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?
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.
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.
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
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.