Paul Fanlund: Under scrutiny, Scott Walker’s fiscal record is a jumble: Walker’s foes seem to let the Republican governor get away with playing the fiscal hero even while he is recreating the “kick-the-can” budget future he complains about, a structural deficit that will likely yield a manufactured “fiscal crisis” after November’s election. (Republicans, of course, adore a good budget crisis because it lubricates attacks on government, including on public education.)
But a deeper look based on interviews with budget experts reveals how little Walker has really accomplished.
Since his January 2011 inauguration, Walker has signed 15 bills into law providing tax breaks to businesses … at least 37 discrete business tax breaks ... ranged from lowering corporate income taxes through credits and deductions, to the creation of nine new sales tax exemptions, to putting more state money into property tax relief, about a third of which goes to commercial, manufacturing and agricultural property.
The cuts ... estimated $740 million in general purpose revenue over this four-year period, an amount that’s expected to grow by at least $130 million during the 2015-17 budget alone, since some are not yet fully phased in. Yet Wisconsin still lags behind most states, including our neighbors, in private-sector jobs created since Walker took office.
I asked experts … Here is what they say: First, several new tax breaks, such as the manufacturing and agriculture credit, don’t have a specific job-creation requirement. Rather, they provide a no-questions-asked benefit to businesses with the mere hope of job creation.
some breaks are geared toward manufacturing activities ... it is not expected to be a significant source of new jobs — now or ever — compared to the tech, service and health care industries,
Part of the problem, one expert tells me, is that in Walker’s zeal to lower taxes whenever there is a state dollar burning a hole in his pocket, he has dribbled out money at intervals and hasn’t taken any long-term perspective on how the tax code really should look.
Walker’s politics precluded Wisconsin from receiving $810 million in federal stimulus money for a high-speed rail line in Wisconsin. The Spanish train company Talgo is currently suing the state for breach of contract. Walker’s politics precluded Wisconsin from receiving $810 million in federal stimulus money for a high-speed rail line in Wisconsin. The Spanish train company Talgo is currently suing the state for breach of contract.
Wisconsin also turned down millions in federal funds that would have helped pay for those on medical assistance as well as the $38 million available for implementing a state health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.
So, Walker passed on several opportunities for Wisconsin to increase its relative share of federal dollars to increase employment.
Monday, June 9, 2014
The Walker Mess Explained...
Not much I can add to the following: