MADISON, Wis. — Cementing his reputation as a career politician willing to do or say anything to get elected, Gov. Scott Walker has produced a third straight state budget larded with policy which has no fiscal impact, despite as a candidate vowing to halt the practice.
According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, “A career politician who’s been running for elected office for a quarter century will have a made a lot of promises. But where Gov. Walker really distinguishes himself is with his willingness to do exactly the opposite of what he said he’d do as soon as the election is over. Governing by the credo ‘promises are made to be broken’ seems the only thing you can count on with this guy.”
In his 2010 campaign in which he was elected Governor, Walker’s website included this pledge:
Strip policy and pork projects from the state budget. The budget process should be about funding essential government services based on the taxpayers’ ability to pay. It should not be about horse trading for special interest groups or establishing talking points for the next campaign. Internet Archive
Yet, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the 2015 state budget as introduced by Walker contains 49 items “not closely related to the state’s fiscal program for the next biennium.” The Fiscal Bureau also noted as questionable for inclusion in a fiscal document Walker’s unconstitutional proposal on mandatory drug testing for the unemployed and others receiving state help; radical changes to the long-term care system widely opposed by advocates for the elderly and disabled; schemes to gut the governance model for the University of Wisconsin System; and spend a possible $488 million in state tax dollars to help construct a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Walker’s post-2010 election campaign pledge budgets introduced in 2011 and 2013 were packed with over 100 items identified by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau as “non-fiscal policy.”
Besides violating for a third time his promise to keep policy out of the budget, Walker has gone back on high profile 2014 campaign pledges on women’s health care, worker rights and his commitment to serve his full term in office.
Ross also noted that Walker’s first term concluded with him failing spectacularly on the central promise of his 2010 campaign — to create 250,000 jobs over four years. In fact, Wisconsin under Walker has seen its have middle class shrink at an alarming rate while job creation and wage growth lags most of the nation and other Midwestern states.
“Gov. Walker’s repeated willingness to say anything to get himself elected and then go back on his word is bad enough, but the abysmal results of his policies and the harm he is willing to inflict in pursuit of his insatiable thirst for higher office for himself is simply appalling,” concluded Ross.