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home : opinions : opinions
April 25, 2019

4/4/2019 7:30:00 AM
Our view
Back to the future

Remember the grand old dark days of former Gov. Jim Doyle?

It doesn't matter if you don't because we're headed right back there with new Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, so you'll soon be able to make new memories.

As we report today, the governor's proposed budget would create a nearly $2 billion structural deficit. Just like the bad old days of Doyle.

You know, the days when Wisconsin was closed for business, when its unemployment rate exceeded the national average, when property rights was a figment of extremist imaginations.

You know, those days.

Now we have another Democrat, another deficit maker. It never changes with that party.

Now that's not to say we don't need some spending in critical areas. But even then, the governor doesn't address real challenges, doesn't spend money where it is truly needed.

Instead, he wants to spend money on special interests. So he proposes spending $600 million more on special education - which is needed, and perhaps more is needed - but he doesn't want to spend it on new ideas or alternative education routes that have proven to be effective.

He just wants to shovel it into traditional schools and their big special-education warehouses. He doesn't want to make a difference, he just wants more warehouses.

That's because that's how the teachers' union wants it.

It's not about the children. It's about the union. It's about special interests.

And how does the governor want to pay for all this? Well, he would pay for roads by raising the gas tax.

The problem with that is, most of that tax is going to go for roads in southern Wisconsin, not up here, one more subsidy to the special interests who use the roads from the people of northern Wisconsin.

Oh , and the governor would give immigrants drivers' licenses. You know, a reward for breaking the law, so they can drive on the roads we pay for.

What about economic development? Looks to us like most of the subsidies flow to southern Wisconsin, as they have in the past under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

And to help pay for all this, Evers also wants to kill a manufacturing tax credit that has helped the state regain its industrial hubris and create jobs. According to a UW study, the tax credit led to the creation of 42,000 jobs between 2013 and 2016, as reported by the MacIver Institute. More than 88 percent of tax credit recipients in 2017 were small businesses with incomes of less than $1 million, MacIver reported.

The governor would have killed that credit to provide a middle-call tax cut. But a tax cut is only good when people have jobs. The governor's big government schemes ensure that we will return to the days of high unemployment under Doyle.

The Democrats seem to believe that they are living in paradise and can do anything they want. But they should take a second look.

First, conservative judge Brian Hagedorn prevailed in Tuesday's Supreme Court contest, and those are usually a bellwether. It was after liberal Rebecca Dallet's victory in 2018 that Scott Walker correctly forewarned his partisans that he was in trouble.

Democrats should take this outcome equally seriously, especially given Hagedorn's extreme record in a race that saw usual backers of conservative candidates, such as the Wisconsin Realtors Association, flee for the hills.

Hagedorn won anyway. There should be no greater wake-up call for liberals than that. Voters already don't like what Evers and his cronies are proposing.

Consider, too, that Evers has been skating on thin ice from the get-go. He only won by 30,000 out of 2.6 million votes. Can you say Scott Walker III?

We can. Right now, the governor has a chance to steady himself and his party. He can actually carry out his campaign promises, such as no new taxes. He can actually work with the Republican legislature.

Or he can turn his back on the people for leftist ideology. In that case, he better be prepared for a voter revolt.

We would welcome the first scenario. We are prepared for the latter.

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