappoint and featured the $1.8 billion projection front and center. There was just one teeny tiny little problem with it and maybe you can spot it right away:

I’m sure you recall Act 10, the incendiary law called the “Budget Repair Bill” that Walker and his cronies rammed through the state legislature in February 2011. It’s what Walker uses to claim that he has “saved” taxpayers billions of dollars. Now it turns out that all that “saving” has ripped an estimated $1.8 billion hole in our state’s current budget!

Yup, right there, the last four words…out state’s current budget…when it is in fact a projection for the period from July 2015 through June 2017 based on current economic conditions, revenues and state departmental budgets.

And then in the next piece comes error number two…one that I would have originally put off for a typo if not for the issue stated above:

Even his fans at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel are calling Act 10 “misguided” and his fiscal policies — refusing the Medicaid expansion (at a cost of $506 million) and cutting income and property taxes to sweeten voters’ views of him — nakedly political decisions.

The actual Medicaid cost is $206 million over two years.

Considering the lies and prevarications that come out of the Republican Party candidates and their various self-help groups (PACs)…it really galls me when the left does precisely the same thing. We need to rely on facts and fact check our facts and be as accurate as possible in our claims and assertions…we don’t want to be just like ‘them’. We need to hold ourselves accountable for what we say and do on the campaign trail.

Now, I responded to the writer of the email. Once in reference to the current budget vs. future budget faux pas and again about the Medicaid expansion cost after I had been able to verify at JSOnline. I got nothing in response.

I am not the only one who has issues with how progressives are responding to the $1.8 billion deficit. Friend of Blogging Blue, Jay Bullock in a piece for said:

But I don’t think that $1.8 billion number is a fair attack. It wasn’t fair when Walker used the similar number against Doyle and Barrett, and it’s not fair today, especially the way it’s being used to suggest that right now the state has a $1.8 billion bill due and those hired goons are again waiting just outside the door. That’s just not true and I wish my party would stop implying that.

What is fair game for Democrats to use, though, is the actual deficit Wisconsin is facing. Like the $140 million the state needed to come up with in early 2011, in early 2015 the state will need to find $396 million to patch the real, actual shortfall between spending and revenue this year. That is not speculation or imagination or even, as with Doyle’s deficit, fallout from a recession — that’s real, tangible financial mismanagement at the state level.

There are enough negative points to discuss related to Governor Walker’s mismanagement of state government without stretching the truth. We can do better!!


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3 thoughts on “Progressives Behaving Badly – Milwaukee County Edition:

  1. While I agree that some of the numbers are often confused and/or abused, it is absolutely fair game to go after Walker on the next budget being in deficit. It shows how short-sighted those stupid tax cuts were, and in fact, that number is likely to go higher since we’ll need $760 million more just to pay for Medicaid over the next two years.

    It also nails the Walker Administration as hypocrites for claiming to be “brown bag” conservatives that would get the budget in line. We ‘re probably in worse shape now than we were when Walker took office in 2011, and we were adding jobs at a faster pace back then as well.

    1. I believe it was you who so intelligently ran the numbers on Walker’s continual false claim about the $3.2B deficit he inherited from the Doyle administration in 2010.

      And iirc the $700M shortfall in highway funding is not being included in the above $1.8B reported figure.

      Always appreciate your ability with numbers like these.

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