We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

John W. Eyster: Dysfunctional public policies created in budget

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By John W. Eyster
July 3, 2015

ECLIPSE of government documents very dangerous!

There are numerous provisions in our Wisconsin State Budget for 2015-17 which are creating dysfunctional public policies, including, to my mind, the reductions in educational funding at all levels, reductions of taxes on the wealthiest citizens of Wisconsin, borrowing for road construction rather than increasing gas tax to let users (you and me) to pay for our use of the roads.  I am OUTraged by the policies of our Republican controlled legislature and Republican governor.  These real fiscal decisions are BAD for WE THE PEOPLE of WI.

EVEN WORSE are the numerous NON-fiscal – POLICY – actions put into the budget.  I encourage you to read the summary of the Joint Finance Committee’s “WRAP-UP” motion which is 24-pages stuffed with 67 diverse items with many benefiting special interests.  The provisions in this motion include: cutting by $1.1 million over the next two years a tax that applies to cigarette manufacturers, marketers and distributors.  REDUCING TAXES ON TOBACCO PRODUCTS!  WHY?!  I understood that our WI public policy was to curtail the use of tobacco, did YOU?

MY #1 BAD POLICY provision in this motion is to REDUCE ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS.  For a full analysis of this provision, I urge you to read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s article, “Lawmakers slash public records access in budget bill.”

Jason Stein has written a cogent analysis of this action to HIDE communications which are currently PUBLIC RECORDS in WI.  Are WE THE PEOPLE of WI going to allow our legislature to manipulate this ECLIPSE of public records which help us be aware of statements, decisions and policies to hold our WI state government accountable to US = WE THE PEOPLE of WI.  Lincoln talked about “government of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE and for the PEOPLE.”  Our Republican controlled legislature and Republican governor are trying to remove the PEOPLE from WI state government!  What do YOU think?  I hope you will comment.  I’ll be reading.

Stein’s article proceeds to provide a full review of what’s happening in the Joint Finance Committee, the legislative houses and the Governor’s office.  He notes that the announcement has now been made the Governor Walker will definitely announce his official candidacy for President of the U.S. on Monday, the 13th of July.  I’m glad that will end the game of planning to run for President and raise as much money as possible without OFFICIALLY announcing candidacy.  For this Christian, son of a pastor and Eagle Scout, what happened to the ethics of both the Christian faith and the Boy Scout oath and law?  I consider Scott a prime example of hypocrisy incarnate.  What do YOU think?  I hope you will comment.  I’ll be reading.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article is completed with a short video of Madison bureau reporter Stein, watchdog columnist Daniel Bice and columnist James Causey analyzing the latest news on the state budget.  I urge you to watch the video, “JS on Politics, 7/2: State budget deal.”  What are YOUR thoughts?  I hope you will post a comment.  I’ll be reading.

The media has made due and appropriate note that the Republican legislature’s operatives made sure the release of this information came on the eve of our 4th of July weekend so that media would not be running full-tilt and WE THE PEOPLE would NOT be paying attention.  I HOPE this opinion column will help alert WE THE PEOPLE of WI!

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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