Tuesday, November 03, 2009

This Time Next Year

Prepare yourselves; I'm going to make a bold prediction in this blog posting!

In today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story about the County Board's public hearing last night they mostly highlighted the appeals made by people in the community. But toward the end of the story a few observations are made that I want to pick up on here. They report that "under the finance committee's action, the tax levy would increase about $1 million, or 0.4%, to $258 million.

If the finance committee's numbers become a reality in the budget that is eventually adopted, we will no doubt hear a lot of yelling, screaming and carrying on from Scott Walker's office during the process. He will surely veto various items, get them overridden and it will just be a replay of every year since he was elected.

With all of the Walker protesting and whipping up a right wing frenzy about the $258 million, does anyone have a guess about what the suggested tax levy will end up being in any proposed budget that Walker might offer next year at this time? Here comes my bold prediction:

If Walker is still County Executive next year, he will use the same $258 million number as the starting point in his own budget. He will use that number as his tax levy starting point even though he will spend the rest of this year and most of next year decrying the number and vilifying the County Board because of it.

Those of you that are familiar with this game, know that my prediction is not really all that bold at all. If you have really been paying attention, you already know that this is the same thing that Walker has done almost every year since 2002. He fights the board about modest increases in the tax levy but then he quickly forgets those impassioned protests the very next year when he then uses the very same number as the starting point in his next proposed budget. Rinse and repeat the process the next year.

So this is certainly not a bold prediction to people that have closely observed the situation, but it can't be said enough. Too many blindly accept the Walker talking points and don't actually look at what he is really doing. If Walker is going to lead a right wing jihad against that $258 million this year then why is he so willing to use that number as his own starting point next year at this time?

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