I have gotten a couple of calls and a email asking how I felt about the budget deal.
I am satisfied. Actually I am probably more than satisfied, I am downright giddy over a number of items that were negotiated in our favor.
I know there are some that believe that any tax increase is a total failure. I don't. The reason I don't believe this is because the political reality is that conservatives do not control our state government.
Governor Doyle and the Democrats control 2/3rds of our state government and the reality is, they should have gotten every single thing they wanted. In our country, the majority still rules.
The very fact that Speaker Huebsch and the Assembly Republicans were able to stop over 2/3rds of the governor's tax increases in a major victory for the little guy.
I am almost stunned at the amount of consessions the Assembly Republicans got from the Democrats.
Here is a list of items the Democrats lost on:
Healthy Wisconsin- $15.2 Billion increases
Gas Tax- $270 million
Hospital tax- $418 Million
Nursing Home bed tax
Increase the property tax levy limits to from 2% to 4%
Kenosha/Racine/Milwaukee rail line
Lost Taxes on Social Security Income
Forced full funding for Wisconsin Veterans to get college education
Lost $25 million in Stewardship funding
Lost Millions upon Millions of dollars in new taxes on businesses proposed by the Senate Democrats
KRM goes down in flames(I know I have already listed this one, but I just had to mention it again)
and on and and on
What did the Assembly Republicans lose-
Cigarette tax goes up by $1.00 per pack(although the governor and the senate democrats wanted $1.25 per pack, they were forced to reduce this amount)
Wisconsin covenant- This is not really a since there is no program - so Republicans actually lost nothing on the this- the battle will rage on.
Patient Compensation Fund transfer- I am not really sure we lost anything on this either. This money does not belong to our state government, it belongs to the physicians of our state. They will fight this tooth and nail. The physicians have a very good chance of winning their case. It is possible the state completely loses.
All in all, this was a huge victory for Republicans in our state. Even though they only control 1/3rd of our state government, they stop billions upon billions of dollars in new spending and new taxes.
Governor Doyle should have easily gotten his budget passed with $1.75 Billion in tax and fee increases. After all, he and the Democrats control 2/3rds of our state government. Instead the governor got only $600+ million plus in tax increases, compared to $1.75 billion.
The Senate Democrats should have easily gotten their $18 Billion in tax and fee increases. After all, the governor should have been on their side. He was not.
If this were a basketball game with a total of 100 points scored. The Republicans won the game against the governor by a score of 67 to 33. Republicans routed the governor's team.
Against the Democrats in the Senate, the Republicans clobbered them by a score of 96 to 4.
To those conservatives that believe that if the other team scores, then all is lost, it is gut check time. We should have lost every single budget battle.
The reality is, we would have had no tax increases, if Mark Green were governor and we controlled the Senate. Neither of these things is true.
I have said it before on this blog- I don't expect our guys to win every battle, I expect them to fight every battle. They did.
We have got to work a little harder to take our government out of the hands of the Democrats and those Republicans determined to tax and spend. That is the only way to stop the Democrats from raising our taxes is to throw them out of office.
Elections mean something. Let's stop the tax and spenders and elect ourselves a government that cares about the people of this state. Let us elect a government that actually listens to the people and does what is asked of them.
The time is now to end frivilous government spending and out of control taxes. The time is now to take back our state!
In the meantime, the battle over the KRM and the Wisconsin Covenant rages on. Keep fighting the tax increases! As you can see, even when we are the underdogs, the taxpayers can win, even when they are overwhelmed by a bloated government.