Saturday, August 3, 2013

Walker & Republicans Wrong On Budgets & Taxes

Gov. Scott Walker signs 2-year, $70 billion Wisconsin budget
The budget approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature includes all of Walker’s priorities, including a $650 million income tax cut, expansion of private school vouchers and changes to the state’s Medicaid and food stamp programs... 
The “biggest, boldest reform” in the budget was new work requirements for people on food stamps. Able-bodied adults must spend at least 20 hours a week working or getting trained for a job, or they will be limited to three months of benefits over three years. Walker described this as a kindness. 
“We say it’s time to get the training, and the access to training so that when a job becomes available, you are ready to get in the game,” he said.
Tax Plans for Wisconsin Go From Bad to Worse
Here is how the tax cut would be distributed among income groups: 
- The top 5% of earners alone, a group with an average income of $392,000, would receive more than 1/3 of the benefit of the income tax cuts.
- The top 20% of earners, a group with an average income of $183,000, would receive more than 2/3 of the benefit.
- The bottom 60% of earners – those making $60,000 a year or less – would only receive 11% of the benefit of the income tax cuts.
- The 20% of the Wisconsinites with the lowest incomes would receive just two cents out of every $100 in individual income tax cuts under this proposal.

Bad Budgets Become Law in Ohio and Wisconsin
The budget Governor Walker just signed also created a structural deficit of $505 million in the next biennium.
The Truth About State Taxes
The record suggests that taxes in Wisconsin were lower under Doyle than under any governor in the last five decades, as compared to other states...
One of the peak levels of taxation came under Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, who increased taxes to the point that they took 13.1% of personal income in Wisconsin in 1996, when the state ranked 3rd in taxes nationally. The state still ranked 4th when Thompson left office...
Another way of measuring this is to look at total state-local spending. The WisTax figures show the 2011 state/local expenditures per person were $8,351 nationally and almost exactly the same, $8,383 in Wisconsin.
For Further Reading:
Legislative Fiscal Bureau 2015-2017 General Fund Budget
Budget Bill Turns Large Surplus into a $505 Million Hole in 2015-17 Biennium

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