Stuart Carlson on the ‘Brown Movement’

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Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s record of fiscal mismanagement is well-known. From drastically underfunding critical public services like the County Mental Health Center, public transit and the social services call center, Walker’s record of damage is unprecedented.

One Wisconsin Now asked Stuart Carlson, the award-winning editorial cartoonist whose sought-after work has appeared in newspapers across the country, for his thoughts.

Walker is endorsing an irresponsible tax cut plan that would hand over the lion’s share of $2 billion a biennium to the rich and big businesses. Walker refuses to say how he’ll pay for these Bush-style tax cuts.

Despite the grave budget projection, Walker has repeated four specific budget-busting schemes as the cornerstone of his agenda for Wisconsin:

  • 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.
    [Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 2/23/09, 7/8/09, 1/25/10; “Upfront,” WISN-TV, 11/8/09; La Crosse Tribune, 11/24/09]

Walker refuses to tell us how he will pay for these tax cuts which would require drastic cuts to education, health care and police and fire protection – and that’s nothing to laugh about.

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.