Sounding a lot like his predecessor, Gov. Scott Walker, the current Milwaukee County Executive, Democrat Chris Abele says it's time for the County to, of course, tighten its belt:

"There is no way we can avoid major cuts to balance the budget - and balance the budget is what we are going to do."

Thanks to Gov. Walker's redistribution of state aid away from local governments and towards big corporations, along with some past misguided pension perks and what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel calls  "expensive sick leave and vacation benefits," Abele sees no choice but to cut, cut, cut-- services and likely some County employees.

This is what comes, I suppose, from electing a liberal millionaire to run a county whose extremes of wealth and poverty are great. Rather than imaginatively proposing a significant tax hike on his wealthy friends and the larger corporations in the County, or even a sales tax on luxury items, or a tax on people who work in Milwaukee County but live elsewhere, Abele will, in effect, do exactly what Gov. Walker is doing in Madison: punish the poor and the public servants.

Given the poverty and lack of jobs in the center of the County, Abele ought to be doing all he can to use the wealth of the periphery to invest in education and jobs for those in need. Ditto for the County Supervisors.

I have yet to hear from Milwaukee County Democrats opposed to Abele's Walker-like cuts, but I'm busy and perhaps I missed it. I trust the groundswell of outrage is germinating somewhere.

(Postscript-- James Rowen helpfully points out that a state law prevents counties from collecting selective or progressive taxes, except for a sales tax. This is a law we ought to change. In the meantime, Abele could raise taxes on everyone or not balance the budget and blame Walker, Ament, etc. Cutting essential services and laying off County employees to balance the sheets is not the humane way to go.)