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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Griper Blade: Wisconsin Budget Kabuki and a Regularly Scheduled 'Crisis'

It's my opinion that the words "budget crisis" should be banned from political conversation in Wisconsin. This state, like many states, has a constitutional requirement for a balanced budget, so whenever it's time for a new budget, we're facing a "budget crisis." Every time, without fail. Both parties use the term to bludgeon the other party into submission -- "Gah! It's a budget crisis! Why aren't you helping us save Wisconsin?" -- and the media always plays into it. Face it, "Budget Crisis!" makes for better headlines than "Same Kabuki BS That Happens Every Two Years is Happening Again." If the biennial budget constitutes a "budget crisis," then Wisconsin has had over a century of incredible luck in resolving these crises. We're always on the verge of... I don't know, being a failed state I guess... and every time, we manage to be pulled back from the brink of certain doom.

This is why I don't give Gov. Scott Walker a lot of credit for solving the "budget crisis" with his union-busting and his attacks on the middle and lower classes. Walker has managed to do what every single governor before him has done (some of them less burdened by the weight of intelligence than even Scott, by the way), making this less of a towering achievement and more of just a routine. Scott Walker merely managed to avoid what every governor has managed to avoid. This isn't some singular triumph of leadership. In fact, it may be that in the history of this clockwork crisis, few governors have handled it as poorly.

And with that little rant, I herald in deadline day -- the day the petitions to recall Scott Walker must be turned in. The heroic Walker won't be there to watch them roll in.

Chicago Tribune:

Supporters of an unprecedented effort to oust Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from office said they will turn in more than enough signatures Tuesday to force the Republican into a recall election barely a year into his first term.

Walker, however, has no plans to be anywhere near the Capitol when recall organizers turn in the signatures by Tuesday's deadline. The governor is scheduled to be in New York when organizers say they will be unloading the stacks of petitions, weighing a ton, from a truck and hauling them into the state election board's offices...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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