Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Budget Compromise?

The Democratic State Senate and the Republican State Assembly have passed dramatically different budget proposals. The Dems plan calls for universal health care and other tax hikes that would double our level of taxation, while the Repubs plan holds the line on taxes. So now both sides get together to hash out their differences and try to cobble together a budget to send to Governor Doyle. They should compromise, right? Meet halfway. In the middle there is truth etc...

Not necessarily. A split the differences budget agreement would still entail a massive tax increase.

Compromise can be a wonderful thing, but it must be used wisely. My son will often lobby my wife and I regarding his bed time. Suppose we adopted the compromise technique. We might propose to hold the line on his bedtime while he would ask for a half hour extension. So he gets fifteen minutes. Then he gets smart. He proposes a renegotiation. We seek to hold the line, he proposes a two hour extension. We settle on an hour. If one is always willing to compromise, one will always lose ground to an aggressor. Sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand.

And so it is with our budget impass. Do the Dems really want to double our taxes, or is it just a means to increase them substantially after a Republican compromise? Do Republicans actually believe in holding the line on taxes or lowering them, or are they willing to abandon that notion in the spirit of compromise?

If compromise is seen as the end all be all, how long before you are fully compromised?

1 comment:

grumps said...

It's pretty clear that the Republicans are willing to increase the burden on taxpayers as long as they are able to call their indulgences, fees.

The compromise on this budget won't be 50-50. The Republicans have made so much of Healthy Wisconsin that when it is taken out of the budget the Dems will be seen as giving in much more than the Republicans have to offer.

The Republicans will look like pikers for the fee increases they are unwlling to give up, like intransigents for not giving up as much as the Dems and like heartless snakes for coming out against health care reform.

Heubsch and his crew have been badly snookered on this one. He'll have to sell out the core and won't be able to use it to gain traction with moderates.