James Wigderson and his critics
From the Waukesha Freeman Sound off:
Mr. Wigderson’s column on Thursday is, as usual, dead wrong. He blames Governor Doyle for the beginning of fiscal irresponsibility, when actually it started with Tommy Thompson and his successor, McCallum. His last statement is also wrong. The public is beginning to side on the side of the union workers and every poll shows that.
Opponents of the budget repair bill cannot simultaneously claim (with any legitimacy) that there is no budget crisis while complaining that the budget crisis began before Governor Jim Doyle took office.
Of course, the author has it wrong. The crisis with the current budget is certainly the fault of Doyle and the Democrats in the legislature as they had sole responsibility for its creation and still managed to fail to create a working budget.
As far as the long term budget woes, let me again point out that Doyle campaigned originally against Acting Governor Scott McCallum with the promise of fixing the state’s structural deficit. (Those of us with long memories remember how McCallum tried to fix the structural deficit but did not have the necessary electoral mandate to push those reforms through at the time, nor did he have the necessary support within his own party.) Despite Doyle’s promise to end the structural deficit, despite breaking his promises not to raise taxes, the structural deficit is greater now than when Doyle took office. These are the facts.
As for the public siding with the protestors, depends on the poll, but clearly the polls are not unanimous. The ones at the time I wrote the column had results that were more pro-Walker. We’ll see what the long-term trends are, but I strongly suspect the behavior of the Democratic Assembly only hurt their cause even more. Meanwhile, the Fugitive 14 can only hurt the Democrats statewide. Add in the protestors, and the teachers abandoning their jobs, and I suspect Walker will emerge from this fight in pretty good shape.