Wisconsin's $6.5 billion house of cards

Here's a simple test on the state's now $6.5 billion deficit: what do the reactions from Gov. Doyle, Speaker Sheridan, Senator Decker, Rep. Nelson, and JFC Chairs Pocan and Miller have in common?

The answer is: "It's not our fault! Blame Wall Street!"

That's right. Once again, the state's political leaders are passing the buck and ignoring the fact that they increase spending by $4.5 billion in this budget. I understand that the national economy has put a drag on Wisconsin's, but that doesn't mean we shirk responsibility.

Gov. Doyle needs to realize that the stimulus bill from President Obama will not solve all our problems. Nor will the symbolic 8 day furloughs he proposes as a band-aid. The deficit is not a minor scratch, Governor, it's more like the state lost a leg. We need a little bit more to stop the bleeding.

Gov. Doyle has been in office 6 years. He owns this deficit. It's his. He holds the most powerful veto pen in the country. His shell games and fund transfers over the last three budgets have only made matters worse. Now he's run out of funds to rob and suddenly, the entire Democrat leadership in the legislature decides that this is Wall Street's problem.

No. The recession may have made things worse, but after years of mismanagement by Gov. Doyle, the house of cards that had become Wisconsin's budget was bound to collapse eventually.