9.09.2006

Governor Doyle is the real culprit in budget cuts

I am beginning to feel like a broken record on this, but after the College Democrats' recent press release I simply cannot stay silent.

Gubenatorial candidate Mark Green unveiled his plan for the UW System last week. In it he calls for many things that he believes would help the UW continue to be one of the nation's top university systems. Although none of his press releases or public statements mention cuts in the UW System budget, the UW College Democrats claim that Green will cut the budget by "$100 million." I have gone over and over Green's proposals and I don't see any cuts, none.

On the contrary, Green proposes limiting tuition hikes to the rate of inflation. Now, under Governor Doyle tuition has increased by more than 50%, quite a bit more than the rate of inflation. If Green were interested in cutting the budget wouldn't he propose keeping tuition stagnant, or even cut? Also, the College Dems assert that a Green plan "would also mean deep cuts to financial aid and student scholarships." Oh, really? Green's plan actually calls for a state law that would require financial aid to increase at the same rate that tuition increases. This would ensure that those students who receive financial aid continue to be able to afford to attend our high-quality universities.

Mark Green also proposes to build on current regional research programs at UW campuses around the state. These programs are designed so that the College and the community work together to their mutual benefit. Again, Green talks of building onto current programs, not tearing them down.

In fact, the only time that Green mentions budget cuts is when he points out, quite correctly, that under Doyle state spending has increased 20% while the UW System has been cut $341 million. Yes, the Republicans control the Legislature but Doyle holds the most powerful veto pen in the nation. If Doyle really wanted to do something he could have vetoed the cuts without harming anything else. So who really is gutting the UW System?

Bottom line is this: The UW System is the only place to receive massive budget cuts under Jim Doyle. Why? Because Doyle believes that we are the one constituency group that will blindly follow him and keep him in office.

Think about it. We are the ones paying for the cuts.