October 1, 2010

Budgeting for votes

Last week Tom Barrett released his first tax freeze city budget.  He was routinely criticized from conservative bloggers and pundits for not having done a tax freeze at any other time in his political career but seemingly finding the will to slow tax growth just ahead of November 2.

The public employee unions who go ballistic every year when Scott Walker does the same thing have been completely silent since Barrett’s tax freeze proclamation.  (They know he doesn’t really mean it.)

In short Barrett’s budget proposal was a political stunt.

I find absolutely no difference in Scott Walker’s proposal to lower the Milwaukee County tax levy by a million bucks.  Walker has always been content to roll with the previous year’s number, now just when he needs the votes he finds the will to lower the levy? 

I’m not buying it.

We need to shrink the size of government, not just in the weeks in front of November in an election year, but with a concerted effort every day.

In the last disastrous state-wide budget process Republicans tried their best to “hold the line on spending”.  That’s not good enough.  We need actual cuts, not just reductions of planned increases.

Granted, Walker’s usual hold to the previous year’s levy is light years ahead of Barrett’s usual tax increases.  However, we should all be honest enough to realize that both of these tactics for whatever reason had nothing to do with what was right or wrong but had everything to do with trying to get elected.

No comments: