Monday, October 19, 2009

Walker Numbers v. Walker Rhetoric

It doesn't take long to figure out that both Scott Walker and his most dedicated followers will spout his latest talking points in response to almost any substantive line of questioning. Walker's talking points (and his positions) change with each day, so trying to have a substantive conversation with him or his most fervent supporters is nearly pointless. Rather than waste time arguing over his latest and ever changing round of talking points, perhaps it is better just to present Walker and his followers with his own numbers. Why not just make them square the circle that Scott Walker has created? Why not just force him to defend his own rhetoric against his own numbers?

Government Spending

Given the chance Scott Walker will quickly jump right into typical conservative shtick saying that government and government spending is bad. He may even suggest eliminating various levels of government. But how does that "government spending is bad" rhetoric stand up to Walker's numbers while Milwaukee County Executive?

Walker Proposed Spending in HIS BUDGET for 2003: $1,100,274,125

Walker Proposed Spending in HIS BUDGET for 2010: $1,481,577,120

That is a 35% increase in spending since Walker has been at the helm. You can't blame that figure on the county board or anyone else since those numbers are Walker's from his own proposed budgets.

Tax Levy

I have made this point in previous blog postings but it is important and worth repeating constantly. Scott Walker and Friends claim that he has presented budgets with a zero percent tax levy increase but this is not true when you actually compare old Walker numbers to new Walker numbers.

Walker Proposed Tax Levy in HIS BUDGET for 2003: $218,708,524

Walker Proposed Tax Levy in HIS BUDGET for 2010: $257,637,284

That amounts to nearly a $40 million increase or an 18% raise in the tax levy as proposed by Walker in his own budgets. Sorry, that doesn't look like a freeze to me.

Fee Increases

When he presented his current budget Walker commented that he wanted to make Milwaukee County an affordable place to live, work and play. He has a funny way of showing it when you look at these numbers:

Scott Walker is proposing that Milwaukee County residents pay a fee to park along the lake. That is a new fee and is an 100%infinite increase.*

Bus fare was $1.50 in 2003 and in his current budget Walker wants to increase it to $2.25. That is a 50% increase. He also wants to implement a new fee to get a paper transfer which is an 100% infinite increase.*

Zoo Admission was $9 and parking was $6 in 2003. Scott Walker's current budget would raise those amounts to $13.25 and $11 respectively. Those raises amount to 47% and 83% increases.

It even costs more to die in Milwaukee County as a result of Walker's fee increases. Death Certificates cost $55 in 2003 but are now $75, a 36% increase. Cremation permits cost $145 in 2003 but in his current budget Walker increases it to $225, a 55% increase. Walker is also proposing a new transport fee to haul your dead body around, which is an 100% infinite increase.*

Whether it is Walker's increased spending, his rising tax levy, or his massive increase in fees, the bottom line remains the same: Walker's numbers completely conflict with Walker's rhetoric.

*A reader kindly offered a correction on this in the comments section. Either way, the point is that Walker's new fee in each example is much more than none at all.


capper said...

Oh, Cory, now don't start confusing Walker's trolls with the facts. You know they can't handle that.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, but your math is wrong. The increase from no fee to a 1 penny fee is not 100%. Its infinite. An increase from 1 cent to 2 cents is 100%

Cory Liebmann said...

oh...thank you for the correction. lets face it, this is certainly not one of my strengths…but I do know that a new fee is much larger than none at all.

Anonymous said...

And you know that a zero increase from this years budget to next is not relevant to your you never mention it.

Cory Liebmann said...

here is the walker shell game that you desperately cite:

walker is using last year's "adopted budget" (the board's budget that he pretended to fight) as his starting point for his own proposed budget this year. no one made him do that and if he was so against the board's adopted budget last year then why is he using it as his starting point this year? it is an admission that his proposed budget for the previous year was knowingly insufficient. it is also the same political shell game that he plays every year. if he really believed what he was "fighting" for last year then he would still be fighting for it now. but he isn't.

As a result of this shell game his budgets have been higher almost every single year (higher tax levy and an even higher rate of spending). sorry, those are HIS NUMBERS and they simply don't match HIS RHETORIC.