Immediately after President Obama took office in Jan. 2009, I began to see unsubstantiated bumper stickers appear with slogans like, “How’s all that change workin’ out for ya?” and “Don’t blame me, I voted for McCain!” which I found both hilarious and saddening since the president had not even unpacked his suitcase before ignorant voters were blaming him for the state of affairs.

It was as if the direct links to the previous 28 years of Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush were completely erased the moment a black Democrat assumed office. After all, the president had not even addressed congress, much less signed any new legislation. But sure, the recession, the financial collapse, the burst of the housing bubble, the bank bailouts—all of which occurred before Obama took the oath—yeah, that was all his fault.

In other words, Republicans were all too willing to criticize the president for things that had nothing to do with his administration, and could not have since he wasn’t in office when they happened, and had no evidence (tangible or otherwise) to back up their claims.

If conservatives were so willing to blame President Obama for things that did not happen during his tenure, surely they will be equally anxious to decry the role of government and the office of the executive after witnessing decidedly sharp and notable declines resulting from several years of flawed, foolish, dyed-in-the-wool Republican policy from a puppet governor. Won’t they?

So let us examine the current affairs in the state off Wisconsin, shall we?

For two and a half years of rule by a Governor with no college degree, bolstered by a gerrymandered, Republican Assembly and Senate, “conservatives” have enjoyed legislative carte blanche, passing any and every bit of pro-corporate, anti-citizen/worker/environment/education/women piece of legislation they and their lobbyists can muster. Of course, they’ve done it all under the banner of “Wisconsin is open for business!” and parroting the promise of 250,000 new jobs by the end of Walker’s first term.

So what do they have to show for their nearly three years of unchecked, ideological policy-making?

Forbes Magazine ranks Wisconsin 42nd in the country for business.

Wisconsin ranks 44th  in the country for job growth (down from 11th in 2010),
45th for wage growth (with wages falling by 2.2% in 2012),
47th in new business start-ups,
49th in economic outlook,
and it’s one of only three states to actually lose jobs between April 2012 and April 2013.

Keep in mind, this is all during the biggest economic surge we’ve had in the US since before 3rd Quarter 2008. Don’t get me wrong, things are still far from OK in the country, unemployment is still too high and wages have been consistently stagnant for the last 30 years, which is quickly shrinking the middle-class , the “consuming-powerhouse” that once drove our economy. Nonetheless, the yoke has been loosening nationwide, except Wisconsin of course, a microcosm test-ground for the effects of rampant Republican rule.

So naturally, in the face of these depressing figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and after seeing scathing economic opinion written by bastions of conservative economic policy like Forbes Magazine, Republicans will be lining up to point out how flawed their policies have been and how they have reduced Wisconsin to an economic laughingstock, right? I mean, here are the numbers, they actually have the data, and it was all collected after conservatives had passed and spent their first biannual budget. No one to blame but themselves, right?

Fat chance.

No, instead of acknowledging their failed policies and considering some modest alternatives, Wisconsin Republicans went and passed another destructive and irresponsible budget that even flies in the face of their own ideology. And they did so by limiting debate to only two days, one of which was wasted as they threw together a hasty and ineffective amendment, giving law makers only one day to read and debate the entire biannual state budget.

The new Wisconsin Republican Budget (not a single Democrat voted for it nor offered an amendment to it) increases spending and borrowing, raises property taxes, creates a $500,000,000 structural deficit, and most disgustingly, at a time of preaching fiscal restraint and forcing local governments to have balanced budgets, Wisconsin’s State Budget had to be exempted from the Republicans’ own balanced budget law, since it spends more than it takes in through 2015.

Wait, increases spending? Increases borrowing? Raises taxes? Creates a half-billion dollar deficit?! I thought this budget was entirely written, amended and voted for by the “fiscally responsible” Republicans. Isn’t that the sort of budget that Republicans cited to rail against their opponents 4 years ago?

Apparently, that mantra only applies when Democrats are in control of the executive.

Meet the new boss; same as the old boss…

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