Boots & Sabers

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0722, 20 Feb 24

Democrats keep the change

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print.

Ever since Republicans took control of the state Legislature in 2010 thanks, in large part, to anger over the massive state deficit that Democrat Governor Jim Doyle and the legislative Democrats had created, the legislative Republican majority has built fiscally responsible budgets that ran surpluses. Despite increasing spending every budget, the Republicans managed to bend the cost curves to ensure that all bills were paid while leaving plenty of change. Republicans have since filled up the state’s rainy day fund with billions of dollars and the state’s finances are stronger and more stable than they have ever been thanks to Republican fiscal management. Last week, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau issued its regular report about the state of the budget and projected surplus or deficit. The estimate is based on projected macroeconomic conditions and current state policies. Once again under Republican fiscal leadership, the LFB is projecting that the state will end the current budget in June of 2025 with a budget surplus of $3.15 billion — about $550 for every man, woman, and child in Wisconsin.


Let me write that another way: The state of Wisconsin is overtaxing every man, woman, and child in the state by about $550 and refusing to give any of it back. For the average family of four, they will be unnecessarily taxed $2,200 above and beyond the needs of government as expressed in the budget.


Noting this overpayment, the Republicans want to give the taxpayers their change and adjust the tax rates to reduce the amount of overpayment. Legislative Republicans passed their third attempt at a tax cut last week that would reduce income tax rates to bring the level of taxation in line with the amount of money that the government is actually spending. Yes, the spending is still too much, but Wisconsinites are still being taxed way more than even the spending justifies.


Democrats in the Legislature voted against this tax cut just like they voted against the last two tax cuts. Governor Evers vetoed the last two tax cuts and will probably veto this one too. Democrats refuse to give the Wisconsin taxpayers their change after funding government.


Why are Evers and his fellow travelers refusing to let Wisconsinites keep their money to afford the exploding cost of living despite government being fully funded? Simple. They do not think it is your money. They think it is their money and they want to spend it on things that they want.


Dressed up in the language of fake compassion, Evers and legislative Democrats have offered dozens of ways to spend the surplus instead of giving it back to hardworking Wisconsinites. They have proposed spending it on child care welfare, pouring more billions into the black hole of the government education complex, corporate welfare to big business to pay for paid leave and worker training, creating new government bureaucrats like the Office of State Employee Engagement and Retention, and all manner of spending.


All of the Democrats’ spending proposals have two things in common. First, they were not in the state budget. They are just more ideas to spend money after the budget was completed and signed into law by the governor. Second, every one of the spending proposals is designed to be spent on, or filtered through, the Democrats’ favored people. As the money flows, Democrats and their liberal constituencies throughout Wisconsin will get their beaks wet in a stream of tax dollars that were forcibly and unnecessarily taken from hardworking Wisconsinites.


If you are not angry about that, you should be.


0722, 20 February 2024


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