Will $2 Billion Buy Walker a Standing Ovation from WMC?

Walker's Budget-Busting, Bush-Style Tax Cuts for Rich People, Corporations Likely to Find a Receptive Audience

MADISON, Wis. — At Tuesday’s Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce lobbying luncheon Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker will likely find support from the corporate lobby for his $2-billion, budget-busting, deficit-doubling plan for tax breaks that mostly benefit corporations and the wealthiest Wisconsinites. What is less likely, is that Walker will explain which drastic cuts he would make to pay for this failed fiscal strategy, according to One Wisconsin Now.

“Scott Walker needs to tell us how he would pay for this nearly $2-billion in handouts to big business and the rich,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “The media and the people of Wisconsin deserve the list of the $2 billion in state services Walker will slash to afford this handout to win WMC’s support.”

Walker would double the Legislative Fiscal Bureau-projected $2-billion 2011-13 deficit to $4 billion through a four specific budget-busting schemes that anchor his economic plan 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; Appleton Post Crescent, 11/25/09]

In order to enact the $2 billion scheme, Walker would need to slash critical programs such as BadgerCare for children, shared revenue that finances police, firefighters and public services, public school teachers and University of Wisconsin funding.

Walker not only has made impossible-to-keep tax promises, but also called for Wisconsin to reject federal Recovery Act funds. Wisconsin has appropriated $2.76 billion in Recovery Act funds for job creation, schools, transportation, health care, energy and public safety among other critical needs. Over 44,000 Wisconsin jobs have been created, retained and funded through the Recovery Act funds Walker wanted the state to reject.

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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.