MADISON, Wis. — The Republican Party of Wisconsin’s formal endorsement of Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has come almost to the day of the anniversary of the passage of the second Bush tax cuts that helped hand over nearly $1 trillion of federal money to the top one percent of income earners. Walker’s central campaign scheme is a $2-billion Bush-style tax cut plan for the rich and big business that he refuses to say how he will pay to finance.
Walker’s unpaid tax plan is even less credible given the state’s $2-billion deficit for 2011-13, according to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports the unpaid Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 grew the federal deficit by $1.7 trillion [CBPP, 5/5/09].
“How appropriate Scott Walker’s Bush-style tax cuts are fully-endorsed by the Republican Party of Wisconsin on the anniversary of the Bush tax cuts passed the Republican congress in 2003,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “It’s unfortunate rank-and-file Republicans supported this disastrous plan, since like the Bush tax cuts, they’ll be the ones paying to give the rich and big business even more of our hard-earned money.”
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]
One Wisconsin Now traveled to the first day of the state Republican Party of Wisconsin convention Friday asking convention goers to sign a “Responsible Budget Petition,” that would reject tax cuts for the rich and big business – especially if Walker or his opponent were unwilling to document how they would pay for them. Walker’s GOP cronies had One Wisconsin Now ejected from outside the convention activities.
“When is Walker going to answer the direct question: How with a $2 billion deficit can you pay for $2 billion in tax breaks to the rich and big business?” asked Ross. “The answer is that he has no answer.”