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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Monday, November 15, 2010

Investments in Wisconsin's Future: Dead on Arrival

by folkbum

State Sen. Alberta Darling, in this morning's paper, has offered up what is perhaps this single most succinct description of the Republicans' plan for the next few years. Responding to an ambitious plan by Tony Evers at the Department of Public Instruction--whose winning vote margin was significantly wider than Scott Walker's--to rejigger the state's school funding formula and offer some sense of financial stability to struggling school districts, Darling called it "dead on arrival."

Which pretty well sums up, I think, the GOP answer to anything that looks long-term at Wisconsin's future. Adequate funding to teach our children? DOA. Energy sources that don't rely solely on fossil fuels? DOA. Transportation options that don't line the pockets of road builders? DOA. Scientific research that holds promise for medical breakthroughs? DOA.

The list like that is, I fear, endless, far beyond the few examples we've already seen in the two weeks since election day. Indeed, I am hard-pressed to think of a single proposal floated during or since the campaign from the Republicans that was anything other than promises to roll back advances or work done by Democrats; reopening the Las Vegas tax loophole and making it harder to vote seem to be the top priorities.

Maybe to Republican voters that sort of thing, like killing biomass and rail, sounds like "progress." But in 10 years, in 40 years, are people really going to look back on this moment in Wisconsin history and give thanks that the GOP shut down investments in our future? Is that future itself now DOA?

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