Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has promised an impossible $3.8 billion in tax breaks, loopholes and shifts he has no way to pay for, a new analysis by One Wisconsin Now shows. Coupled with the state’s conservative predictions of a $2.7 billion projected deficit, Walker would need to slash almost $6.5 billion from education, health care, police and fire protection to give tax breaks and loopholes to the wealthy and big business.
Juxtapose this with new census information showing the income gap between the rich and poor has never been wider. Americans in the middle are treading water, watching as their salaries fall while the richest see theirs rise.
“Millions of people are stuck at home because they can’t find a job. Poverty increased in a majority of states, and children have been hit especially hard,” said Mark Mather, associate vice president of the Population Reference Bureau.
The top-earning 20 percent of Americans – those making more than $100,000 each year – received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent made by the bottom 20 percent of earners, those who fell below the poverty line, according to the new figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.
At the top, the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans, who earn more than $180,000, added slightly to their annual incomes last year, the data show. Families at the $50,000 median level slipped lower.
It makes you wonder if Walker is just completely oblivious to the plight of the unemployed and working poor, or if he actually believes it’s just and right to enrich the already rich and pull the rug out from underneath everyone else. Trickle down economics has worked so well that we now have the greatest gap between the incomes of the rich and the poor. Let’s give the rich even more tax cuts and make the gap even wider.