Scott Walker has threatened to veto, for what must be the bazillionth time, an advisory referendum on raising the Milwaukee County sales tax to fund, among other things, parks, transit, and emergency medical services. In honor of that, I would like to reprint, wholesale, the post I wrote the last time he vetoed the referendum.
I don't know how else to put it. Scott Walker is just dumb.
Today he vetoed an advisory referendum on raising the Milwaukee County sales tax one cent in order to fund the public services he won't, and offer a little property tax relief on the side. If passed, this would not of itself raise taxes--it would merely advise the county supervisors whether the public is in favor of the increase or not.
If the public votes no, Scott Walker is vindicated in his and his suburb-dwelling radio chorus's constant no-tax crusade. He can rub the county board's face in their clear out-of-touchness with the voters. He can dance the jig of joy on the grave of the people who still believe that there is a place for the public--parks, transportation, schools, and so on.
If the public votes yes, then no doubt the county board will send along a sales-tax increase for Walker's signature. There, he's got two choices, both of which leave Walker a potential winner. One, he vetoes the measure then, claims his victory, and remains a hero of the pundit class. (The danger is that the board could override him.)
Two, he could sign the sales-tax increase into law. Would that violate the no-tax-at-any-cost ethos that Walker is so dimly the hood ornament for? Yes. But Walker gets a freebie here--after all, the people wanted it! And, perhaps most importantly for Walker, Milwaukee County services will finally get the funding they need! Walker gets to dodge the blame for raising taxes while at the same time fixing a lot of the problems people hate him for!
Walker looks obstructionist and petty with this veto. It will not help as much as he thinks it will with his said-it-wouldn't-happen re-election campaign. Not letting this referendum through is just dumb.
(I hope I'm not stealing capper's thunder too much here; I know how much he likes blogging about that ol' Walker: Tosa Ranger.)