As Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker tours the country touting his conservative credentials while gearing up for an expected run for president, there’s a conservative question that’s nagging back home.

During his travels, Walker has bristled at what he considers some nonsensical questions from what he describes as the liberal media.

Questions about evolution.

Questions about President Barack Obama’s faith.

Questions about his bald spot.

The governor thought some of those questions were frivolous, and we don’t necessarily disagree.

But there’s a truly conservative question we believe the governor should answer: Why does Wisconsin have to make so many drastic budget cuts in order to address a projected $2.2 billion deficit?

After more than four years of Republican control in Madison, with countless legislative and executive actions taken to streamline government and ease regulation on business, create jobs and stimulate the economy, why is Wisconsin still facing huge cuts in spending on education.

Walker was outspoken about the deficit he inherited from his predecessor, Gov. Jim Doyle.

It was hard to argue.

But conservatives and liberals alike don’t understand why we’re back in the hole again, according to the projections.

In a recent interview with the Capital Times newspaper in Madison, Todd Berry of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance made some interesting observations about the proposed Walker budget:

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“When you start to look at it, this current state budget, a Walker budget, and the last Doyle budget are really very similar,” Berry was quoted as saying. “They’re both borrowing for transportation, they’re both skating on thin ice as far as budget balances, they both have what CPAs call GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) deficit issues. In terms of numbers, fiscal nuts and bolts, they’re pretty similar. And that would, I think, surprise people. We seem to do the same things over and over and over again, make the same mistakes.”

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, legislators are wrangling about how best to use a projected $1.9 billion surplus — a much nicer problem, to be sure.

The fight isn’t limited to party lines, either.

There are Republicans who urge caution — and others who advocate turning back every penny of the surplus to taxpayers.

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One of those give-it-all-back advocates is Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa.

In a guest column in last week’s Winona Daily News, Drazkowski wrote: “This surplus amounts to $350 for every man, woman and child in the state of Minnesota. It’s clear to me that your state government is overcharging taxpayers at accelerating rates. As our economy continues to improve, the level at which we’re taking people’s money is excessive and is clearly more than needed to run our government. My preference is to give this budget surplus — your money — back to you.”

That sure sounds nice, but Minnesota may want to look at the deficit that Walker’s state is facing — after refunding more than a half-billion dollars back to taxpayers in his first term.

Both states continue to wrestle with how best — and how much — to fund overdue improvements to roads, bridges and other infrastructure that taxpayers expect government to keep safe and up-to-date.

And, in both states, there is worry about excessive borrowing to fund such public construction.

You can argue all you wish about whether Wisconsin is headed down the right path on education or environment or business incentives or tax policy or other big-picture issues.

In fact, we should be debating about those issues more and more.

Regardless, there’s a conservative question that deserves an answer: Why, after all the change and all the rancor, is Wisconsin facing a projected deficit?

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(12) comments


There is one difference. Doyle had the Bush/Chaney recession to deal with. Walker has a improving economy. You think the fair and balanced Wisconsin media would think that is part of this equation.


The article points out the obvious flaws and hypocrisy of Walker, but nobody on the Right will hear of it. I can't wait to see Walker's little cheerleader, meowboy, post.his drivel. It'll be laughable, but hey, we all like a good chuckle from his adolescent and ignorant responses.

Jon B

According to the official records at the LFB, Walker is borrowing at the highest rate of revenue, more than any other WI Governor ever has. Doyle had to borrow heavily his last 3 years due to the severe recession, but still averaged $96 million a year compared to Walker's borrowing an average of $140 million a year during a recovery. The links to the LFB's official records are Bruce Murphy's article, "The Debtor Governor."

WI also ranked 11th nationwide in job creation in 2010, the year before Walker became governor, and dropped to 38th Walker's 1st year, than 44th, 37th and 32nd in 2014. Why do people believe the opposite of this? Because Walker will quote job growth when we do have a good month while ignoring the yearly average and overall trend under his budgets. WI also ranks dead last in new business start-ups, and 49th in economic outlook. In short, Walker's public statements of his record are based on illusion and slights of hand when compared to the official records

Jon B

Google "Smoke and Mirrors: Wisconsin's Actual Debt and the Fabricated Surplus" for an explanation of how Walker borrowed his way to a fabricated surplus while increasing WI's debt with links to the official records at the LFB in the text and in the foot notes. Basically, Walker borrowed and/or deferred $3 billion to give us the illusion of a balanced budget by using Cash Accounting methods instead of using GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). Cash Accounting only looks at the balance in WI's bank account the moment you look at it and doesn't take into account any of the future debt obligations from Walker's heavy borrowing. Even FORBES called Walker out for lying about the surplus in “Will Gov. Scott Walker Ever Come Clean on Wisconsin’s Budget Deficit?”

Jim Bob

Aaaaand....our dearest Mowboy. Nowhere to be found on this comment thread. The guy who always can justify anything Walker ever does, has got nuthin' ....Hardeeharhar and LOL


where's blowboy?

Ben Burnt

Walker must answer for a lot more than just the deficit. He never fixed the $3.6 B; He merely floated more bonds at a higher rate. He gave money back to the rich that wasn't there to give back.
He based his economic growth plan on mining and other issues that helped the Big Money and Big Corporate America, but continues to enslave the middle class and poor. If he gets everything that he wants over the next 4 years, Mississippi and West Virginia will look rich compared to WI.

As to the Republicans in MN, they are as the same bent as those in WI. The Democrats have their failures too, but they are not likely to squashed the little guys.

The states run by the GOP are being turned into feudal regimes, by puppets that are brainwashed. The end results don't look good!


The disaster that walker has created is there for all to see. He figures (correctly for the moment) that throwing a daily chunk of red meat to the right wing wacko fringe that simultaneously lights the hair of the left on fire will create smoke that will covers
his failures and lies.


Remember back in the 2004 elections when George W. Bush gave millions of Dollars to get the Hispanic vote to win reelection he won by a landslide with those votes. Now moving forward the same voting block will now be alienated and this is good for the Democratic Party our President is a smart man he is playing long ball, political chess just as he mindfully predicted the Red States are falling for the ole rope a dope. Go here: http://2pro.co


Facts :
WI 2.1 billon tax cuts for wealthy
Largest education cuts of any of the 50 states
3rd worst job growth in Midwest
283 million budget deficit
Medium income 800 lower than national average
MN raise taxes on rich by 9.1 billion invest 900 million in public education
2nd highest jo


lets remember our assembly people, how many times have they just voted along party lines and ask Moulton and Bernier why we need a full time assembly in Madison?


with all the measures that were taken to save money, what happened? where did it go? With all the benefits that were taken from state employees and raises in fees how much has the state saved?

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