In stark contrast, the state has borrowed vast sums of money and avoided making tough budget decisions while expanding government programs. In three biannual budgets since Governor Doyle took office in 2003, new state bonding exceeded new tax revenue collections by $2.1 billion. In every budget he has signed, Doyle has postponed difficult decisions using accounting gimmicks and excessive bonding to pay for ongoing operational costs.
As a result of borrowing against tomorrow to live for today, the governor has produced the fourth-largest deficit in the nation.
We can name that tune. It's called tax-and-spend.
This past Wednesday, Wisconsin Taxpayers finally had the opportunity to express their anger with elected officials over the direction of our state. Thousands rallied in La Crosse, Eau Claire, Wausau, Appleton, Wisconsin Rapids, Madison and Milwaukee to protest the direction Governor Doyle is taking our government.
Of course, the day after 5,000 taxpayers rallied on the steps of the State Capitol, the Legislature's budget committee voted to support several parts of Governor Doyle's budget (a budget that increases taxes by almost $2 billion dollars and spending by over 7%). As the Warden said in the classic movie Cool Hand Luke, "what we've got here is failure to communicate."
Wisconsin hit another milestone as the unemployment rate reached 9.4% - a 27-year high. The number doesn't include the 400 job cuts announced recently by Harley-Davidson - fueled in part by Gov. Doyle's new tax on employers costing $22.5 million this quarter alone. Legislators enacted the tax increase as part of Doyle's so called "economic stimulus proposal" in February.
Despite more companies signaling reduced hours and additional job losses as a result of the new tax, Democrats continue to argue that it won't affect Wisconsin businesses. The 400 sidelined workers at Harley-Davidson might offer a more realistic opinion.
Earlier this year, The Walker Weekly noted that Governor Jim Doyle seems to be spending an awful lot of time outside of Wisconsin since announcing his tax-and-spend budget. He checked out trains in Spain, golfed in Georgia, helped Chicago with their Olympic Bid, and even talked about health care problems in Michigan. As job losses mount, you would think Governor Jim Doyle might consider spending some time in Wisconsin.
Charlie Sykes revealed the details of Governor Doyle's inaction during this economic downturn. Earlier this year, Thomas Industries - located in Sheboygan - was contemplating whether to consolidate its manufacturing operations in Wisconsin and add 40 jobs or move to Louisiana and take over 366 jobs with them.
Company leaders made the decision to move to Louisiana after Governor Bobby Jindal personally met with company executives and offered three times more in tax credits and economic assistance than the Doyle administration. Most telling was that Jim Doyle never even bothered to meet with the company leaders.
Rome is burning, Governor. You might want to worry a bit less about your handicap.
Wisconsin is headed in the wrong direction and residents know it. A St. Norbert College poll released last week shows that Wisconsin residents are unsatisfied with the direction of the State and the Governor. The results of the poll revealed that 55% of residents believe that Wisconsin is headed in the wrong direction, and 54% disapprove of Jim Doyle's performance as Governor.