Progressivism is expensive
When Democrats need a fig leaf, The Capital Times is their haberdasher. Editor emeritus Dave Zweifel sews up a size XXL to cover up the Democrat(ic) governor’s high-tax, spending spree wish list.
Blessed with a two-year $4.4 billion surplus, WI Gov. Tony Evers proposed to spend darn near all of it on “unmet needs.” Teacher pay, especially.
Gov. Evers wanted to hike general purpose spending an astounding 8.8%. The Republican dominated Joint Finance Committee pared that down to 1.5%.
The rest? It goes back to taxpayers from whence it came. Lower income tax rates, and $100 off the average property tax bill. Total tax relief: $2.7 billion! Call it the prosperity dividend.
That kind of fiscal stewardship has the editor emeritus of The Capital Times in a dither. Like all progressives, Dave has never met a tax break he won’t fight. He recounts that Lee Sherman Dreyfus returned a surplus to the people in 1978 and then a recession hit and Tony Earl raised taxes (instead of reducing spending).
“Once again, Republicans cut taxes and we await the inevitable economic chaos,” the partisan Cassandra wails.
But here’s the difference: frugal Republican legislatures have been building up a rainy day fund for years. Their budget will grow this emergency fund to $2.1 billion. Zweifel never mentions that.
Democrats subsidize unemployment
Gov. Tony Evers this week vetoed a GOP bill that sought to eliminate Wisconsin’s participation in enhanced federal unemployment benefits, which provide unemployed individuals with an extra $300 per week in addition to the state’s maximum weekly benefit of $370.
Spend it all!
Dave wants the surplus money spent, not returned. His analogy: “Fact is, if a family happens to wind up with some extra funds at the end of the year, it’ll fix that leaky roof or replace the balky furnace before they become an even bigger problem.”
Thanks to Republican tax breaks averaging $1,200 per family, that family will be able to do just that.
In any event, the feds are poised to shovel $1.2 trillion (with a T) at “infrastructure,” broadly defined to include “resilience to the changing climate.”
Dave would just as soon state government commit the one-time surplus to on-going expenditures, allow local governments to build that largesse into their base, then cry foul when the money gusher dries up. Republicans spend $3.7 billion less than Tony Evers wanted.
→ Your rich uncle bequeaths a sizable sum. Do you take out membership in a pricey country club with steep annual dues?
Blaska’s Bottom Line: In any event, the state Republican budget couldn’t be all that draconian; four Assembly Democrats voted for it and three of the 13 Democrats in the Senate — including Democrat leader Janet Bewley of far-north Mason WI.
(Answer: 14 years ago.)