It’s press releases like these that must make Team Barrett nervous about the abilities of Mike Tate as head of the Democratic Party:
Wisconsin tax burdens have dropped to, at, and below the national average thanks to Governor Doyle and our Democratic leadership. Today, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that since being one of the dismal top-five states with the highest income tax during Tommy Thompson’s massive spending days, Democrats have moved Wisconsin’s ranking down to 15th place – a ranking much closer in line with the national average . [Source: “Wisconsin improves its ranking on taxes,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/27/09]
“Democrats have a clear record of getting things done, while Republicans stand in the way of progress at all costs,” said Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Over the past seven years, Governor Doyle has worked tirelessly with our Democratic leaders to put Wisconsin on the right track, and this change in ranking is a direct result of their efforts.”
What Tate neglects to mention is that the ranking is based upon numbers from 2007. At that time Republicans still controlled the state assembly. The Democrats took over the state senate from the republicans following the 2006 elections. That means when these numbers occurred, Republicans were in control of the legislature. Even then, the best that could be said was that Wisconsin held steady while many states became more miserable.
Since that time, the Democrats have assumed complete control of the legislature and have behaved like, well, Democrats. Governor Doyle broke his promise not to raise taxes. Spending and taxes have shot up, not only at the state but at the local level as well. Republicans are claiming Democrats are responsible for $5 billion in new taxes.
I realize Tate is known for being deceptive in his tactics, but claiming the Democrats held the line on spending and taxes strains credulity to the point of absurdity. What it does reveal is just how little Democrats are going to be able to defend their actual record in governing Wisconsin. If this is the best Tate can offer, no wonder Barrett was such a reluctant candidate for governor.