Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Walker blows revenue surpluses to get reelected.

There's something so wrong about Scott Walker’s use of the Obama recovery to secure his own reelection. Walker's "George W." plan, to return revenues that could have paid down our government debt, has been shown to be historically short sighted and an outright bad idea:
jsonline: Walker said his plan would add perhaps $100 million to the $725 million shortfall projected for the next two-year budget by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
Brilliant. When your average Wisconsinite is lucky enough to have a little extra money in their pocket, they instinctively want to pay off their outstanding bills and debts first. Not Walker who's desperately trying to keep his job:
WSJ: Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, said in his conversations with about 200 constituents over the past week since the surplus was announced, he hasn’t heard anyone clamoring for more tax cuts.

“‘Don’t you see through these election year tricks? We just want you to balance the budget,’” Schultz said in summarizing what he’s heard from voters. “I’m looking for a serious plan to get rid of the structural deficit.”
It should be unsettling to know the governor didn't react in the same responsible way. 
Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) said he wanted to cut taxes this spring but that his goal also was "not to jeopardize the long-term fiscal health of the state. We need to sequester some of this revenue on a down payment on the structural deficit…”
Walker is basking in the revenue windfall of consumer spending and business profits due to the national economic recovery, which Obama supposedly has failed at miserably.   
"This (surplus) is in place because the economy has gotten substantially better," Walker said. "In addition to that, it's also because of good fiscal management...”
Yet, Walker’s “…overall plan would leave the state in worse financial shape in the long term.” 
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said some GOP lawmakers in his house want even more (tax cuts). Vos brushed aside the projected impact of the proposal on the next state budget.  
And don't forget:
...other revenue sources will dry up in upcoming years as the state income tax on agriculture and manufacturing, for example, is phased out.
The mostly invisible Democratic Party has yet to formulate a single coherent message for Wisconsinites to chew over the surplus. This is an election year, right?

I’m concerned about restoring the cut to the Earned Income Tax Credit. Or restructuring a funding formula for the transportation department, or help the DNR hire more people to oversee the expanding sand mining industry in the state? There’s more:
Remember these estimates from Dec. 2011? Wisconsinsfuture
The fiscal bureau's recent estimates on the state budget don't account for a projected $93 million shortfall within the state's Medicaid health programs in the current budget or a projected $18.9 million shortfall in the welfare-to-work program, known as Wisconsin Works, or W-2.

Democrats Tuesday argued that Walker has too simplistic a view of the economy … The National Association of State Budget Officers expects almost all states to see at least some budget surplus this year.
So it wasn't what Walker did that gave the state a surplus. You think Walker’s thank you card praising Obama's supposed "failed" stimulus will ever be sent?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its worse than this -- you are buying into the media propaganda that there is a surplus.

Walker has massively increased debt and debt payments and is setting up the next "divide and conquer" ginned-up crisis to "drop the bomb"

Post what you like -- but do you really think it is helpful to repeat the media lie that the budget has a surplus when the transportation budget was propped up with about 1 billion in debt and the next budget starts more than 1/2 a billion in the hole?

Democurmudgeon said...

It's not like I've never mentioned each and every one of your points.

In the terms of "projected" surpluses, depending on current tax policy (which is always changing for the worse), I'm with you on your concept. But as I've mentioned, all this projected extra cash is part of the general economic recovery. Walker has indeed created massive debt because the GOP can't raise taxes, or even match discontinued taxes with new ones.

Another words, yes the state is in debt, but tax revenues are rolling in.