Monday, July 31, 2006

Green “Details” Plan for Budget

A little over a month ago, Mark Green had this to say about his plans for the state budget if elected governor: “We just tried to lay out broad (budget) outlines at this point. It's so early in the process.”

Could the wait be over? Less than two hours ago the Journal-Sentinel offered up this headline on its DayWatch blog: “Green details budget plans.”

The ensuing post gets to the heart of it:

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After releasing his plan in April, Green was criticized for not providing enough details on how he would handle the state's budget issues. Democrats were also critical of Green's tenure in Congress, in which the Democratic Party of Wisconsin said Green had a fiscally irresponsible record of voting for spending increases.

Today, he provided some more details, saying he would look for ways to reduce spending by better use of contracting dollars.

"There's lots of examples of contracting out where we can save the state tens and tens of millions of dollars, and that's where we'd start," Green said.

He also said he would look to "right-size" the size of state government.

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So let me get this straight. What constitutes detailing a budget plan these days is saying you’d spend money more wisely?

The Cap Times has a story out today that provides a little more: “Green declined to offer specifics on what he believes should be the right size for state government and said he would make that determination as governor.”

This charade is starting to read like Joseph Heller’s Catch-22: Vote for me because I have a plan, which I’ll figure out after you vote for me.

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UPDATE: Xoff does a great job showing how Green's budgeting ideas would play out in a household setting, and Carrie Lynch questions the policy of budgeting on 40 words or less.

LATE UPDATE: Dave Diamond sees a pattern of vagueness emerging in Green's campaign promises, Cory Liebmann takes Green's budget talking points to task, and Gretchen Schuldt says that Green has a responsibility to be more specific on his budget plans.

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