With a $5 billion deficit for the biennial Wisconsin budget, Jim Doyle and the Democrats are doing everything they can to see if they can sneak tax increases out of the citizens of this state. Yet he knows an election year is coming, and he is nervous already because he is deciding to run character assassin ads about a prospective opponent. Budget after budget of huge tax increases is finally getting noticed. With huge federal budgets and even huger deficits at the federal level, increasing taxes is becoming unpopular. The state missed its chance to do huge increases when they were popular to do so. So now what is next? Budget cuts?
Well, Jim Doyle might be forced to do what he finds personally and morally reprehensible to do -- cut some spending. One of the proposed ways that Jim Doyle is going to be saving state money is the early release of so-called nonviolent felons. Wouldn't that improve life here in Wisconsin? Taking people that be labeled as lawbreakers and deserving to be taken from society for a period of time in punishment for their crime and putting them back out on the streets. I'm not seeing lock everybody up and throw away the key who is ever been convicted, but how many lines have to be screwed up before people realize that sometimes taking away your freedom can be a solution. The liberals in Wisconsin certainly aren't going to call for the death penalty. But who wants child molesters living next to them? It should be the same people who picket abortion clinics saying every life is precious.
In the long run will this really save money? The short answer is no. Of course not. It's just taking people away from the states responsibility and shifting it to local governments. Once these offenders are out, will he be rehabilitated? Probably not. Will they reoffend? We know some will. What is our level of tolerance? How many crimes are we going to put up with thinking that it is saving us money? If you've ever been a victim of a crime, like I have, the level of sympathy and empathy towards criminals and the crimes they commit may be lowered. Sure, property can be replaced, but what else is taken from victims of crime? Ask the guy who lost an eye because he walked past some people who were bored. Ask the victims of Bernard Madoff's schemes. Ask anyone whose property has been stolen or vandalized. What if you work hard for something and bought it if someone can come along and just take it from you? Is that spreading the wealth?
Why does Wisconsin's budget process allow for items to be snuck in there that have absolutely nothing to do with spending? State lawmakers should make a change to that. The budget should only contain budget items, not a bunch of stuff that would not be made into law if it did not have to be passed as part of a larger measure. This practice did not start with Jim Doyle, but it should end now. State legislators should be working to change this instead of wasting time with a bunch of feel-good laws like putting beepers in vans, making new drunk driving laws, and proposing seatbelt laws. Sure, these proposals would make Wisconsin a better state, but they will be hard to enforce and will not make the social changes that are desperately needed causing the proposal of these laws. Plus, what are you we going to do with violators? Certainly not put them in jail.
So the next time you read in the paper about someone who was stolen something, someone gets beat up by their boyfriend or girlfriend, or somehow somebody else's life gets turned upside down because someone doesn't know right from wrong or even if they do they make the wrong choice. Turn your focus away from being the victim and remember Gov. Doyle is trying to save you money.