cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
First, thank goodness that the elections are essentially over this morning. This seemed a particularly grueling election season although I don't quite understand why.
From a personal perspective, I won some and lost some; probably like many of you. Now, I'm trying to determine what I think will be happening as the result of the votes made yesterday and earlier by absentee ballot. I haven't even thought about the national implications, but have some ideas about our state and local implications.
The Democrats achieved the 'trifecta' they have desired by taking control of the Assembly, and keeping control of the Senate and statehouse.
Some of the results that I foresee are these...
The state budget is in a three to four billion dollar shortfall situation, I think we'll see an increase in the sales tax statewide, and that we could see an increase in our income taxes, as well.
The municipalities have long complained about the limitations they face on local property tax increases. I think those limits will either be removed or significantly increased so that we will almost certainly see property tax increases at our village level.
The state teachers' union, WEAC, has long advocated the removal of the QEO (qualified economic offer) rules in Wisconsin. I think we'll see QEOs gone and that will result in some very large increases in teacher compensation and benefits thus increasing our local property taxes on that score, as well.
Among the other hot button issues will be the discussions concerning a state run health care plan for virtually all citizens. This has been happening incrementally in the various BadgerCare plans, but I expect to see a real push in the coming year.
Given the budget shortfall and the pain that will cause, I suspect that other programs will have to be put on the 'back burner'.
Other things, such as the ban smoking movement will be much more visible.
Some have wondered if our current governor might be selected to become part of President Obama's leadership team. Governor Doyle is actually less liberal than is the lieutenant governor, Barbara Lawton. I won't be surprised if Governor Doyle is tapped for a role in Washington, but I'll grit my teeth at the thought of a "Governor Lawton".