My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a sample.
The first salvo in Wisconsin’s biennial budget process has been delivered. Gov. Tony Evers has delivered his budget proposal to the Legislature and it is a hot mess of liberal vengeance against the previous eight years. If our state’s budget were not so important to so many people, one would be inclined to think that Governor Evers is trying to play a joke on the people of Wisconsin.
When Evers began to draft his budget proposal, there were two paths before him. One path was the one of compromise. Knowing that he defeated Scott Walker by fewer than 30,000 votes and that the same electorate had sent even stronger Republican majorities to the Legislature, Evers could have taken the path of reasonable compromise that had a high probability of moving legislation in favor of his goals. Indeed, the Republican leaders in the Legislature had been sending strong signals that they were willing to compromise on a number of issues including education funding, transportation spending, criminal justice reform, and several other issues that Evers highlighted during the campaign.
The second path before Evers was one of inflexible fealty to the radical liberal base that elected him. He could write a budget that amounted to a liberal manifesto that tossed vegan faux meat to every liberal interest group in his batty base. Evers chose the second path. His choice to advance a statement of political doctrine instead of a serious budget proposal has forced the legislative Republicans to toss Evers’ proposal in the recycling bin and start from scratch.
While Evers’ budget proposal fails to measure up assomething to be evaluated as serious legislation, it does offer Wisconsinites a view of the Wisconsin Evers and the Democrats would create if the voters were foolish enough to give them control of government.
Frankly, Evers’ Wisconsin sounds terrible. It is not a state that makes it easier, more enjoyable, or more affordable to live, work, or play. Thankfully, we do not live in Evers’ Wisconsin. In our republican and divided form of government, Governor Evers is still one man whose barmy ideas can be ignored by the adults in the room.