MADISON, Wis. — In the State of the State speech peppered with campaign slogans and a grab bag of poll tested proposals, Gov. Scott Walker declared he want to enact a “child tax credit.” But instead of real reforms to help families with budget busting expenses like child care or student loan debt, Walker’s election year scheme would send a one time check to Wisconsin families, conveniently timed to be paid out around the November 2018 election.
“Instead of real, lasting reforms to help families we get an election year gimmick from Gov. Walker,” said One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne. “It’s classic Scott Walker.”
According to media reports on Walker’s scheme, any Wisconsinite with a child under the age of 18 as of the end of 2017 would be eligible to receive a small check in 2018.
Browne noted that Walker’s election year gimmick comes as he continues to reject a common sense state plan to help student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage. Student loan debt is now the second largest consumer debt in the nation, exceeding auto and credit card debt. Under Walker, Wisconsin has has become a top ten state in the nation for the percentage of college graduates with student loan debt.
Also languishing in the Republican controlled legislature and ignored by Gov. Walker is a Democratic proposal to create a permanent state child care tax credit. According to a national study, average child care costs in Wisconsin rank among the highest in the nation as a percentage of the state median family income.
The amount Walker is proposing for Wisconsin families is also dwarfed by the $4.5 billion publicly funded subsidy he signed for Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn. The deal, the largest state subsidy to a foreign corporation in history, puts Wisconsin taxpayers on the hook with refundable tax credits. That means the state will take money out of the state budget and send a check to the corporation instead of it being available to support local public schools, pay for road and bridge repair or help Main Street Wisconsin businesses.
“The real fraud in this year’s gubernatorial election is Scott Walker’s scheme to literally try to buy votes and paper over how he’s consistently failed to deliver on real solutions to help Wisconsin families,” concluded Browne.