Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wisconsin Budget Project gives a great Fitzwalkerstan budget primer

The Wisconsin Budget Project has done great work in recent years outlining various budget moves, as well as the choices that could have been made, but have not. They summarized all of these choices today in a well-done document titled "How Wisconsin Lawmakers Have Shortchanged a Legacy of Investment in the State’s Future." As their introduction explains
In Wisconsin we value opportunity, responsibility and community. We want all of our children to be healthy, successful in school and part of supportive families who live in safe neighborhoods. But since 2011 [when Scott Walker and the Republicans came to power] , a majority of state lawmakers have turned their backs on Wisconsin’s long and proud history of investment in education, health care and other assets that once ensured the state’s civic and economic progress.

They have given large tax cuts primarily to the highest-earning taxpayers, while raising taxes for working families and low-income seniors. The result is that low-income taxpayers have a harder time meeting their basic needs, and Wisconsin has fewer resources to support investments in the state’s public schools, university system, and education for our youngest residents – investments that help create the building blocks for broad prosperity and a strong economy.

Lawmakers gave tax cuts to the wealthy and cut investment in Wisconsin’s communities amid claims that the changes would spur job growth. But over the last four years, Wisconsin’s job growth has been slower than both the national and regional average.

Four years ago Wisconsin was made a promise. The promise was that the best way to generate economic growth was through significant tax and spending cuts. The tax and spending cuts have occurred, but unfortunately for all of us, the promised job growth has not.
And then the rest of the report goes into the specific measures that have occurred which not only have left Wisconsin with the worst job growth in the Midwest over the last 3 years, but also leaves us behind the 8 ball with massive budget deficits looming in the 2015-17 budget.

Just read the whole thing. It's great, and you'll impress your friends.

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