January 27, 2010

The Indictment of Scott Walker

The Indictment of Scott Walker:
Devastating Report Spells Out Failed “Reform” and the $2 Billion Walker County Crisis


MADISON – Scott Walker has put Milwaukee County on a path to crisis and has saddled future generations with historic debt.

That grim reality is highlighted in a report released this morning by the nonpartisan Public Policy Forum – though Walker himself was too busy with his campaign for governor to bother attending the morning meeting to hear the charges read against him.

"The report released today is an indictment of the years of Walker rule and incompetence," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Wednesday. "I can understand why he would hide from the charges against him."

 -The report concluded that the county has come closer to a "full-blown financial crisis" through his bungled budgeting.

 -Though Walker came to power on the heels of voter anger over county pensions, it is staggering pension and health care obligations of $2 billion that have left the county gut-punched, while Walker himself seeks to flee the scene and bring his inept management to Madison.

 -Walker's budgets merely borrow from future generations and leave structural crises intact.

 -The report released today makes clear that even if Walker achieved his risky profiteering plans to dissolve parts of county governments or transfer those duties to other local governments, bigger problems remain. Even transferring county services, a move long-sought by Walker, would merely kick the problem down the road and, "produce new government bodies with their own funding demands," according to the report.

Meanwhile, Walker's efforts to transfer county functions to politically-connected businesses would not solve the county's larger problems, chiefly $2 billion in long-term pension and health care debt. The report also highlighted the "acrimony" that is the real legacy of Scott Walker.

 "What the Public Policy Forum did today was show the dire consequences of having an inept manager like Scott Walker in power," said Tate. ""Lose Services, Keep the Debt, Kick the Problems Down the Road," seem to be his operating plan, which is not a plan at all. Walker's inability to understand how efficient government works is matched only by his shameless ambition for higher office. We will pay now – and later – for his incompetence."
 
Executive Summary of Full Report: http://www.publicpolicyforum.org/pdfs/ExecutiveSummary.pdf

“Report: County mus deal with pension, health care costs to fix finances,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/26/10: http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/82758967.html