Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Wisconsinites still not getting anywhere under Trump and Walker.

In an email newsletter, the Economic Policy Institute said this about the GOP/Trump/Ryan tax cut, along with the Republican argument that blames us for not being smart enough to notice how much larger are paychecks were. Not kidding. But voters are getting wise to them:

It’s been nine months since the tax bill was signed into law, and the rapid surge in investment promised by proponents of the TCJA has still yet to materialize. 

In short, that $4,000 raise promised by Donald Trump and Paul Ryan hasn’t materialized. The administration has been reduced to claiming that workers don’t know their own pay and would see benefits from the tax cut if they just knew how to calculate their salary correctly, but EPI researchers have explained why this is wrong.[1][2]

The reality is that instead of investing in the U.S. economy through wage hikes and new good-paying jobs, corporations are instead rewarding CEOs and wealthy shareholders with their windfall tax breaks. But instead of prioritizing policies that actually raise the wages of working people, the House of Representatives plans on voting this week on a second round of tax breaks that mostly benefit those at the top.
Short story; Paul Ryan oddly screwed over homeowner's "wealth," measured by the value of their home, by changing home equity lines of credit. Before, families could buy things like a car or help pay for their kid's tuition and get an interest deduction, but not anymore. Republican took it away, leaving the deduction for home improvements only. Why Republicans did this, who knows?

Here in Wisconsin, you would have thought we were all swimming in money, jobs and tax cuts like most of Scott Walker's corporate friends and business donors. But like everything having to do with "trickle down," it didn't happen. 

COWS, the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, just issued a report that details what's really going on:

The state and nation have yet to pull out of a decades-long trend of wage stagnation...

The Center on Wisconsin Strategy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (issued the) State of Working Wisconsin 2018 report. Laura Dresser, the center’s associate director (said) ... In 1979 the median worker in Wisconsin earned $17.30 an hour, adjusted for inflation to 2017 dollars. As of 2017, the median worker in the state earned about $18.30 an hour.

"We've seen productivity and gross domestic product grow substantially over that period. The average return to the worker is about 3 cents an hour per year over that period to get that dollar more now. That's long-term wage stagnation. We've been seeing it even in this low-unemployment time, and that's a really troubling sign."
While Scott Walker measures success by how many ideological and theoretical economic risks he got passed into law, the rest of us toiling away in the real world got nothing, so many desperately voted for Trump. That's how bad it still is in Wisconsin: 

The state's economy as a whole is "treading water" over the long term (for the last 7 years), and 2018's measures represent a mere return to 2000 levels ... rather than a new age of prosperity ... analysts have stressed that the state's economic gains are leaving behind people of color and rural residents, and that Wisconsinites are persistently stuck in low-wage jobs.
1. Wisconsin's African-American unemployment rate is 9 percent ... the worst in the nation. 

2. And that rural counties are among those with the highest unemployment ... losing jobs and urban areas grow them. 

3. Previous reports even found wages declining for some groups, including African-American men ... 

4. 675,000 Wisconsin workers are earning $12 or less per hour.
"That's one in five workers," she said. "I think sometimes people feel like, 'I worked in a low-wage job once.' But when you see that one in five workers is in a job paying $12 an hour or less, you know that those workers have a fraction of the health-care benefits through their employment, and pension, and even sick leave is hard to get at below $12 an hour. It's just a different reality for many, many workers."

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