Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pat Strachota justifies bleeding out the UW System.

You know, it would be better for all of us if our local con-in-conservative legislators simple fessed up: they really hate the UW System -- even though both of them graduated from it. Maybe Senator Grothman got blackballed by a fraternity for "being weird" or something. Maybe Rep Strachota had a bad experience with some of her profs. Nothing else really makes any sense -- except for some kind of ideological purity issue.

Instead of just saying "we hate you slobs, and now you're going to pay" all we get are what Nietzsche called pale criminals.

After burdening the UW System with 38% of the original spending cuts -- even though UW makes up only 7% of the state's budget -- these kinds of excuses look more like... well, like really stupid excuses.

The general feeling among colleagues I talk to -- given all of the other, better options, the Governor and Legislature had available -- these cuts, and now these additional $100 million-plus "lapses," feel more like "special attention" following the protests last year.

Here's an example: after the first round of cuts, UW was forced to raise tuition (as small an increase as possible) simply to meet obligations. As soon as the tuition increases went through, the legislature suddenly discovered a "short-fall" in their original guestimates.

From here it looks like another Republican trick to stick middle and working class families with the bill.

This is no different than attempting to make their economic airplane fly faster by cutting off the engines or bleeding the patient to improve their health. Their economics, along with their ideology, is stuck in the 18th century.

State Headlines From Wisconsin Public Radio, February 18 | Ashland Current

Finance Committee Approves $123 Million In Cuts
By Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio

The legislature's finance committee has approved $123-million in budget lapses to state agencies with more than a third hitting the University of Wisconsin System.

The cuts were approved as part of the state budget Gov. Scott Walker signed last summer, but the Walker administration didn't specify which agencies would get hit hardest until later. The UW will bear the brunt of these cuts, taking a $46-million lapse. Milwaukee Assembly Democrat Jon Richards said it would hurt the UW campus in his city, where they're researching water technology, "The cuts that we're making today will result in $6.2 million in cuts to UW-Milwaukee alone. And this will definitely slow down this effort to generate jobs in these great fields that hold tremendous promise for our region."

But West Bend Republican Pat Strachota said the university lapses were driven by a decision not to further cut spending on other programs like public school aid, tech schools and prisons, "I think the UW System is valued by all of us and we understand the merits that they bring to the state of Wisconsin. And this is not something that any of us wanted to do, but it's just a matter of having to do because we kept those other high priorities."

The lapses come on top of an earlier $250-million cut to the UW. Even with the lapses, Wisconsin's two year budget remains $143-million in the hole.

Best of all, at the end of the day, this is an explicit confession that the "emergency budget repair bill" didn't repair anything. It simply satisfied the demands of GOP sponsors to cut their tax bills -- and thus shift the tax burden on to the shoulders of the bottom 98%.

1 comment:

Kevin Scheunemann said...

This is what you want for all of us, don't you?

Health care, education, housing, basic life needs...having to beg to politicians in Madison or D.C.?

Sounds like the progressive principle of ceding all economic power to decision makers in Madison or D.C. does not work well for you at all.

Ever consider self-funding the UWWC philosophy department? Producing something valuable for the marketplace?

It could be a liberating feeling for you. Just be sure to pay al your taxes on the sales of your products.