Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rallies and Real Budget Progress

I'm glad the Recess Supervisor wrote this post and the Brawler wrote this post because together they, more or less, cover my thoughts on the dueling rallies held at the Capitol yesterday.

It was unfortunate to see some of the pro-services contingent use profanity in their chants and one-on-one confrontations with the no-tax increase crowd. There's no excuse for that. But while profanity is certainly less civil, it isn't any more ridiculous or unproductive than the "we pay your salaries" line coming from the no-tax increase side.

Yeah, taxes and fees are used to compensate public workers (along with private workers doing business with the public sector), but that compensation doesn't come as a result of public benevolence, it comes because the workers provide a public service. If you don't like paying for the compensation, then call for cuts to the services (and be specific, preferably), don't hang it over the heads of the people who were offered a job to provide those services.

Meanwhile, the real budget news of yesterday is that discussions of a compromise took some small, but important, steps forward.

Assembly Democratic Leader Jim Kreuser said that making HSAs state tax free is on the table if the GOP supports the hospital assessment, while Rep. Phil Montgomery (R-Ashwaubenon) called together a session with Speaker Huebsch and "a handful of Assembly Republicans who want to find middle ground," a meeting that Huebsch, unfortunately, pooh-poohed as "routine."

Based on what took place on the Capitol steps yesterday and in press releases for the past nine months, though, there doesn't seem to be anything that's routine about genuine intra-caucus meetings aimed at seeking out a middle ground.

SIDE-NOTE: "[A] handful of Assembly Republicans who want to find a middle ground"...what are the others out to find?

UPDATE: Looks like Grumps and I are on the same page regarding the "we pay your salaries" line.

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