Friday, July 11, 2008

Ziegler Hands WMC, Allies A $265 Million Tax Gift

You got excited about getting a $600 federal tax stimulus check?

Consider this:

Though the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce spent around $2 million on her 2007 State Supreme Court campaign, and also paid lawyers bringing a pivotal sales tax claim to the Court, Justice Annette Ziegler wrote the Court's 4-3 ruling released today in favor of the WMC position.

Apparently that's not a conflict of interest, which makes the Court little more than a WMC subsidiary.

The result: the WMC wins another long-term tax shift onto the backs of personal sales, property and income taxpayers, the state owes the company a $265 million refund, and with WMC-client Justice-elect Michael Gableman about to join the Court, Wisconsin taxpayers are in for a fleecing that could last decades.

The Journal Sentinel's first story about the decision is here.

The WMC is implementing a very effective plan right out of Republican strategist Grover Norquist's playbook.

He's the national organizer who favors cutting the size of the government so completely that what's left can be drowned in a bathtub.

The Republican Party and heavy-spending , so-called independent groups like the WMC have managed a takeover of the state Supreme Court, where its agents will do the bidding of big business, strip government of its ability to regulate in the common interest, and strip away its funding.

The WMC is focused on protecting business profits that preserve the growing pay gap between management and employee.

Owners and managers have less need for public services - - transit, parks, libraries, and even schools and public health services, to name but a obvious few.

The state will meet its obligation and provide the refund. It will also continue to lower taxes to sectors already exempted from sales taxes - - manufacturing, equipment, computers - - and so forth.

The rest of us will pay more, and/or have additional services cut.

At some point the WMC may discover that stripping public service financing ultimately hurts workforce education, development and retention, but right now, the WMC is only focused on its members' bonuses, stock options, dividends, golden parachutes and total compensation packages.

The bar at the Madison Club's gonna be packed today.


TerryN said...

How is giving someone their money BACK a gift?

James Rowen said...

The gift was Ziegler's vote and authorship of the opinion.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bigt, you missed the point entirely. Ziegler was not sent to the court for any particular reason save to protect the constitutional rights of Wisconsin citizens. This smacks of quid pro quo, loud and clear-something that should not be allowed at any level of elected office, especially the court.

Display Name said...

Long ago, some big EDS/IBM/AA custom software entity must've wrote the taxation guidelines. Custom programming isn't taxed, but setting up "canned" software is taxed. The regulations are a mess. They don't make sense for what IT people do all day. When the stakes get high enough, it'll make it to the Supremes.