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Sluggish Revenue Numbers Reflect Irresponsible Republican Budgeting

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Thursday, 07 May 2015 in Wisconsin

scottwalker-dreamMADISON - The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported this week that the state is on track for 3.7 percent growth this year as predicted in January, with no changes expected in the forecast for the next two years. That means the windfall revenue growth Gov. Scott Walker predicted in his re-election campaign last fall will not materialize to offset the $2.2 billion deficit he ran up in his first term.

The disappointing forecast forces the Republican-controlled Legislature to consider alternatives to reduce Walker's proposed budget cuts this year, including accounting moves, increasing borrowing, making other reductions or raising taxes and fees.

peter_barcaAccording to Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), who responded to the latest numbers that predict zero additional state revenue on Wednesday, “These weak revenue projections are another indication of the harm that three rounds of Republican budgeting, as well as their anemic economic development efforts, has done to our state".

While our neighboring states take advantage of an improving national economy and are experiencing large budget surpluses, Wisconsin continues to lag behind due to Republicans’ irresponsible budget choices and their poor economic development policies that have left Wisconsin 40th in the country in job growth. We can do better for the people of Wisconsin to ensure long-term economic prosperity.

Our community schools are hurting from Republicans’ actions and schools will continue to struggle even if Republicans restore their own proposed cuts. Time and again, Republicans have sold out Wisconsin schools and instead chosen massive tax giveaways for the corporate special interests and donors who fund Gov. Walker’s campaigns.

dave-hansen-gbAnd then there is the politically motivated decision by Walker not to accept $345 million in federal Medicaid money. According to Sen. Dave Hansen (D - Green Bay), “The recent revenue numbers from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau confirm what many of us have been saying for some time now. It is time to put partisan politics and ambitions aside and reclaim $345 million of our federal tax dollars to strengthen BadgerCare and avoid unnecessary cuts to our schools and UW campuses.”

Perhaps Sen. Barca has the best conclusion, “The sad truth is that Gov. Walker’s presidential ambitions – which are being carried out by Republicans in the legislature – will harm Wisconsin communities for years to come.”

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Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive. Before moving to Green Bay in 2008, he was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Milwaukee County. A graduate of UWM in 1971, he moved to Madison, where he was Executive Personnel Officer and Technology Manager for the State Department of Employment Relations. He is a former Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County, Director at the Human Resources Management Association of S.E. Wisconsin (now SHRM), and Technology Commission Chair for the City of Franklin. Bob is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force (1965-1971).

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