Thursday, November 8, 2018

Vos being a fool on policy, too

I figured Republicans in our Legislature would be up to no good with Tony Evers coming into office and being able to put the brakes on the ALEC/Koch experiment that Wisconsin has devolved into. But I didn’t think Assembly Speaker Robbin’ Vos would be giving the game away so quickly, claiming he and his fellow GOPs are going to try to limit Evers’ powers as governor, after they'd allowed the Governor's powers to be significantly expanded under Walker.

This is absurd and fascist enough, and will likely get a lot of attention if these jackwagons try to go through with this. But I wanted to concentrate on the policy statements Vos made to the media yesterday, because it tells us that he plans on trying to jam through this right-wing wackery, no matter what voters chose yesterday.

A central fight is sure to be over whether the state finally takes the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act, which Evers wants to do. Vos has insisted there is “no way” the Assembly will pass Medicaid expansion as long as he and his party is in control, and argued that expanding Medicaid would make all other health care in Wisconsin costlier and hurt providers.
"Medicaid right now does not pay the cost of your provider," Vos said. "So the more people we put into Medicaid, the more the private sector will have to pay to subsidize those who are on Medicaid. So all it does is make the private system less stable."
Sounds like something you should have taken up with your Congressman in recent years, Robbin’. You know, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE PAUL RYAN.

Stupid, or evil?

It’s also telling that an ALEC Cabin Boy like Vos cares more about how much hospitals and insurance companies can make than something like having people be able to get health care without going broke. Let’s see if Vos’s own gerrymandered caucus goes along with that mentality, because given the results of ballot initiatives in previous years throughout the state of Wisconsin and votes in 3 very red states his week, the people want expanded Medicaid.

And those 3 red states actually have to spend state tax dollars under Medicaid expansion, while Wisconsin would save an estimated $200 million a year because state taxpayers have traditionally taken on the costs of our relatively expansive Badgercare benefits, particularly for families.

I also noticed this part of Vos’s dick-measuring attempt yesterday when he discussed the future budget battles.
Vos underscored that Wednesday by pouring cold water on plans Evers' campaigned on, including adding $1.4 billion in new funding for schools over two years.
"That's not possible unless you have a massive tax increase," Vos said. "It literally cannot be accomplished without either taking from some to give to another or a massive tax increase."
Not necessarily. You dump the M&A tax cut to people and companies making more than $300,000, and that’s well over $200 million a year right there. Cut back on some of the $302 million we’re spending on vouchers and $66 million on charter schools, move some or all of the $1.09 billion that we spend on school-related property tax breaks into the classroom (as Evers recommended in his budget request for the Department of Public Instruction), and there you go.

Yes, I understand that Evers uses the $1.09 billion reduction in property tax credits as an offset for $2.5 billion in added school investments, but that can all be negotiated. You can put bit of flexibility on revenue limits, and you’ll still be able to make a sizable reinvestment in our schools with little if any increase in property taxes (since you’re using state funds vs property taxes). Vos surely knows this, but he assumes the rubes in the state do not.

It’s simply a matter of choosing different priorities for the tax dollars we could have, and it sure beats the GOP’s practice of kicking tax dollars back to their campaign contributors. For example, we also could cut some/all of the $469 million we are scheduled to pay into the Fox-con for the next budget cycle. Speaking of that boondoggle in Vos’s district…..
Vos also said he wouldn't support "putting a bunch of money into empty buses," referring to mass transit solutions to transportation woes, but would consider a plan that puts money into fixing roads and bridges.
Oh really, Robbin’? Well, no mass transit lines to Foxconn for you. If that plant ever actually gets built, good luck finding the workers to take jobs there when you throw up barriers like no regular transit connecting the area (oh wait, they’re all coming from China and Illinois, nevermind).

Something Vos has no problem spending tax dollars on

Vos’s big talk also tells me that Gov-elect (yes!) Evers should not play nice with these people on issues like expanding Medicaid, removing the dark store loophole (which was recommended by more than a 60-40 margin in 20 places around the state yesterday), and ending tax cuts for corporations. Let Vos and Fitz and the rest of the ALEC-GOPs explain why they are ignoring the will of the voters by holding up these popular ideas, and make the soon-to-be-fairly redistricted back-benchers defend the funding cuts that are going to happen to their communities if they go along with the pig-headedness of the GOP’s legislative “leaders.”

Sometimes you have to fight people in order to get a compromise out of them. Even though Evers won’t have the numbers in the Legislature for now, he on the right side of popular opinion, and Tony and the rest of the Dems should realize that they can get victories on many of these issues if they fight for them and keep hammering the GOPs with the facts. And Robbin’ Vos’s post-election foolishness has given the Dems more space to take it to the gerrymandered GOP “majority”.


  1. After fighting with these bozos since 2009 I doubt Evers is in the mood to screw around. He may talk nice at the beginning but I don't think he is willing to put up with much. And his campaign spokeswoman, Britt Cutaback is a gem. She has been on point quickly and effectively. None of the "no comment" bull you get from Walker's lazy mouthpieces. I hope he keeps her.

    1. I hope you are right. Evers' successful lawsuit stopping Schimel from "representing" him in court does indicate there are certain red lines he wont allow to be crossed.

      But Dem messaging needs to be forceful and constantly bringing up that GOP power in the Legislature is largely due to gerrymandering, and not because most Wisconsinites wanted what Vos and Fitz had to offer.

  2. Wouldn’t surprise me if Walker and Republicans burn the place down on the way out. Change governor power, more corporate bailout outs and maybe try to change the state pension into a 401k.