Is Walker a short-timer?

Conservatives are indeed as easily fooled as liberals.

By Jack E. Lohman

IF we were really broke, a smart Governor would not have given $137 million in tax breaks to corporations in January, as Scott Walker did. It’s what Reagan’s budget director called “starving the beast.”

Yea, we are now scared… though mad is probably a better description. But this “crisis” was manufactured to get us scared and we should not let the instigators drive its direction. The taxpayers must seize control.

It cannot occur any differently: when politicians overspend the tax dollars of the middle-class and under-tax the wealthier Fat Cats, it will always — 100% of the time and without exception — create a financial crisis. Walker cannot “fix” the system because he is part of the problem. But he can surely solidify our demise.

Interestingly, rescinding the Bush tax cuts will get us out of it.

Walker is not making many friends among voters

Walker polls show disgust

Source: HERE

I actually support Walker on one issue: we must get rid of teacher tenure that protects senior teachers to the detriment of better, younger teachers. But he could have done that with a single bill that picked a fight only with the public union, rather than loading it with a bunch of provisions that will come back to bite the taxpayers; like the unilateral authority to privatize energy plants to benefit the Koch Brothers.

And I support ZERO taxes for corporations and ZERO health care costs, because BOTH are simply passed on to the consumers anyway. But the games Walker is playing are to satisfy only two groups: (a) his campaign contributors and (b) the voters who are not smart enough to figure this out for themselves. He is doing nothing to satisfy product “demand,” which is the only thing that drives jobs.

See also:

Here are a few Walker “recall” sites:

www.wisconsinrecall.net (independent)

www.notmywisconsin.com (Citizen Action)

www.defendingwisconsin.org (Defending Wisconsin PAC)

www.recallscottwalker.info

www.scottwalkerwatch.com (AFSCME union)

www.facebook.com

www.change.org

www.recallscottwalker.com

www.unitedwisconsin.com (United Wisconsin PAC)

And Republican Senators

grassrootsnorthshore.org

www.fairelectionswi.com

www.recalltherepublican8.com (ACT Blue)

53 Responses to Is Walker a short-timer?

  1. The only thing that will pull wisconsin out of this liberal mismanagement of the state is jobs. You give tax breaks to people who give us jobs and we get it back several times over.
    The last 8 years of Doyle and the dems has been a fiscal disaster. One tax increase after another. One job lost after another, with no relief in sight.

    • Charlie says:

      We have had tax breaks for the rich for ten years…wheres the jobs?

      • heubler says:

        Oh, they’ll appear, about the same time as Ayn Rand’s second coming. Taxes are also passed along to a business’ competitor. Create good paying jobs, to foster innovation, and quit freeloading on the backs of individual taxpayers, and smaller businesses.

    • Jeebus says:

      Walker had a surplus on day one.

      A surplus.

      That’s a simple fact.

      And he dicked it away to engineer a fake crisis, which he in turn is using to bust unions for political reasons and impoverish the middle class.

      And you are a putz.

  2. Indeed taxes on corporations are foolish, because they simply add them to the price of their product and we reimburse them at the cash register. And in addition to adding all of the costs businesses go through to minimize those taxes, we encourage them to move jobs offshore.

    But Republicans have been as stupid as Democrats in running this state, because they BOTH allow campaign cash to influence their administrative decisions, which should be the cleanest of them all.

    And let me add that “tax breaks” alone won’t increase jobs, increasing “demand” does. And Walker has done nothing to accomplish that.

    • Eko says:

      I take exception that tax breaks are always passed on to the consumer. The price of a product cant stand much increase, because people will decide that “x” is no longer worth the price and go with a different alternative or just do without.
      Lets say we raised taxes on milk so it became $10 a bottle. More and more people would move to something like soy milk and less would buy milk, or they would just quit drinking milk altogether. Or, if just the sales tax on milk went up, but cheese did not, more milk would go to making cheese and drinking milk would probably phase out. This is not the be all end all, there are exceptions, but there are way more exceptions in “raising taxes on corporations is foolish”.

