Yesterday, I had a brief piece on Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s refusal to belly up to the bailout teat. Predictably, ALL the teat-suckers, from the usual suspects with Ds behind their name (or those that would have Ds there if the County Board were a partisan office) to the opportunistic “business leaders” who have become dependent on the teat, attempted to throw Walker under the bus. Let me put it this way; they don’t know Scott. He launched a two-front counterattack this morning with WTMJ-AM’s Charlie Sykes. While you listen to a poor-quality rip of the interview (the better-quality version starts at the 37:39 mark of Part 1 of the official podcast), you may as well read the e-mail (“borrowed” from Charlie):
How many people would take a gift of $1,000 and go out and buy a $60,000 sports car? While the gift is nice, it will not make the monthly car payments that are too large for the average budget. The same is true with the (so-called) stimulus package.
Federal money nearly always comes with strings attached. In fact, most federal transportation grants require a 20% (or greater) local match. "Free money" sounds nice but what happens when state and local governments cannot afford the match? If Milwaukee County receives $50 million for infrastructure projects under this formula, taxpayers in the county would have to come up with an extra $10 million. Does anyone think we have an extra $10 million in this budget climate?
A real economic stimulus will put money in the hands of consumers – and not the government. Tax cuts work. They did for Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and they are exactly what John F. Kennedy called for in the 1960s. Each time, our nation got out of a recession by putting more money back into the hands of the taxpayers. The choice is simple: do we bail out failed governments with budget deficits or do we stimulate the economy and put more people back to work with real tax cuts at the federal, state and local levels? I choose the program that truly puts people back to work!
For the “benefit” of the outstate critics (I’m looking directly at you, Recess Supervisor), I’ll twist the knife just a bit – if adding “infrastructure” for the sake of adding “infrastructure” or creating make-work jobs were the solution, northern Wisconsin would be the economic magnet of the world.
I do need to give a shout-out to my county supervisor, Paul Cesarz. At the end of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story linked to above, he shows that he also gets the fact that resurrecting the Works Progress Administration will do no better the second time around.