Doyle’s Failures Gain National Recognition

Cato Institute is out with their 10th biennial “fiscal policy report card,” wherein they sift out the responsible governors from the spendthrifts.

They examined spending data since 2008 and assigned each governor a grade of “A” to “F.”

Yeah,  you know where this is heading.

Their take on our very own Governor Jim Doyle:

Jim Doyle, Wisconsin: F

Governor Doyle generally avoided tax increases his first few years in office, but he changed course in 2007 and signed into law an almost $900 million package of tax increases on cigarettes, hospitals, oil companies, and real estate. In 2009, Doyle approved a $1.1 billion tax increase, which included broadening the corporate tax base, increasing the top personal income tax rate from 6.75 percent to 7.75 percent, increasing cigarette taxes by 75 cents per pack, reducing the capital gains tax exclusion, and increasing hospital taxes. Doyle has refused to go along with the legislature in providing property tax relief, and he is fond of issuing debt to finance higher spending. With all these fresh revenues in hand, Doyle proposed a 4.7 percent general fund spending increase for FY11.

This is not news to folks back here in Wisconsin, especially those who are regular visitors to the MacIver Institute.

A primer on the 2009-11 State Budget.

More coverage of Doyle’s budget practices.

While the lame duck governor’s term mercifully comes to an end in January, it seems like each day we find more evidence that the Doyle legacy will be an albatross around Wisconsin’s neck for years to come. Just this week came new reports that Wisconsin owes the feds over a billion dollars for papering over a huge deficit in our unemployment reserve.

“This is one of the most under-reported stories about Wisconsin’s dire fiscal condition,” said State Representative Mark Honadel earlier today. “Anti-employer policies in Madison lead to high unemployment and leave a legacy where we have to pay for the sins of the past.”


By Brian Fraley
A MacIver Institute Perspective