Friday, June 17, 2011

Wisconsin Voices Coalition Condemns Walker Budget

Hard to argue with any of this group's analysis:

Wisconsin Voices

June 17, 2011

The budget bill passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature last night raises taxes on low income workers and makes painful and unnecessary cuts to historic investments in opportunity, security, and shared prosperity, all while giving massive tax breaks to corporations and special interests.

There were many other options for closing Wisconsin's short-term budget deficit, such as raising the revenue we need to continue our state's investment in education, health care, and other public structures. The Wisconsin Values Budget would have balanced the state budget without draconian cuts, by asking the wealthy and large corporations to pay their fair share.

Wisconsin Voices helped bring together top policy experts to develop the Values Budget, available on our web site. Lead sponsors of the Values Budget shared these thoughts with us upon passage of Governor Walkers's "all-cuts" budget:

“The budget that was just passed by the legislature is based on the false premise that Wisconsin has no choice but to balance the budget through deep, painful cuts to programs for children and families, said Ken Taylor, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families.  “Not only is it wrong to balance the budget on the backs of children, it is also short sighted from a deficit reduction perspective because these deep cuts will create additional problems that will cost more in the long run to address.”

“Governor Walker and the leaders of the Legislature have decided to put the demands of the wealthy and large corporations ahead of the prosperity and well being of Wisconsin’s workers, seniors, children, and people with disabilities,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin.  “It is shameful to grant over $2 billion in additional tax giveaways to large corporations and wealthy investors and at the same time make slashing cuts to education, health care, transit, and other vital services that increase opportunity, security, and freedom for all Wisconsinites.”

“The Legislature’s budget is a job-killing assault on the public structures a prosperous middle class depends on, such as education, health and strong local governments,” said Jack Norman, Research Director, Institute for Wisconsin’s Future (IWF). “Instead of more tax breaks for Wisconsin’s most prosperous individuals and corporations, legislators should have generated revenue from these sources in order to lessen the severe cuts.”

“Budgets aren’t just matters of arithmetic and account balances. They’re moral documents too,” said Joel Rogers, Director, Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS). “By telling us how a society distributes the benefits and burdens of social cooperation, they tell us what it values and thinks is fair.  This budget tells us that Wisconsin’s current government thinks the best thing to do in tough times isn’t to come together, be prudent, and share burdens with those who can shoulder them most easily, but to lash out at children and the poor, smack the middle class, weaken democratic institutions of all kinds, and shovel money to the rich and criminally irresponsible. That's no way to run a decent state. It's a disgusting betrayal of what made it great.”

Wisconsin Voices will continue to work to return Wisconsin to an era of good government that is transparent, accountable, works for everyone in our state, and honors Wisconsin values of equal opportunity, security, individual freedom, and progressive innovation.

Thanks for all that you do!

- The Wisconsin Voices Team

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