Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Republicans blocked Democratic agenda for 12 years in Wisconsin, so who will they blame?

There are consequences to one party rule, especially by what are now MAGA Republicans, and we're about to feel it for what could be a generation.  Despite 12 years where they had control, isn't it odd to hear Vos Republicans blame Gov. Evers for pushing his "woke" agenda, as if that's what's holding Wisconsin back.   

Surrounded by Democratically run Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan: Wisconsin will have a difficult time growing its economy and still attract young demanding job seekers. This is an urgent problem; out migration is growing, young people are leaving, Wisconsin is graying, seniors are retiring, and the slow rollout of broadband depleted rural communities and businesses.

Recently, Democratic strategist Joe Zepecki laid out the obvious end result on UpNorthNews Radio with Pat Kreitlow.

This is only a partial list. 

1. Wisconsin is one of 11 states that didn't expand Medicaid, a health care safety net for family that fall on hard times.

2. No paid sick leave, banned by gerrymandered Republicans statewide.

3. Perpetually underfunded schools and universities.

3. A 1849 ban on abortion, dramatically affecting all reproductive rights for women. 

4. No medicinal or safe government controlled recreational marijuana.

Heck, Evers finally got to fixd our crumbling roads and bridges after 8 years of Scott Walker. And now, after waiting another 4 years, Vos Republicans are now thinking cancer causing PFAS in our water, any amount, could be bad for attracting people to the state. 

Is it any wonder voters reelected Gov. Evers to screen out statewide vouchers, anti-LGBTQ policies in schools and "woke" black history courses, probably a flat tax that really benefits the wealthiest freeloaders, voter suppression efforts...etc. 

Here's audio of Joe Zepecki's warning of what MAGA Legislators will do to the economy now and for future generations if they get away with it...

And if other state f**k up, well....

Yahoo News: Youngkin comment in his annual state address on January 11. “I’ve said before that I want ‘Made in America’ to mean ‘Made in Virginia.’ But let me be clear, ‘Made in Virginia’ cannot be a front for the Chinese Communist Party,” Youngkin said during the address. Later, Youngkin told reporters that the Biden administration has a “maniacal focus on getting rid of all fossil fuel generation, replacing it with solar, wind, or replacing every car immediately with batteries” when “the reality is that the technology that in fact drives all that is owned and dominated by the Chinese.”

Youngkin elaborated on his comments in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Friday, when he referred to the Ford-CATL partnership as “a Trojan-horse relationship.”

“This is not a zero-sum game and I would have loved to have Ford come to Virginia and build a battery plant, if they were not using it as a front for a company that’s controlled by the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.

Youngkin’s actions don’t come in a vacuum; in fact, they may signal a coming wave of similar Republican attitude. As Axios reporter Jael Holzman outlined on Twitter last week, Republicans have begun raising concerns about Chinese control as a way to stymie or stall green energy developments. Politicians, including Sen. Marco Rubio and Tennessee Rep. Mark Green, have recently expressed concerns about a Texas-based battery company with some Chinese operations that got a Department of Energy grant, while the GOP is reportedly looking into other clean energy firms for Chinese connections, according to Holzman.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Vos Republicans take credit for COVID created massive state Surplus.

Despite collecting huge revenues from the state's largest city, Milwaukee, WI MAGA Republicans continue their 11-year effort to starve that Democratic city. 

Milwaukee area officials have long argued that, as the state's largest economic engine, it sends more revenue to the state than it receives back.

But 11-years wasn't penalty enough, apparently. 

Oh, and Rep. Robin Vos made it so any changes would be "politically unpopular" decisions, which can only strengthen the Republican narrative:
"Show me some examples where you are willing to do things that are politically unpopular because they're the right answer," Vos said.

Scott Walker pushed this same plan as Milwaukee County Executive, before he became governor, bringing the county to the edge of bankruptcy. The Greater Milwaukee Committee report putting Walker's bad management front and center was withheld so, get this, it wouldn't influence Walker's run for governor? True:

jsonline-Daniel Bice: Milwaukee County government is in such dire financial shape that state lawmakers should push through legislation that would allow it and other local governments to file for bankruptcy … 

"We don't want this to become some sort of political football during the fall election campaigns." Mayor Barrett called on the committee to release the full report before the election, saying it could give a glimpse of what awaits the state if Walker becomes governor.

And nothing has changed in the last 11 years. 

Republicans take credit for Democratic COVID Funding they Opposed, now Brag about Surpluses:  Like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) money that bailed out the Republican's free market debacle, the Great Recession, Vos Republicans are geared up to use one-time COVID funding to their benefit. Amazingly, Republicans took 10 months off and never dealt with the raging pandemic like any responsible government would have:

A Wisconsin Policy Forum report estimated state and local governments collected at least $19.9 billion in pandemic-related funds.
That helped in a big way...
"The federal government took on unemployment costs, insurance spending, that otherwise the state might have felt the need to help out with," Stein said. "The federal government helped, to an unbelievable degree, on both the revenue side in terms of stimulating the economy and on the cost side with lowering existing costs and keeping the state from having to spend money."

 Like ARRA, when One Time COVID Relief Funding runs out, what could happen?

Jason Stein, research director at the Wisconsin Policy Forum, noted that without the federal covid funds, the state could have been facing the same fiscal cliff it was during the 2008-09 biennial budget process, when then-Gov. Jim Doyle had an estimated budget gap of $5.4 billion.

"During the height of the Great Recession from 2009 through 2011, Wisconsin made heavy use of federal ARRA funds, particularly for K-12 school aid and Medicaid," Stein said in a policy forum paper. "When those funds ran out, the state faced a difficult 2011-13 budget and ultimately cut state aid to schools and local governments substantially."
Here we go again? There will be a possible surplus...about $2 billion. 
Besides the federal stimulus money, Wisconsin is projecting state tax revenue increases in fiscal 2022-23 based on current state and federal tax laws: $744.2 million in state tax revenue increases in fiscal year 2022-23. That's a 3.6% increase over the previous fiscal year, for a total revenue estimate of $21.293 billion.

$323.9 million in state tax revenue increase in fiscal year 2023-24; a 1.5% increase for a total revenue estimate of $21.617 billion.

$855.1 million in state tax revenue increase in fiscal year 2024-25; a 4% increase for a total revenue estimate of $22.472 billion.