Thursday, February 17, 2011

welcome to wisconsin.

maybe i've just never paid good enough attention to national current events before this past year or so, but it seems like ever since i moved to wisconsin, it's been all over the news.

from our flash floods in the fall to our overnight 15+ inches of snow...from our missing girl (who nancy grace still talks about) to our parents who decided to pray over their daughter instead of take her to a doctor (sadly, the girl died from complications due to diabetes -- totally preventable if her parents would have done more than exercise their "faith" over her)...from the packers winning the super bowl to wisconsin teams beating #1 unbeaten OSU teams not once but TWICE. crazy.

and now -- our governor wants to fix our state's budget by doing some major cost cutting and the entire state is up in arms about it. a bunch of our senators FLED THE STATE to escape having to vote on the bill today. i mean, seriously, people. can we be a little more ridiculous?

basically, wisconsin is poor (like pretty much every state in the country) but now our governor wants to fix it all within his first month and a half in office, by getting rid of collective bargaining for unions and cutting some health care and other benefits for state employees. one of our photographers likened it to "fixing" a family budget by saying, "oh, this year we just won't buy food." will save you money. but also, it's not healthy. i still haven't decided what i think about the issue, since it still needs to pass through the legislature and that could totally change all the rules. but the people here are passionate and it's been interesting to watch the drama unfold.

what is also not super-healthy?
toy story macaroni & cheese. but it is delicious.

so here's to you, wisconsin.
way to get in the national spotlight and make my life as a reporter
interesting (if not totally ridiculous) on a day-to-day basis.


Sarah said...


Mrs. D said...

you seriously made me high five my computer.

i hope you're happy.
xx love youuuu

Beth Grimmett said...

Hey, at least you're getting great experience right? I mean, in future years you can say," I'm Anna Carrera and I covered Wisconsin during 2010-11.... ya.... I'm that good."

Briane P said...

Hopefully, it makes your job more interesting... got to beat covering local town hall debates on trash pickup, right?

I do have to differ with you, though: Wisconsin is not poor. The LFB projects a surplus of over $131 million. In the past, the state gov't raided a malpractice fund to balance the budget and now has to pay that back, and Gov. Patsy is saying that'll be paid back by June 30, 2011-- which is a lie, because the money simply isn't there to pay it back by that time, and wouldn't be even if he were successful in firing every state employee. There's not $200 million in "government waste," no matter how much he'd like to think so.

In reality, the money'll be paid back over a course of years. Wisconsin's other fiscal troubles are minor, comparatively, and are things like owing the federal government for unemployment payouts, since Wisc can't afford what it's paying right now. That's not a long-term structural problem but a short-term result of the mortgage crisis that would resolve itself even without dramatic intervention.

It's worth noting that Patsy's "jobs plan" isn't really a jobs plan at all: Luring companies here may help in the short term with unemployment, but we're pretty low in terms of unemployment already, so what'll happen is either companies will have to move here and get workers to move here, TOO, or we're going to simply have new companies hiring away older companies' workers -- nice for the workers, but bad for the companies.

I do believe you that reporters are working on attributing comments, though -- and I've added your blog to my reading list.