By Kathleen Vinehout
We played the cards we were dealt," my colleague shared. "We really didn't have a choice." He was referring to his vote to support the state's two-year budget.
The story goes, "The state is broke. We had a $3 billion deficit. We had to make tough decisions. We had to cut education, universities, technical colleges, local governments, services to the disabled and seniors. We had no choice. We had to put the state back on a sound financial basis."
This sounds adult, even heroic and a little self-sacrificing. There is a small problem: The facts don't support the rhetoric.
If the state was ever broke, it was two years ago. The national economy was losing 700,000 jobs a month. In Wisconsin, we had a $6.6 billion deficit. State revenues were falling like a rock as we sank into the worst recession since the Depression of the 1930s.