We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

Shell game with OUR state budget very confusing! Part II – Income Tax Cut – BRIBE for re-election!

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John Eyster
Thursday, June 6, 2013

Shell game with OUR state budget very confusing! Part II – Income Tax Cut – BRIBE for re-election!

Forewarned is forearmed!

Today I continue my analysis and assessment. I look forward to reading your comments expressing YOUR analysis and assessment of the proposed 2013-15 WI state budget.

Reviewing the components of the WI State Budget for 2013-15 which the Joint Finance Committee is sending to our Assembly now and then it goes to the Senate, I have numerous concerns and I identify several UNhealthy public policy votes. There are several, including K-12 public education which concern me and I shall discuss that decision in Part III on my WE THE PEOPLE blog.

The WORST – MOST THREATENING action in terms of the FUTURE of the health of our REPUBLIC is the vote to $650 million income tax cut over the next 2 years with heavy advantage to the highest income earners in WI. I assert this a “bribe” for re-election by our GOP legislators and Governor.

My analysis is that this UNDERmines qualities of our WI cultural life and education. This is a VERY HIGH PRICE to pay to “BRIBE” WE THE PEOPLE of WI to vote GOP. HELP! Forewarned is forearmed! What is YOUR analysis?

For an overview of the budget approved by the GOP controlled Joint Finance Committee, you will find a valuable overview by Scott Bauer of Associated Press, “Walker got most of what he sought in budget” – see page A7 of today’s Janesville Gazette. (I am NOT allowed to provide a link. IF you are a Gazette subscriber, YOU can set-up access. IF you are NOT a Gazette subscriber, you need to buy a PRINT edition.)

As that article declares, WALKER did get MOST of what he wanted. He also got some “icing on the cake.” The MAJOR INCREASE in the income tax cut was added by GOP legislators. WHY? To “bribe” the WI electorate to re-elect them and the GOP Governor in 2014.

There are decisions which I do believe are HEALTHY for our REPUBLIC (WI), including: DNA collection (US Supreme Court decision cleared the way for this law) and the token $150/student increase for K-12 public schools.

There are, however, MORE DECISION which I believe are UNHEALTHY for our REPUBLIC (WI), including state-wide (every single school district in WI) expansion of VOUCHERS (the “CAP” is to be watched carefully – 500 this year… next year, projected 1,000 – I’ll bet that increases. ETERNAL VIGILANCE IS THE PRICE OF LIBERTY! Keep vigilant!), Medicaid manipulation (I discussed this issue in my WE THE PEOPLE post yesterday. "Shell game with OUR state budget very confusing! Part I - Medicaid."), Bounty hunters (why are we letting these vigilantes back into WI?!)

Having been Legislative Liaison for the School District of Janesville (October 2000 – June 2008), I was active in reviewing, assessing and lobbying on state budgets. I believe we need STRONGER constraints on putting POLICY ISSUES in the state budget. ABUSE of putting policy issues in the state budget is to be put on both DEMS and REPS.

WHY? The state budget bill is a MUST PASS BILL. This means that every item in that bill will be voted on by the FULL Assembly and Senate. There are various policies which are passed through a budget bill which would NOT be able to “stand on their own 2 feet.”

I commend Joint Finance Committee for removing several of Gov. Walker’s proposals as policy items, including: (1) new special voucher for special needs students, (2) creating a new statewide board to approve other who authorize charter schools, (3) exemption of rent-to-own companies from state consumer protection laws (that one hit home in Janesville when former State Rep. Mike Sheridan changed his vote on the issue after getting in BED (in more ways than one) with a lobbyist for the rent-to-own industry).

I hope you will read through the articles in newspapers both hardcopy and electronic and add YOUR comment re. the proposed WI State Budget for 2013-15. The State Budget Bill goes now to the FULL ASSEMBLY. I urge that YOU communicate with YOUR rep. in the Assembly with YOUR comments.

Here we go…

Mr. E.

Last updated: 8:25 am Monday, July 29, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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