Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sometimes others say it better- vouchers and unemployment cuts

Hey, you have nuptials in 9 days, you get tied up. Regardless, here's a couple of excellent updates along the Cheddarsphere that breaks down recent budget developments.

First, I'll send you to the Wisconsin Soapbox discussing the possible deal on K-12 funding and vouchers. According to Andy's read on the news reports, this would possibly expand vouchers statewide (on a limited basis for the short term, on a bigger basis in the future if we're stupid enough to keep WisGOP in power), and has the double whammy of potentially raising property taxes by $116 million on top of this.

So it's a pathetic giveaway for the failed voucher system of education, while raising taxes and state spending in the process. If these guys wanted to raise K-12 spending by $150 a student, why didn't they simply fund that raise 100% (which would cost $289 million instead of the $173.4 million state increase over Walker budget that the Soap Box says is proposed), and keep the tax relief. Obviously, the fact that they might be choosing the route they are shows that throwing vouchers out statewide is the WisGOP priority (as a subsidiary of the voucher lobby), and what they don't really care about is offering quality education at a decent savings to property taxpayers.

The other article I'll point you to is John Peterson offering an excellent takedown of the Republicans screwing with the state's unemployment insurance system at Democurmudgeon.
This is almost too hard to believe:

jsonline: Under changes to the state's unemployment insurance system adopted by the Legislature's budget committee Wednesday, taxpayers would spend $26 million over two years to prop up the unemployment fund, To avoid having employers face new assessments this year, the committee voted to use $26 million in general tax dollars to pay down interest on that loan.

Think that’s bad? Taxpayers will be used to scam the federal government. Republican will borrow our hard earned taxpayer dollars to shore up the unemployment fund so the fed won’t raise taxes on EMPLOYERS, the ones who actually fund the account. This is actual fascism:

Additionally, the committee proposal would allow the state Department of Administration to lend up to $50 million in taxpayer money to the unemployment insurance fund. That loan would help the state ensure that the unemployment fund has a positive balance in 2014, which in turn would keep the federal government from raising taxes on employers by $191 million in 2015.

Again, taxpayers are paying the state's private employers interest on unemployment, and loaning private employers money, so the fed won't raise taxes on them for underfunding unemployment.
Well said John, this is a total giveaway to employers, who are taxed on unemployment benefit payments because (wait for it...) they're the ones who make the choice to cause people to go on unemployment in the first place. They're basically using our tax dollars to subsidize employers who refuse to do the right thing by continuing to keep workers on the job.

And given that our lousy job numbers caused us to be the only state in the Union to have MORE weeks of unemployment claims allowed as of last month, this is a major bailout, since the state is liable to have additional payments for unemployment, meaning that the tax on employers would be slated to last longer.

There is little doubt who these guys are working for, and the donations these lobbies are handing out to WisGOP seem to be having a helluva payback. Won't do much for the vast majority of us who have real jobs or try to get by day-to-day, but WisGOP couldn't care less about our type anyway.


  1. > Hey, you have nuptials in 9 days, you get tied up.


    (If you're going out of state and the lucky person is the same sex as yourself, don't forget to be prepared for a fine of $10,000 and/or imprisonment of 9 months as an official Wisconsin state wedding present when you come back -

  2. It's a chick, Geoff, so I think I'm good. Though if I was a higher-up at the DPW, Id be working hard in 2014 to make that not matter.