      • Eko, nothing is always and nothing is never. Nothing is 100%. But in my view raising taxes (more) progressively on personal income is smarter than raising or even taxing corporations. (And for the record I’m no longer a business owner.)

      • Eko says:

        MoneyedPoliticians you really give a non-answer, just a view that has no facts, how much reveune would we loose/gain with what you are saying, can we do both?, one may be better but why would you discount the other without some facts? You say taxing individuals is good (nothing against that), but that taxing corporations is bad with noting to back it up. You do realize it is so easy to register your profits as a LLC to get those corporate income tax breaks, right?
        Google it.

      • Clearly I’m not an economist, but I do know enough to say that (a) all corporate taxes are passed on to the public, and (b) if Wisconsin were known as a zero-tax state more corporations (and jobs) would locate here. The point is that no matter how high the taxes, the consumers bear the costs.

        More than anything we cannot let this distract us; politicians spend taxpayer money because they are PAID TO spend money by the Fat Cats that want in the taxpayer’s pockets. It is that corruption that we must battle.

      • Eko says:

        MoneyedPoliticians, both of your premises are false. I would ask you to revisit your beliefs on economics. The line that corporations pass on the tax is a favorite one of people that don’t want to increase corporate taxes, and its dishonest.

      • Eko, if they don’t pass them on, what do they do with them? When I owned a company I passed them on to the consumer.

      • Eko says:

        What if we raise taxes on imported autos, how much of that can toyota pass on to us before people decide ford is a good value. Then toyota looses revenue because sales drop.

      • I could sure buy import tariffs, though Toyotas and other foreign autos are also made here. But tariffs are regressive and I’d probably prefer a delayed tariff, say, a year from now, to give companies a chance to relocate back to the US.

      • Eko says:

        forget tarrifs, we raise taxes on beer, if the price goes up too much, people will buy more wine than they used to, and beer sales will drop. If a company passes on the taxes too much people wont by that product, they will look for an alternative. Basic economics. I am not trying to be a jerk, but do you get it now?

      • No, I don’t, and I consider myself rather progressive. But we have beliefs that are opposite, and time will tell which is right.

      • Eko says:

        This is not a belief. It is a simple fact. You say companies just pass on the tax, fine, if they do and the price of the thing/service gets too expensive for people and there are alternatives or they can do without, they will quit buying that product. If your sales go down because the price increase makes that product not worth it, you either cut from your profit or go out of business. Simple. Sometimes raising taxes on corporations does work, sometimes it is passed on. Depends on what the market will bear.

    • ffakr says:

      I think it’s incredibly naive to believe that taxation is directly related to consumer pricing.
      Do you honestly believe that the consumers will see any decrease in pricing due to Walker’s tax cuts? Even if corporate taxes were reduced to zero, do you really believe your grocery bill would be, say, 20% cheaper?

      Corporate profits (not sales) are at record highs RIGHT NOW and we’re not seeing deflation. What we are seeing is the hoarding of upwards of 2 and a half trillion dollars of cash reserves by corporations.
      They are (on whole) making vast quantities of profit now, and they’re not hiring so it’s childish to believe giving them more money will spur hiring. They’re holding vast cash reserves and not lowering prices so it’s foolish to believe giving them more will cause them to lower prices.

      Consumers will pay what they will pay for their consumables. It’s just bad business to lower prices when consumers are trained to spend at current levels.. or better yet, trained to expect a regular inflation of pricing. Any corporate leader who suggests lowering pricing just because they can is not serving the interests of the share holders.

      The only way that the argument that taxes are simply tacked on to consumer pricing holds water is if the company has to over-price their product to make a profit (and they’re efficient in all other ways.. like efficiency, labor AND management costs..etc.). Maybe you can make that argument for certain industries, but you certainly can’t make a blanket statement like that.

