Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, the Democrat running against Scott Walker in the June 5 recall election, has relentlessly attacked Walker's budget cuts. But Barrett has refused to say what he would have done differently to balance the budget or even how much he would have cut from education in particular. In a letter released today, the co-chairs of the Wisconsin legislature's Joint Committee on Finance step up the pressure and call on Barrett to provide a budget plan for the future or at least explain what he would have done differently than Walker to balance the budget last year.
"If you don’t have a comprehensive fiscal proposal for the future, then perhaps you could answer how you would have turned the state around this past legislative session," Representative Robin Vos and Senator Alberta Darling, wrote in a letter to Barrett on Thursday. "Would you have raised taxes and cut programs – or both – to close the $3.6 billion deficit?"
Barrett refused to answer similar questions in an April 11 interview with THE WEEKLY STANDARD. He said that he would not have enacted business tax cuts that Walker and Republicans did--but those tax cuts amounted to just over $100 million, a mere 3 percent of the state's $3.6 billion deficit.
In an April 22 report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Barrett said, "We don't know the dollar amount. What we're going to do between June and January is create jobs in the state, and it's our hope in January we'll have a much better handle on what to do to reverse his cuts to education" and health programs.
Walker says the reason Democrats won't answer the question is because "they’d have to do what they did in Illinois, which is massive tax increases, massive service cuts, and layoffs.”