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Jan 23, 201310:06 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Take up the Progressive cry: No more tax cuts!

Take up the Progressive cry: No more tax cuts!

(page 1 of 2)

Sometimes the ball just floats into your wheelhouse so sweetly that you can count the stitches before you unload, corkscrew style (RIP Stan the Man) and send it into the cheap seats.

Our liberal acquaintances just cannot help themselves. Thank you, Progs, for this:

“Walker’s proposed tax cut political, irresponsible,” declares The Capital Times.

“Your progressive voice” is greatly troubled at the prospect of a $340 million income tax break for the hardworking taxpayers of Wisconsin. One would think, in the event of The Current President’s increase in payroll taxes, imposition of the Obamacare tax, etc., that some tax relief might be welcome. One would be wrong, apparently. The CT frets:

Though Walker likes to criticize Democrats, especially former Gov. Jim Doyle, the big, big spender – as candidate Eric Hovde noted in last summer’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate – was Tommy Thompson. And how did Thompson bust budgets? By giving away cuts on the eve of elections.

Um, guys, if Gov. Walker is returning money to the people or, better yet, not taking it in the first place, exactly how is he a “big spender”? He’s not spending $340 million of the people’s money, he’s letting the people who earned it spend it. Only a liberal could go all Orwell on us and newspeak (if I may use the term as a transitive verb) a tax break as “spending.”

Now for some facts, however inconvenient: Gov. Walker and the Republican Legislature inherited a $3.6 billion structural deficit from Jim Doyle and erased it. Yes, they balanced the budget without raising taxes. They put in place tools for local governments to better control their expenses (see: Act 10). And they managed to replenish the state’s rainy day fund, although it was never “plenished” in the first place.

All of which is very agitating to the anti-Capitalist Times.

Allowing the people a break on their taxes in this slow/no-growth economy is condemned as “political.” That is another way of saying that it is popular. (The word itself is derived from the root for “people.”) Note the linkage to Tommy Thompson in the quote above. Yes, the man was elected four times as governor, much to their chagrin.

Can’t we be honest, Capital Timers? What you really want is MORE government spending. You want more government spending because you believe that government knows better how to spend that income. In a state that must balance its budget by law, that requires MORE taxation. That is why you are opposed to a tax break for the middle class. 

But who am I to bite down on this gaudy gift? Please Chris Larson, please Peter Barca, please take up The Capital Times’ chant: Read my lips! No more tax cuts!

Today’s blog is dedicated to Zacchaeus, the tax collector who climbed a tree to see a great man.

Not a peep from the Solidarity Singers?

Imagine if Capitol Police Chief David Erwin had arrested a unionista for disrupting Gov. Scott Walker’s inauguration/Special Olympics ceremony/State of the State speech/etc. My acquaintances at The Capital Times would have likened the protester to Martin Luther King Jr., as they did (incredibly) here.

Washington, D.C., has always taken a much harder stance. “A wonderful Christian man” climbed a tree during The Current Incumbent’s inauguration (which apparently occurred on Monday) holding a pro-life, anti-abortion sign. He shouted his message as best he could, given that he was competing for the attention of the several hundred thousand spectators with the booming cadences of the amplified Incumbent. Not only was this speaker of truth to power arrested, but he has been banned from the Capitol – no wait – he is banned from the entirety of the District of Columbia! (The Washington Post has the story.)

I am indebted to Ann of Althouse for the tip. The lady comments:

Some of this reminds me of our tenacious Wisconsin protesters, whose deep convictions and emotive righteousness have led them to specialize in loud annoyingness and innumerable petty violations. [The inauguration protester] is different from them too. He’s driven by religious fervor, and he’s not on the left.

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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Jan 23, 2013 01:58 pm
 Posted by  patricko

They have always referred to tax cuts as a gift. It's because they believe that all money belongs to the government in the first place. In this article they say the tax cuts are a "straight giveaway" to wealthy tax payers. Can you imagine referring to the zero tax rate enjoyed by the bottom 50% of taxpayers as a giveaway to the poor?

Jan 23, 2013 04:33 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Them people are crazy!!!!

Jan 23, 2013 08:03 pm
 Posted by  Matt Logan

Aha! So lower taxes are good? - then why not return the $500mil that Walker is proposing to divert from GPR into highways in the next budget cycle?

I hear the lord of stately Blaska Manor scoff:

"Ahh, but highways help the economy!"

Can you prove they do? Because I have evidence that the ROI of Federal Highways has been dropping for decades.

"Ahh, BAD DATA!" I hear SSQUARED belch in his most shrill tone. "State Highways are different than federal highways."

Which is true, but unfortunately for Sloanie, State Highways are different in a way that makes them generally have a lower ROI than federal highways. So how about some data to back up my assertion?

"Bah, still BAD DATA", SSQUARED says, "The people who produced that report live in a City where someone with a bad reputation lives!"

And while that is true, it doesn't form the basis for an effective argument. Not that Republicans these days care about that sort of thing. As the Irascible one said to me when I asked for the rational basis upon which Robin Vos chose to eliminate RTAs all across the state: "it doesn't matter."

Jan 23, 2013 08:16 pm
 Posted by  Matt Logan

‎"Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Majority Leader Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) say they’ll closely examine the Transportation and Policy Commission report, but want to find ways to fund our highways other than raising taxes on Wisconsin drivers. With the long-term deficit in the highway funds, the Assembly leaders are placing a high priority on passing the constitutional amendment to protect the state’s transportation fund from being raided. "

So in other words, they are planning to borrow and dip into general taxes to pay for highways and violate the principle of user-pays, while at the same time promoting a constitutional amendment premised on the user-pays principle for highways. That's the Wisconsin Republican legislature for you.

Jan 24, 2013 07:43 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Hey kids! Gather 'round the Philco to hear The Squire face off with uber-prog Fighting Ed Garvey on the Week in Review program from 8 to 9 a.m. Friday morning, Jan. 26, on the Wisconsin Ideas radio network. (The state station.)

Jan 24, 2013 08:36 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Was there suppose to be reasoning or facts in this article or just a straight bashing of the Left leaning Cap times?

A talking head, is a talking head... left or right. Journalism? More concise writings are found in our failing elementary schools. And to think, you get paid for this!

Jan 24, 2013 10:29 am
 Posted by  coolkevs

"Gov. Walker and the Republican Legislature inherited a $3.6 billion structural deficit from Jim Doyle and erased it"
Sounds like a fact to me!

Jan 24, 2013 10:46 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Would not the most conservative approach to use the "extra" money to pump up the rainy day fund. And when it's sitting at 3, 5, 7% of the budget THEN start giving it back. Things that are phased in are what caused the structural deficit in the first place.

Jan 24, 2013 11:42 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

The $3.6 billion deficit was not erased.The Dept of Administration reports a $2.2 deficit remains when the same accounting procedures used to calculate the deficit[Generally Accepted Accounting Principles] are applied to the states fiscal condition at the close of 2012. Also $538 million in debt that was due for payment in 2010-2012 was kicked down the road to be paid later at a restructuring cost of $93 million meaning the debt rose to $631 million. The deficit wasn't eliminated just the talk about the deficit's existence through smoke and mirror accounting tricks.

Jan 25, 2013 07:20 am
 Posted by  coolkevs

Would you be talking about all these accounting tricks if Mr Doyle or Barrett was in office? Me thinks not because then they would be perfectly acceptable - party hardy spend spend spend GAAP accounting be damned!

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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