      Further,
      The contention that Corporations should pay no taxes assumes that they place no burdens on public resources. Corporate taxes, in part, go to paying for costs of production that aren’t otherwise represented in their bottom lines. UPS, for example, puts a heck of a lot of wear and tear on both the public roads and the environment with their massive fleet of vehicles. Should we not expect that their pricing should reflect their true cost of doing business? Just because they don’t have a line-item on their balance sheet for the damage they do to the highways doesn’t mean that isn’t a real cost of their business model. Why should I pay for UPS’s real and full transportation costs, even if I don’t use UPS in any given year. That’s corporate welfare.

      • The points I am making are (a) all corporate taxes are, ultimately, passed on to the public, and (b) if Wisconsin were known as a zero-tax state more corporations (and jobs) would locate here.

        I am not a fan of Walker’s tax cuts because they were payola and not well thought out. But I’m also not a fan of the wasted administrative costs that are passed to the public as a result of taxes.

      • ffakr says:

        I think the fundamental difference between you and me might be that I would prefer to see the real cost of a product, where you would prefer to feel like you’re paying less at the register even if it meant you had to pay more in taxes (or deal with unfunded, crumbling infrastructure [like we are now]). You’d prefer to think you’re paying less for something.. than to know what the product/service actually costs.

        If my ComCast triple-play is costing me $120 a month I want to know if, or how much, Comcast is gouging me. THEN I can make an informed decision as a consumer about whether I should switch content providers. I don’t like the idea that it’s OK to assume that the tax payers are going to subsidize some of Comcast’s costs of doing business since they don’t pay into the system (under your proposed tax-free system).. so who knows what my cable is really costing me.

        What should really offend you is that, under your model, if we assume that corporations get to ignore some of their costs of business (those picked up by the public.. like cleaning up their waste or fixing ‘their’ roads, or bailing out under/un-regulated industries that go south).. you’re accepting that you, as a tax payer, are actually subsidizing corporations that you will never do business with.

        Why should Verizon pay zero taxes.. incur costs on the State.. and then expect my tax money to subside their true business costs when I don’t do business with them?

        Let them pay taxes so they can support the national and state infrastructure that they rely on to do business. If they can’t run their operation, and pay taxes that fund the infrastructure required by their business.. their business model is broken and any free-marketer should be fine with saying they don’t deserve to exist.

      • No, I don’t believe that taxpayers should fund the “cleaning up their waste or fixing ‘their’ roads, or bailing out under/un-regulated industries.”

        I think corporations should fix their own problems and when we run into those that are too big to fail, and we can’t do without them, we should nationalize them and own the company ourselves. No bailouts. If government ownership can turn it around, sell it back to private investors.

      • ffakr says:

        But.. regulation and cleanup costs money. That’s the rub.

        It’s beyond debate that industry will do bad things when they are un-regulated. You may argue that regulation is inefficient or ineffective (as it is in the remarkably corrupt Minerals Management Service) or we may quibble about the levels of regulation that are appropriate, but it’s beyond dispute that corporations regularly do bad things when we let them.. or even when we try to stop them if they determine the penalty is cheap compared to the money saved by doing the wrong thing.

        I won’t contend this is true of every company.. that would be silly.. but it certainly happens and I could provide a thousand examples if I had a free day.

        So, although I agree that corporations SHOULD pay to deal with their own costs (like the legal and ethical disposal of waste) they all too often don’t and we, the tax payers, end up funding programs like the SuperFund-Sites program to the tune of Billions.
        More over, even if we lived in a world where all corporations did act in good faith.. and where they even covered accidents when they were working in good faith (doesn’t need to be malicious).. you still haven’t answered how they would pay for the use of other infrastructure that is only funded through taxes.

