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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jake's Economic TA Funhouse: Walker's Wisconsin borrows just like they do in DC

What's a billion here or there or 250,000 (NOT) jobs or anemic growth (esp. compared to MN - Why?)

Remember the 2014 piddly property tax break you got -- rhetoric !

Economic TA Funhouse: Walker's Wisconsin borrows just like they do in DC

And despite Walker's brown bag campaign of 2010 that claimed state government shouldn't spend more than it takes in, his four years in office show otherwise. If you look at the recent history of the state’s indebtedness, General Obligation debt has leveled off in the last two years, but is still higher than when Walker took over in early 2011.

Outstanding G.O. debt, Wisconsin 
Dec 2009 $6.223 billion
Dec 2010 $6.823 billion
Dec 2011 $7.379 billion
Dec 2012 $8.015 billion
Dec 2013 $8.028 billion
Dec 2014 $7.857 billion (according to last bond disclosure)

Jake's Econ TA Funhouse: #Walker borrows just like they do in DC-Debt up > $1 Billion since 2010.  What's a billion here or there or 250,000 (NOT) # jobs - WI 1848 Forward

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Gov. "Hidden Agenda" Walker - Public Authority: End of Public Higher Education in Wisconsin?

Manufacture a crisis and then use it to undermine "public goods".

From the Blog: Ragman's Circles

Public Authority: The End of Public Higher Education in Wisconsin?

... Most disturbingly, System President Cross has painted the proposal as something of a bargain or negotiation, in which the State gives the University System autonomy “in exchange” for rolling back state funding of the System to 1998 levels and providing guaranteed funding from sales tax revenue, albeit starting with a budget cut back to 1998 levels. Cross responded to the proposal to make the UW System a public authority in adocument from the Office of the President released on January 26. The document is full of unsubstantiated assertions about financial benefits gained from public authority status. There appears to have been no research conducted on whether this will indeed be true, no debate or discussion among faculty, staff, and students about whether this is a change worth pursuing.
In the document Cross begins by accepting the Walker claim that these budget cuts to the system have been “dictated” by the “large state budget shortfall.” He writes: “Looking ahead, a large state budget shortfall dictates that the UW System will be receiving a sizeable funding cut.  This follows significant cuts over the last three budgets as well as a continuation of the current tuition freeze for the upcoming biennium. The UW System expects a $300 million cut over the 2015‐17 biennium.” As I have noted, this shortfall doesn’t “dictate” a funding cut; Walker and his allies dictate that. The current budget shortfall is a direct consequence of recent property tax cuts that the state had no way to pay for.
In welcoming the new freedoms of a public authority, Cross then glosses over the hundreds (if not thousands) of people who will lose their jobs to accommodate these cuts as posing “difficult and significant choices” that will be compensated for in the long run by making the UW System “more nimble and more responsive,” demonstrating a true insensitivity to the people who make Wisconsin’s universities work and the students they serve: “To manage these cuts, the UW System and its institutions will be forced to make difficult and significant choices in the short term…. In the longer term, the flexibilities granted through the authority and the consistency generated by the dedicated, sustainable funding source will help make the UW System a stronger, more nimble and more responsive higher educational system for generations to come.”
His attempt to reassure system faculty, staff, and students that tenure and shared governance will be protected raises as many questions as it answers. He writes: “Shared governance and tenure–two principles that are critical to delivering a high‐quality education–will be managed by the Board of Regents through board policy rather than by the legislature through statute. This is the standard among many other state higher education systems.” Note that Cross does not say that tenure and shared governance will be “protected” but that they will be “managed” by the governor-appointed Board of Regents. This “management” by the Regents is fundamentally weaker than the current statutory protections in Wisconsin’s Chapter 36. What Cross (and all UW System leaders) should be advocating for, if the move to a public authority must go through, is that the statutory protections of Chapter 36 be imported into a new Chapter 37, which will form the basis of the transformation of the UW System into a public authority. Anything less makes such protections subject to the whims of an appointed, not elected, Board of Regents, which represents a de facto power shift from the legislative to the executive branch of state government, a de facto weakening of local control. (Thanks to Aneesh Aneesh for this observation.)
Finally, it is important to note that while Wisconsin may be the first state to corporatize its university system as a public authority, it is unlikely to be the last. In a Republican Party committed to privatizing education at all levels, from K-16 and beyond, what happens in Wisconsin will be closely watched—and if successful, emulated in statehouses across the nation. The clever combination of granting “freedom” and “autonomy” to University leaders while simultaneously slashing even further the obligations of state governments to fund public higher education, will be a centerpiece of Walker’s presidential campaign and a model for Republican governors nationwide to consolidate power in their states. ...

