So, how did the Joint Finance Committee do while you were enjoying the weekend?
Let's see. They raised taxes and fees. They increased spending in this budget a whole bunch of times. How can a state with the worst structural deficit in the nation increase spending in any area? They voted to increase spending in the next budget even more. They even voted to undo a spending cut they had previously agreed to adopt.
They promised they would protect the middle class - but they voted to raise tuition for middle class families while giving illegal aliens a tuition break. They voted to increase costs for local governments by tens of millions of dollars so that these governments will be forced to raise property taxes even more.
When they got around to "cutting spending" it was usually either a reduction in a previously proposed increase or it was a reduction in one area so they could pay for spending in another area.
While the Governor talked about the need to lay off state employees, the committee actually voted to give other state employees additional benefits! While private sector employees are losing benefits, the committee decided that some state employees should get more.
In the middle of a recession, when Wisconsin businesses are struggling to reduce their costs so they can remain competitive, the committee voted to increase those costs again and again. They increased the use of the prevailing wage laws on government projects and they helped some private sector employees who provide services to state and local governments get unionized. They voted to increase the insurance costs for private businesses more than once. The result will be more business closings, greater unemployment and higher property taxes.
All in all, this was the worst weekend Wisconsin's taxpayers have seen in a long time. Here is a blow by blow account by our reporter in the street, Joe Taxpayer.
In 2003, Gov. Jim Doyle said, "My mind will be open to every solution -- except one. We should not -- we must not -- and I will not -- raise taxes."