Governor Tony Evers and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos are the leaders of the Uniparty
The Uniparty Serves Only Itself
Tony Evers just signed Wisconsin’s 2023-2025 biennial budget after months of “negotiating” with the Republican controlled legislature. Wisconsin’s partial veto rules allow the Governor to completely change the intent of the budget passed by the legislature before signing it, and Evers took this absurdity to a new level.
Like me, many of you may have thought the early reporting, that Evers increased annual public-school funding each year for the next 402 years, was an error. It wasn’t. Here’s what he did: Based on his budget discussions with the Republican leadership, the final budget included an increase of $325 per pupil spending for grades K-12 in the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years. Evers used his veto pen to eliminate the “20” in 2024 and eliminate the “-“ between 24 and 25 to create the end year of 2425. With a few additional manipulations, the signed budget now increases spending each year until 2425.
The budget process started with the Republicans scrapping the budget Evers sent to them and then progressed into “negotiations” that resulted in a Republican-drafted budget that passed along nearly party lines. Evers took the final language and played word games with 51 vetoes, far from the record numbers set by Governors of both parties in years past.
Robin Vos, the Republican leader of the Assembly, is crying foul. He’s calling Evers a liar and threatening to sue on constitutional grounds. Evers responded by saying, “You know it’s childish to say …that I broke a promise. We never talked about what the school funding would look like after these next 2 years.” By suggesting the 400-year timeline is reasonable because it was not discussed, the Governor exposes his contempt for truth, and he has plenty of company across the political landscape.
Partisans on both sides of the aisle are showing us once again they are cut from the same cloth and out of touch with the voters. Tommy Thompson, the Republican Governor who holds the record of 457 partial vetoes in one year, sees no problem with Evers recrafting the budget with vetoes. He contends it’s the only mechanism available when the governor is facing a legislature dominated by the opposing party.
Former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle showed his colors when he said, “Everybody will shout and scream, but he’s got ‘em.” “What Governor Evers did was masterful.” Apparently, these politicians think governing is just a game.
The budget Evers and the Republicans agreed to before his vetoes didn’t have it right either. It increased the spending authority for public school districts by nearly $1.2 billion, ten times larger than the last biennium budget in 2021-2023. There was no mention of any requirement to improve the dismal outcomes being produced by public schools with the increased spending, demonstrating once again that neither party has any interest in, nor understanding of, the concepts of results or return on investment.
In another blow, Evers used his veto pen to reduce the budget’s income tax cut from an average of $573 per household to an average of $36, keeping surpluses in the hands of government rather than returning our money to us. Dividing citizens is a preferred strategy of politicians, and Evers claims his veto was necessary to keep the wealthy from getting the tax breaks. In truth, he slashed the tax cut for a household earning $60,000 - $70,000, which is the middle of the pack in Wisconsin, from $249 to $44. This affront to hardworking Wisconsin taxpayers, many who are struggling with the high prices brought on by liberal policies, leaves little doubt those living in the political bubble are far removed from the everyday lives of real people.
Voters throughout Wisconsin, and across the country, are increasingly referring to the two parties as the Uniparty. They stand for nothing people care about and seem to think governing is just a game of money and power. The status quo suits their purposes and any serious threat to it becomes their common enemy.
Apathy and complacency have allowed corruption to overtake our political process. It will be up to us to decide if we are going to do something about it. The Uniparty is aptly named, dangerous to our freedom and serves only itself.