Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Suburban Republicans don't want fewer cops in Milwaukee? Then stop defunding MKE!

Check out this tweet, which underscores the ramblings this State Senator was allowed to spread on Hate Radio 1130 yesterday.

YOUR money? Hey Duey, you live in Cedarburg and don’t represent an inch of Milwaukee County. If you don’t visit, you won’t pay a dime. And if you do visit/commute and use the many amenities the state’s largest city has to offer, shouldn’t you pay for that? Or do you “conservatives” have no problem with being freeloaders when it’s suburbanites doing the leeching?

If Milwaukeeans want to raise and retain more of the tax dollars generated in their community to have more services for their community (or merely to maintain them), then who the hell are you to complain about “growing government”? They aren’t asking for more funding or anything else from the state.

That’s hypocritical and arrogant enough, but now 7 suburba-GOPs that have districts gerrymandered into the corners of Milwaukee County are complaining to Mayor Tom Barrett about the lack of “government investment” proposed in one area of the City of Milwaukee’s budget.
We write today to express our concern over your proposal for Milwaukee’s operating budget in the next fiscal period. We were shocked to discover that the proposed budget will reduce the Milwaukee Police Force by three percent, eliminating approximately sixty officers from the department. For this purpose, we write to strongly urge against enactment of this budget proposal.

In a city like Milwaukee, which is consistently ranked above Chicago as the fourth of fifth most dangerous city in the United States, (source, suburba-GOPs?) such a vast reduction in the police force is unconscionable. In the past weekend alone, thirteen people were shot in the city, with two tragically killed from gunshot wounds. In 2017, the Milwaukee Police Department’s average response time to a violent crime was twenty-four minutes; our brave police officers already suffer from a lack of resources and this proposal will only make their life-saving work more difficult. Your proposed reduction in the police force would not only deplete Milwaukee’s scarce law enforcement resources but it would endanger the safety of all of the city’s residents.

The Milwaukee Police Association, who represent the brave men and women charged with keeping Milwaukee safe, released a statement declaring that such a large cut to the police force will certainly result in “more loss of life.” Enactment of this budget, and thereby endorsing the reduction of the police force, sends the message that the safety of Milwaukee’s citizens is not among your priorities. As representatives in the Wisconsin State Legislature, it is incumbent upon us to speak out for the safety and security of our constituents. (quick note, all 7of these GOPs live outside of Milwaukee County, and only 4 have any part of their district in the City of Milwaukee). Not only will this proposed budget make all Milwaukee citizens less safe, it will also have the adverse effect of driving business and investment away from the city, further worsening the city’s economic issues. Milwaukee needs bold leaders to help turn the city around; this budget proposal bears no resemblance to the bold leadership for which Milwaukee so desperately yearns.
I’ll leave out an analysis of the dog-whistling in this press release (nice “Chicago” reference, jerkoffs), as well as the blatant ass-kissing of the GOP-endorsing Milwaukee Police Association. And I won’t mention the fact that the GOPs’ concerns over Milwaukee violence don’t involve any action to reduce the proliferation of guns that are used to impose the violence.

I’ll just talk about the fiscal side of this press release. First off, it’s well-documented that the City of Milwaukee has had less state money sent to it by GOP legislators over the years, while the costs to maintain an adequate police force keeps going up. So much so that Barrett’s budget office notes police officers now cost the City more than the amount of property taxes the City takes in.

If you suburba-GOPs don’t like that Milwaukee isn’t putting enough funds toward public safety, I got an easy solution for you. LET MILWAUKEE HAVE ITS OWN SALES TAX THAT IS DESIGNATED FOR COPS AND FIRE FIGHTERS. Much of the money needed for these Act 10-exempt professions would then be exempted from the property tax limits that you have imposed on the City, and you don’t even have to add any state money to make up the difference.

(Side note, police and fire fighters were exempted from Act 10 restrictions as a political kickback from Scott Walker after the police and fire unions backed him over Barrett in 2010. But funny how these GOPs don’t have a problem with those guys keeping their bargaining rights and causing extra budget problems for the biggest, bluest city as a result.)

Allowing a Milwaukee sales tax for police and firefighters seems like a win-win for both city and suburbs. Milwaukee would finally have a chance to showcase the “bold leadership” the suburba-GOPs say it needs, because it would have more flexibility to choose where to invest!

Somehow, I’m guessing tighty righty radio 620 and 1130 aren’t discussing that solution today. Instead, they'll portray the state’s largest city and economic engine as “declining, wasteful and lawless” without mentioning the real reason for the problem - the GOP’s fiscal handcuffs, and the redistribution of state tax dollars from the county that attracts the most tourism spending in Wisconsin to go to their rural/suburban districts.


  1. Parasite much, this Republican Doofus Stroebel?

  2. Totally agree. If Republicans in the Legislature are going to emphasize 'local control,' and allow communities to pass school referendums, then why shouldn't Milwaukee (and other cities) be able to control their own destinies? Similarly, if Madison wants a $40.00 wheel tax to fund Bus Rapid Transit, then let them. I'm not a fan of intellectual inconsistency when it comes to these spending and tax issues.

    1. Good to hear. Take it up with the leggies in the Capitol who try to treat Milwaukee like an imperial colony.

      Frankly, I'd rather have a 1% sales tax than a $40 wheel tax in Dane County, even though I'd likely pay more. And I think BRT is a worthwhile investment, by the way.

    2. But Republicans talk out of both sides of their mouths, and Talk Radio amplifies and repeats ad nauseum a list of trickle-down fallacies and focus-grouped talking points, unsustainable every one of them, handed to them by the Kochs and similar parasites.
      Let's not forget that Minnesota added two top tier-tax brackets to put an end to pointless one-percent welfare. Wisconsin legislators can do the same, One-percenters pay the corrected tax rate out of savings, and don't need to forego spending on goods and services in the real economy.