I got a sense from Sen. Chris Larson and some others in Wisconsin that the Governor and his Republican allies had run amok in the Capitol before attention was paid to their machinations due to the assault on public workers. But I didn’t realize how bad it was until I saw this come across the transom:Welcome to California, Wisconsin! Now you are going to find out what truly dysfunctional government is like.
Madison – Today, Governor Scott Walker signed Special Session Assembly Bill 5 which requires a 2/3s vote to pass tax rate increases on the income, sales or franchise taxes.
“I went to work today, met with my cabinet, and signed legislation that will help government operate within its means,” Governor Scott Walker said. “Wisconsinites can’t turn to raising taxes to balance their own family budgets when times get tough. This bill will ensure that we don’t kick the can down the road for a quick budget fix only to slap a long-term tax hike on the backs of Wisconsin taxpayers. I thank Senator Leah Vukmir and Representative Tyler August for their leadership on this issue.”
That’s hilarious framing on that one, that the bill makes sure that long-term solutions aren’t ushered in under the guise of a short-term budget fix. Wherever have I heard that one before? This permanent restriction on revenues was put through in a special session on the budget, not the regular legislative cycle.
This is really depressing. The fight is still ongoing over public employee union rights, but without the ability to obtain needed revenue, I don’t see how they’ll matter a whole lot. The state government will say their hands are tied and that they must have concessions, and either the workers will suffer, or the recipients of their services. Revenues, half of what a budget comprises, have now been walled off.Let's go back to that wonderful metaphor employed by Republicans and the president alike: if this were a family budget, what the governor has just done is made it a rule that Dad is going to only work part time and mom isn't allowed to work at all even though the family needs to pay for housing, education and food while also servicing a large debt. Apparently, the idea of shared sacrifice only applies to the kids who have to cut back on food and school supplies because mom and dad refuse to increase the family income.