By Urban Media News
In last week’s State of the State address, Governor Scott Walker laid out an irresponsible plan to spend a projected state surplus.
The announcement of a $911 million projected surplus is something that everyone likes the sounds of, but Walker’s surplus was built on the backs of children, the elderly, and the working poor.
Deep cuts to public schools and job training, along with higher taxes on seniors and low-income working families in Walker’s first two budgets created the projected surplus we’re seeing today.
Rational thinkers would expect to see a plan to restore the damage done to Wisconsin’s working class, but the governor has a different idea. He plans to spend our state into an $800 million structural deficit by giving away more tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the top twenty percent of Wisconsin incomes.
What Walker is proposing is giving regular Wisconsinites crumbs while saving the loaf for the ultra-rich friends. Another poor attempt to payback those who fill his campaign coffers.
Instead of a political tax gimmick, what Wisconsin’s households could really use are the jobs the governor promised would come to the state if he was elected. Wisconsin continues to lag the nation in job creation, falling to 37th nationally and creating jobs at half the national average.
Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs by the end of his first term, but the governor is far from reaching that goal by year’s end. The most recent public polling shows only fourteen percent of Wisconsinites think Walker will deliver on his promise by the end of the first term.
During his State of the State address, Scott Walker cherry-picked economic statistics like household incomes and employer confidence, but the reality is he’s failed the state on jobs. Now, for political reasons, he’s budgeting for the future like parents paying for Christmas presents before they’ve gotten their year-end bonus — it’s just not smart economic policy.
Unemployed workers, parents of public schoolchildren, college students, and seniors don’t think it’s smart or responsible decision-making either. In fact, from Milwaukee to Superior, countless residents can testify as to why they’re worse off now than before Walker took office.
The projected surplus is a good thing, but it’s money we don’t yet have, and Governor Walker has failed to take a balanced approach on how those funds should be used — ignoring not only the state’s structural deficit, but also the $93 million Medicaid and $19 million W-2 budget shortfalls.
Governor Walker spun his plan as “giving the people their money back,” but the people would get much more bang for their buck if he instead focused on job creation by investing in education, job training, true tax relief for the middle-class, and reducing the $800 million structural deficit.
That’s the kind of smart policy that will put real money in the hands of the working class, grow our economy, and secure our state’s future.