Walker’s Lack of Constitutional Knowledge Rivals His Budget Incompetence

Says He'll ''Sign' Constitutional Amendment on Patient Fund; Governor Has No Legal Role in Amendments

“As governor, I’ll find ways to do more with less …and sign an amendment that will protect funds like these from future raids.” “¢ Walker Statement, 7/20/10

(Note: Since One Wisconsin Now accessed the press release at 9 a.m., Walker has changed the word ”sign’ to ”support.’ A link to Walker’s original release is available at: http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/walkerConstitution )

MADISON, Wis. — Milwaukee County Executive County Scott Walker, who has said he will reduce the state’s expected $2.5 billion budget deficit by offering $3 billion in tax cuts, loopholes and shifts that will primarily benefit the rich and big business, apparently knows even less about the state’s constitutional amendment process. Walker said today as governor, he would “sign an amendment that will protect funds” like patients’ compensation fund despite the governor having no legal role in the state’s constitutional amendment process.

“Looks like the only thing Scott Walker knows less about than responsible budgeting is what is the job of the governor,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Before he starts changing the job of the governor, maybe he should tell us how he’ll pay for the $3 billion in tax cuts, loopholes and shifts he’s proposed to help rich people and his donors in big business.”

Walker has refused to detail how he will pay for his previous tax cuts for the rich and big business. As part of his gimmick-laden, substance-free campaign, Walker offered an impossible plan, which he has no authority to uniformly enact, to cut pensions of working families, generating an infinitesimal fraction of the total needed to pay for Walker’s budget schemes.

As has been true throughout his campaign for governor, Walker has refused to provide any specifics on what he would cut to pay for his proposed tax cuts and shifts, including:

  • Slash income taxes for the top one percent of income earners who make more than $225,000 a year “¢ two-year budget cost: $287 million.
  • Reopen the “Las Vegas Loophole” which allows Wisconsin businesses to shelter their tax obligations to Wisconsin families through phantom “offices” in states without corporate income tax “¢ two-year budget cost: $375 million.
  • Repeal changes made to the capital gains tax deduction, despite the fact 70 percent of capital gains filings are from those earning more than $200,000 a year “¢ two-year budget cost: $243 million.
  • Shelter the assets of the wealthiest Wisconsinites even more by a radical end to tax paid on retirement income, regardless of income “¢ two-year budget cost: $920 million.
  • Shift tax revenue from new car sales into the transportation fund “¢ two-year budget cost: $1 billion.
  • [Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 2/23/09, 7/8/09, 1/25/10; “Upfront,” WISN-TV, 11/8/09; La Crosse Tribune, 11/24/09], Wisconsin State Journal, 6/20/10; Legislative Fiscal Bureau]

“Before Scott Walker takes on new responsibilities that the governor doesn’t even have, he can tell us how he’ll pay for this $3 billion tax scheme,” said Ross. “He does have the ability to detail exactly what from education, health care, police and fire protection he’s planning on slashing to give tax cuts to the rich and big business “¢ he just refuses to do that.”

Walker’s mismanagement of Milwaukee County has included proposing spending increases of 35 percent, higher than that of Gov. Doyle, while enacting privatization schemes that have compromised public safety and starved badly-needed infrastructure investments.

For more information on Walker’s record of failure in Milwaukee County, visit: www.ScottWalkerFailureFiles.com.

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.