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As I See It

Proposed Wisconsin budget again packed with things that don’t belong



A budget typically is an outline of spending priorities. Where will the money be spent, and where will it come from? But in government, certainly in Wisconsin, a budget has come to be much more. Too much more. Governor Evers unveiled his two-year budget proposal this week. It is a $91 billion document and outlines the Governor’s spending priorities, calling for more money for public schools and provide money to pandemic-ravaged small businesses. But the so-called budget also includes things it should not, things that are not spending priorities, but policy matters. Evers is not alone. Wisconsin governors have done this for years. They hope to tuck proposals into the budget that they know they couldn’t get passed as an individual piece of legislation. But that is not how a state budget should look. It is fine, for example, to have a debate about legalizing marijuana in the state. But that doesn’t belong in a state budget. It should be given an up or down vote on its own merits. Same with a plan to hike the state’s minimum wage, banning the private sale of firearms, and increase the legal age for purchasing tobacco. These may be fine ideas, or at least worthy of debate. But these bills should be debated separately, and not be included as part of what is supposed to be an outline of spending plans, not policy plans.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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1 Comment

  1. Ronald Walker

    February 18, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    Never thought I would agree with Scott but he got this one right. When will the rest of American citizens speak out against this overreach and spending? I think everyone agrees that this pandemic should be a priority and along with a covid vaccine, we need to help people who are out of work as well as the businesses who are struggling with some type of economic relief without adding on the wish list of changes both parties would like to see implemented. I saw an ad on TV bashing Ron Johnson for voting against the relief package and that he is against the $1400 checks for people who are out of work. I would like to know if he is against the $1400 checks for families in trouble or is he against the pork that is included with the bill? This issue of over inflating this relief bill is the fault of both parties. Yes, no matter what side of the aisle you are on you are at fault. If you have not seen the national relief bill here it is.

    Now you will know why Republicans are blocking this 2.2 trillion-dollar congressional bill! Hard to believe but look it up on the Congressional website for HR 748 from 116th Congress. Here’s the direct link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/748

    American population: 330,483,530
    Stimulus bill: $2,000,000,000,000 ($2 Trillion)
    Dividing the cost by every American is $6,051.74 The government could have given every person over $6,000, but instead will give $1,200 to each adult under a certain income. Want to know where the missing 96% of your tax dollars went? Here you go. . .

    1. $300,000,000 for Migrant and Refugee Assistance pg.. 147
    2. $10,000 per person for student loan bailout
    3. $100,000,000 to NASA, because, who knows why.
    4. $20,000,000,000 to the USPS, because why the hell not
    5. $300,000,000 to the Endowment for the Arts – because of it
    6. $300,000,000 for the Endowment for the Humanities/ because no one even knew that was a thing
    7. $15,000,000 for Veterans Employment Training / for when the GI Bill isn’t enough.
    8. $435,000,000 for mental health support
    9. $30,000,000,000 for the Department of Education stabilization fund/ because that will keep people employed (all those zeros can be confusing, that’s $30 BILLION)
    10. $200,000,000 to Safe Schools Emergency Response to Violence Program
    11. $300,000,000 to Public Broadcasting / NPR has to be bought by the Democrats.
    12. $500,000,000 to Museums and Libraries / Who the hell knows how we are going to use it.
    13. $720,000,000 to Social Security Admin / but get this only 200,000,000 is to help people. The rest is for admin costs.
    14. $25,000,000 for Cleaning supplies for the Capitol Building / I kid you not it’s on page 136.
    15. $7,500,000 to the Smithsonian for additional salaries
    16. $35,000,000 to the JFK Center for Performing Arts
    17. $25,000,000 for additional salary for House of Representatives
    18. $3,000,000,000 upgrade to the IT department at the VA
    19. $315,000,000 for State Department Diplomatic Programs
    20. $95,000,000 for the Agency of International Development
    21. $300,000,000 for International Disaster Assistance
    22. $90,000,000 for the Peace Corp pg. 148
    23. $13,000,000 to Howard University pg. 121
    24. $9,000,000 Misc. Senate Expenses pg. 134
    25. $100,000,000 to Essential Air carriers pg. 162. This of note because the Airlines are going to need billions in loans to keep them afloat ($100,000,000 is chump change.)
    26. $40,000,000,000 goes to the Take Responsibility to Workers and Families Act This sounds like it’s direct payments for workers pg. 164.
    27. $1,000,000,000 Airlines Recycle and Save Program pg. 163
    28. $25,000,000 to the FAA for administrative costs pg. 165
    29. $492,000,000 to National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) pg. 167
    30. $526,000,000 Grants to Amtrak to remain available if needed through 2021 pg. 168 (what are the odds that doesn’t go unused) Hidden on page 174 the Secretary has 7 days to allocate the funds & notify Congress.
    31. $25,000,000,000 for Transit Infrastructure pg. 169
    32. $3,000,000 Maritime Administration pg. 172
    33. $5,000,000 Salaries and Expensive Office of the Inspector General pg. 172
    34. $2,500,000 Public and Indian Housing pg. 175
    35. $5,000,000 Community Planning and Development pg. 175
    36. $2,500,000 Office of Housing

    What DOES ALL of this have to do with the Virus????

    (Are you angry yet? This information should be shared with everyone on your contact/mail list.)

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