‘If there’s a budget mess this time, it belongs to Gov. Scott Walker,’ JS writes

In an editorial titled, “If there’s a budget mess this time, it belongs to Gov. Scott Walker,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the projected $1.8 billion state budget gap is clearly the result of “a combination of (Scott) Walker policies and lagging growth in tax revenue.”

The editorial notes that when he came into office, Walker addressed the recession-caused deficit “by reducing shared revenue to schools and local governments and then made up for much of the difference by cutting benefits and take-home pay for teachers, state workers and other public employees. The vehicle for those changes — the misguided Act 10 — sparked weeks of protests at the state Capitol and threw the state’s politics into polarizing turmoil.”

And it says that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke “makes a good point when she chides the governor for passing up millions of additional health care dollars available through the Affordable Care Act. … Like other Republican governors, Walker should have taken the additional federal dollars to help fund the state’s Medicaid programs.”

The editorial goes on to say: “Walker’s tax policy struck us as politically motivated as well — a bet that tax cuts would play well as the re-election campaign neared. The governor and Republican allies reduced income taxes and property taxes across the board, as well as taxes on businesses. As a matter of politics, that might have been smart; as a matter of the budget, maybe not so much.”

It wraps up:

“In 2011, Walker could blame former Gov. Jim Doyle for his troubles. Not now. He has to own this.”

Read the entire editorial:

Scott Walker’s budget problem

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