Gov. "Hidden Agenda" #Walker lost- #PublicAuthority: End of Public #HigherEducation in Wisconsin?  The Hand of #ALEC

"Hidden Agenda" #Walker lost - #PublicAuthority: End Public #HigherEducation in Wis.?  Tries to end #WisconsinIdea

Monday, January 19, 2015

PBS - The 1% are getting wealthier, and lobbying has a lot to do with it

From 2014 - -

Now 2015

The wealthiest are getting wealthier, and lobbying has a lot to do with it - PBS

On the eve of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and days before the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam predicts a widening wealth gap and points a finger at lobbying for much the of wealth accumulation at the top. The world’s wealthiest 1 percent is likely to control over 50 percent of global wealth by next year, according to Monday’s report.

From -  on 

One Member of Congress = 18 American Households: Lawmakers’ Personal Finances Far From Average

... While the median net worth of an American family has declined by nearly one-thirdbetween 2007 and 2013, members of Congress have recovered quite well from the recession. The Senate’s median net worth went from $2.3 million to $2.8 million over that period, while for members of the House the numbers went from $708,500 to $843,507. ...

$$$ WI 1848 Forward: #OXFAM #PBS - The #1% are getting wealthier, & #lobbying has a lot to do with it !

$$$ WI 1848 Forward: #OXFAM #PBS - The #1% getting wealthier & #lobbying has a lot to do with it !

Monday, January 12, 2015

Post Preview - Gov. Walker 's "State of the State"

2015: Governor Walker will later this week deliver his "State of the State".

A perfect satire would be to leave the page blank. I suspect it will be a fanciful rewrite of his "deeds of governance".

  • Harassment and attempts to abridge free speech - Solidarity Singers

  • Limit women's choice - proclamation and laws

  • Tax Policy used to limit local school boards

  • Use public tax dollars to subsidize private schools

  • $2.2 billion tax deficit, partly created by $1 billion tax cut to mess up Technical Colleges 
MJS : Gov. "Hidden Agenda" Walker - Purpose of " Budget Deficits " 2015

  • Limit BadgerCare, thwart ACA (Obama Care) - turn down billions of Federal support that would aid the elderly and rural residents of Wisconsin - and the poor, 1/6 state population on Food Stamps, SNAP, etc. 

I'll fill in more later.

#HiddenAgenda #1% Post Preview - Gov. #Walker 's " #StateOfTheState " 01/2015 #Budget for #Elites 

Friday, January 9, 2015

DPI - What is a failing school in WI? Another view @ TED

Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve

Wisconsin District and School Performance Reports

Are these the real reasons?  I went looking for demographic and economic data in these reports - did you find any?  There seemed to be a little hint of it and some attention to "special groups of students."

Let's think about this!

MJS: Milwaukee voucher school closes after DPI bars it from program

... The nonprofit running the schools is headed by CEO Dorothy Travis Moore and her daughter, Executive Director Wilnekia Brinson.
Both are paid six-figure compensation packages, according to their organization's federal tax filings. Meanwhile, current and former employees have complained to the state and to the Journal Sentinel of lacking textbooks and other adequate classroom materials and resources to help children learn.
They also complained that Travis Moore has regularly employed teachers without bachelor's degrees — the state requires teachers at voucher schools to have degrees — while employing family members with dubious job titles and responsibilities. ...

WI 1848 Forward: #DPI - What is a #failingSchool in #WI? #Public #Charter #Voucher - Apple Orange Bananna

WI 1848 Forward: #DPI - What is a #failingSchool in #WI? #Public #Charter #Voucher - Apple Orange Bananna #TED #Dweck

Saturday, January 3, 2015

MJS : Gov. "Hidden Agenda" Walker - Purpose of " Budget Deficits " 2015


Jakes Fun House -LFB confirms- Wisconsin budget deficits now, and for the future  ... 

Perhaps Walker wanted a bigger deficit ... Presidential politics ?  Draconian reaction ... if he does it will make "conservatives" love him.  Everyone will forget he can't create jobs or grow the state's economy

1/1/2015 - MJS:  

The myth of Scott Walker as a budget guru

... It’s hard to deny the numbers. Since Walker took over, revenues have consistently come in less than expected due to a combination of below average job and wage growth, a sluggish state economy, and his arguably reckless $2 billion in tax cuts. Estimates now put our state budget at a $2.2 billion deficit. Walker has tried to dismiss the number as unrealistic because it’s calculated using agency requests and the agencies always end up with less than what they requested. But that’s an oddly hypocritical stance given that the apocryphal $3.6 billion budget deficit he always crows about balancing was calculated the very same way. ...

... and more unrealistic games by the GOP on the National level

In practice, these models are political statements. They show the biggest economic effects by assuming that tax cuts are financed by unspecified future spending cuts. The smaller size of government, not the tax cuts by themselves, largely drives the models’ results.

MJS : Gov. "Hidden Agenda" Walker - Purpose of " Budget Deficits " 2015

#HiddenAgendaWalker WI 1848 Forward: # MJS : Gov. " #HiddenAgenda " #Walker - Purpose of " #Budget #Deficits " 2015

Gov. "Hidden Agenda" #Walker - Purpose of " #Budget #Deficits " 2015- #LFB 1/23 - Wisconsin budget deficits bigger