9.28.2006

Doyle responsible for $250 million cut to UW budget

In today's Badger Herald, the vice-chair of the College Democrats accused Republicans of distorting Governor Doyle's record when it comes to UW System budgets. In the op-ed piece, Doyle is not responsible for the massive cuts to the University System or the resulting tuition hikes. No, all of that is the result of those mean and nasty Republicans in the state legislature.

Unfortunately, the truth is not as pleasant as the Democrats would like to believe it.

The truth of the matter is that in Doyle's 2003 budget he proposed a $250 million cut in the UW System budget. The cuts were part of his attempt to erase a $3.2 billion deficit and were eventually passed by the Republican controlled legislature. So yes, Republicans did pass the cuts, but the original cuts were proposed and signed by the Governor.

Doyle has also been responsible for appointing members of the Board of Regents for the past 4 years. Those appointees are the ones who have proposed our tuition increases that are in danger of pricing college out of reach for most Wisconsin families. As I have said before, the Regents would rather simply raise our tuition than save some money by cutting administrative costs.

In the same budget that Doyle cut $250 million, he raised financial aid only $23 million dollars. That doesn't sound like a comparable increase to me.

No one disputes that tuition has gone up 55% under Governor Doyle's administration. So why can't Democrats admit that he is responsible for the cuts that led to those increases as well?

As college students we should remember that this Governor promised us that he would not allow the Regents to pass budget cuts on to us in the form of tuition increases. Of course, that was when he was candidate Doyle and needed our help to be elected. Now, in another election year, he is banking on us to have forgotten his promises.

Governor Doyle is not a friend of students, he is not a friend of taxpayers, he is only a friend to those he needs to stay in office. Even then, the devotion only lasts until after the election, or after the check clears.