Governor Scott Walker Screws Up

Posted October 31st, 2011 @ 8:08 AM by

At some point, does Governor Scott Walker need to go because he is running state government pretty poorly?

Wisconsin finds itself in a tough position because an assumption was made based on some pretty flimsy evidence (emphasis mine):

Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has conceded that it will not receive a $45 million windfall from the federal government that the administration was counting on to help close a budget shortfall in the state’s health plans for the poor.

To cover about a fifth of those savings, the state had been counting on the money from the federal government to reimburse past medical costs that Wisconsin and other states believe they improperly had to pay because of systemic federal mistakes involving disability programs. But in a letter sent Thursday, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote that she lacked the legal authority to make the payments or provide a “quick solution” to the issue.

This really shouldn’t have been much of a surprise because:

David Riemer said the Walker administration had been unwise to count on the federal government to deliver such a large cash payout. Riemer, the director of Community Advocates Public Policy Institute in Milwaukee, formerly served as the state budget director under then-Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat.

“What reason did they have to rely on this? Everybody I talked to shook their head and said not likely or not likely in the short run or not likely unless Congress passes a law,” Riemer said. “They’re being told in advance that they’re not going to get that money.”

Yeah, that’s not good planning now is it? Also, this quote doesn’t leave me with much confidence either:

Stephanie Smiley, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health Services, said the agency had been unaware of the letter until contacted by a reporter. Smiley said the state didn’t currently have a backup plan to cover that money.

“If what you sent us is in fact a denial of these waiver initiatives, DHS will need to find the additional $45 million in (state money). We do not yet have a proposal to find this savings,” Smiley said.

One of the fundamental flaws of small government conservatism is that the conservatives/Tea Party types don’t think that government can ever work well by its very nature. This means that to them, a well-functioning government is impossible, so they make very little effort to make government actually work. And we’re all stuck with the results.

Categories: | Media | Recall Walker | Wisconsin

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