Minor Thoughts from me to you

No Budget? Shut 'Er Down

Governor Jim Doyle is once again threatening to shut down the Wisconsin government. He's so desperate to pass a budget, he's trying to scare us with stories of shut down prisons and canceled university classes.

"In order to fund essential services that are needed to protect the health and safety of Wisconsin residents, a partial shutdown may well be necessary. The Legislature's failure has left the state with no other option but to plan for the disaster they have caused."

For instance, the Department of Corrections and the UW System are expected to run out of money in April, he said.

Doyle said he needs to find significant cost savings in Corrections by then to keep running the prisons. That might mean canceling contracts with county jails that house some prisoners and furloughing workers, he said.

For the System's 13 four-year universities and 13 two-year colleges, the governor said it would be irresponsible to open the campuses for the second semester in January if they would have to close their doors in April.

Doyle said he doesn't have a date to put the plans in place and he would like "to put that off as long as possible."

Owen Robinson points out that the State has plenty of money to keep things running.

The state of Wisconsin is currently operating under the previous budget. Because of the natural increase in tax revenues from a growing economy, Wisconsin's government will actually take in about a billion MORE dollars even without any tax increases. Also, the budget included COL and other built in increases. So if a budget is not passed, Wisconsin can and will spend more money than it did last year.

If Doyle chooses to shut down government services even though they are getting as much or more tax dollars than last year, then he can have at it. It would show his utter weakness as an executive to manage the state. A manager from Best Buy could keep the store open without a budget increase. I would think that the governor could do at least that.

Once again, our governor is looking increasingly inept, incompetent, and powerless. Good. That's exactly how I like the executive branch to look. We don't NEED to pass a budget in order to keep the state safe and secure. Therefore, I don't think we should pass a budget until we get the right one. Right?