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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Real WIGOP Nostradamus: Mark Belling

In this morning's post, I mocked the absurd idea that Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker was somehow prescient about the Republicans' spackling at the hands of Democrats in the elections earlier this month, calling him the Nostradamus of the Wisconsin GOP.

I was wrong, however.

It's actually Mark Belling:
You can start calling me "The Great Marconi." My psychic ability to forecast every single post-election move by Gov. Jim Doyle is uncanny. The election is only three weeks old and I’ve already nailed my predictions of an auto registration fee hike and a "discovery" that the state budget is badly out of balance. Now, the governor (through his minions) is pushing to raise the state sales tax by eliminating many of the items exempt from it. I mentioned three times on my radio show over the past 10 days that this move was coming and on Monday, Doyle’s closest ally in the state Legislature went public with it.
Three for three! Seems like an outsanding record, no? Well, no.

I don't listen to Belling--he thinks about as much of me and my profession as I do of him, but he's a lot less polite about it. So I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he really did make these predictions on his show or in his shower or wherever else he spouts off. But, really, how magifico is his prognosticatorness? Let's take his three predictions one at a time:
  1. Auto registration fee increase. Let's see: In his 2003-2005 budget, Governor Doyle proposed a $10 increase in the auto registration fee. In his 2005-2007 budget, Governor Doyle proposed a $10 increase in the auto registration fee. During campaign 2006, Governor Doyle suggested a $10 increase in the auto registration fee. Mark Belling predicts, after the Doyle victory, that there would be an increase in the auto registration fee? Genius! Not really.

  2. The anticipated deficit in the next budget cycle. The November 20th budget reports never show an impending defi-- what? Seth, you wanted to say something?
    On November 20, 2004, the Journal Sentinel ran a front page article by Patrick Marley and Stacy Forster titled "Deficit is $1.6 Billion, State Says." [. . .] When the state DOA under Scott McCallum released its very conservative projected budget gap of $2.6 billion on November 20, 2002 -- the largest in state history, which included an actual deficit of around $300 million for FY 2002-2003 -- the resulting Journal Sentinel story didn't even make the main section, instead landing in the Metro section.
    So Belling's a genius? Again, not so much.

  3. The sales-tax thing. Oh, well, this one you really have to give Belling credit for, since, I am pretty sure there was never a commission appointed by Governor Doyle that issued any kind of final report (.pdf) that recommended a sales-tax for property-tax swap. No one could have seen it coming. Genius.

    Not really. I'm being sarcastic.
So, there it is. Claim your title, Mark Belling, the Great Macaroni. The Bellingadamus. Gee. Nyus. Woo. Hoo.

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