Walker Rapid Response Part 2: Walker Just Approved $140 Million in New Spending

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Walker Rhetoric: “The legislation I put forward is about one thing: It’s about balancing our budget. Now, and in the future. Wisconsin faces a $137 million deficit for the remainder of this fiscal year. And a $3.6 billion deficit for the upcoming budget.”

Reality: In less than one month, Gov. Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature added $140 million in new special interest spending that increases the deficit and will not create jobs.

Reality: Walker is spending $25 million for an economic development fund for job creation that still has $73 million due to a lack of job creation. Walker is creating a $25 million hole which will not create or retain jobs. If it had created any jobs, they would already have applied for and received the tax credits, because there’s plenty of money already in the program. [Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 1/7/11]

Reality: Walker is spending $48 million for private health savings accounts, which primarily benefit the wealthy. A study from the federal Governmental Accountability Office showed the average adjusted gross income of HSA participants was $139,000 and nearly half of HSA participants reported withdrawing nothing from their HSA, evidence that it is serving as a tax shelter for wealthy participants. [Government Accountability Office, 4/1/08; Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 1/11/11]

Reality: Walker is spending $67 million for a tax shift plan, so ill-conceived that at-best the benefit provided to job creators would be less than a dollar a day per new job, and may be as little as 30 cents a day. This is hardly an incentive that will lead to new family-supporting jobs being created in Wisconsin. [Associated Press, 1/28/01]

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