Empower Wisconsin | Oct. 10, 2019
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Liberals are horrible at budgeting, but fantastic at hyperbole.
Case in point, the socialist political regimes in Milwaukee and Madison.
In selling a 1 percent sales tax hike for Milwaukee County, tax happy Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Chairman Theo Lipscomb recently declared that the state’s most populous county is near the end of its rope. The so-called “Fair Deal for Milwaukee County” proposal is the last resort of a desperate, underfunded local government, Lipscomb warns.
“I’m not naive to the fact that this is a big lift,” the chairman told the left-leaning Shepherd Express, Milwaukee’s publication for sheep by sheep. “It’s also that important. We are reaching the end of the rope. There are just so few other options left, and the alternatives are so dire.”
Here’s an option I bet Theo and the rest of the big-government band haven’t considered: Cut spending. How about for once living within your means?
No, to liberals cutting spending is the unthinkable solution, the “dire” alternative.
Milwaukee County bureaucrats have sought $1.28 billion in spending for 2020. There’s apparently nowhere in that hefty spending plan that can be cut without putting the lives of citizens at risk.
The city of Milwaukee, meanwhile, boasts a $1.54 billion operating budget. No unnecessary programs or expenditures there? Not according to Mayor Tom Barrett, head cheerleader and conductor of the unnecessary downtown streetcar.
And how important is hosting that Democratic National Convention? Is it worth more than cops serving and protecting Milwaukee’s crime-ridden streets? Worth more than holding the line on taxes?
In far left Madison, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway has proposed a $340 million operating budget. According to this big spender, the “only way” to balance Madison’s budget is by ramming through a $40 wheel tax, the highest such vehicle registration fee in the state.
Rhodes-Conway told the Wisconsin State Journal she wants to see the timeline for approving the wheel tax sped up so the city can begin collecting it in February.
The cash is critical to pay for another unnecessary government boondoggle, Rhodes-Conway’s Bus Rapid Transit system. As Empower Wisconsin reported earlier this week in naming the mayor our Tool of the Week, Rhodes-Conway’s pet program would cost taxpayers $130 million for a speedier mode of transportation that the vast majority of citizens don’t use.
An amount lower than the proposed $40 wheel tax would force the mayor and the council to do the unthinkable: amend the budget.