        In a corporate tax-free zone, how do corporations pay for their use of public roads? for Air Traffic controllers.. for police and fire…

        One more point that just occurred to me..
        Right now, we live in a world with the ultra wealthy have shifted the bulk of their income from payroll to capital gains. This happens not only because the wealthy hold the vast majority of the wealth in this country (and wealth begets wealth) but because their compensation has been continually shifted away from salary.
        This makes it especially sad when middle class and poor Americans rally to oppose 3-4% tax increases [restorations] for the ultra wealth who don’t even pay income-tax rates on most of their income anyway. Warren Buffet pays an average of 15% federal tax on all his income while his secretary pays 30% (which Buffett, to his credit, has pointed out is wrong).
        My point here… If we don’t tax the corporations, and we allow corporate leaders to structure their income based on the income of the corporations (through options) rather than through payroll.. you’re talking about slashing tax rates for the wealthiest of our citizens. You’re talking about a truly inversely-progressive taxation system. 15% for the richest, and 20s-low 30s for the middle class. Booyaa, welcome to the new America because the massive wealth inequality we have [again] just isn’t enough.

      • Regulation is a necessary evil, but that does not mean that we must let these jokers off the hook. They have to clean up their own mess.

        And fflakr, corporations do bad things precisely because our *politicians* let them, and that’s because they take cash dollars to fund their elections. That is why public funding of campaigns is so vital to our survival.

  3. Alice says:

    Tax breaks to corporations are more likely to go into the pockets of CEOs than into the pockets of consumers.

    • In some cases that could occur, but if ALL corporations were affected their prices would go down and jobs would go up. Reverse the scenario and tax only the businesses; they all would leave the country.

      • ffakr says:

        I don’t know of anyone proposing to phase out personal income tax in order to only tax corporations. I’m not sure how that would even work out with Partnerships and Sole-Proprietors.
        You’re making a straw-man argument.

        I think any rational person has to agree with Alice. If the cost of business goes down, it’s up to market forces to lower prices.. not up to corporations to lower their prices and thus decrease their profits.

        Corporate leadership is duty-bound, even bound by law, to maximize return to investors (owners). If the market supports a $1 bottle of water, corporations would be derelict in selling their water for $0.75 if they had their corporate taxes cut. Their duty is to find the price point that maximized profit.. the point where sales levels X sales price maximizes profit.

        I’m guessing MoneyedPoliticians would call themselves a supporter of the free market. Why are you ignoring market forces and living in this phantasy where corporations are altruistic organizations that strive to provide the consumers with the lowest prices regardless of profit. This is certainly not how free markets operate. The Only reason to take a hit on the bottom line (lower profit) through price reduction that I can think of would be in an effort to gain an advantageous market position.. that is, to price competitors out of the market.. which isn’t particularly ‘free market’ either.

      • A straw-man argument? No, I just look at the two extremes before locking in on an opinion. And I try to eliminate unnecessary waste.

        And yes, I do support a “regulated” free market, thus I find it inconsistent to argue that corporate tax breaks simply go into CEO pockets, without ultimately forcing lower prices.

      • ffakr says:

        it’s a straw man argument when you propose one extreme, then make up a polar opposite to make your proposal look more viable. That’s pretty much the definition of a straw man argument.

        Is there a movement that I’m not aware of to drop personal income taxes in favor of shifting all the tax burden to corporations?

        I could just as easily say that we should debate no corporate taxes on one hand, and having the government forcibly seize all US corporations for the benefit of the people on the other hand. Obviously, no corporate taxes would seem to make more sense but that’s meaningless since no one of any serious standing is proposing anything of the sort.

        Seriously, is there any serious movement to zero personal income tax in favor of shifting the burden to corporations? I don’t think moving to a consumption tax counts at all.. though I’d be happy to explain how consumption taxes are regressive.

        ffakr.

      • No, I know of no such “movement” but I have heard people say “what the hell, they’re making all the money, let them pay all the taxes.” I just (and always) argue “Fine, then they’ll pass the taxes on to you along with any extra costs they entailed.” It’s an exercise in futility, a feel-good measure.

  4. heubler says:

    “You give tax breaks to people who give us jobs and we get it back several times over.”

    7+ years of Bush tax breaks. Net job loss. ‘Nuff said.

  5. Ex-Canuck says:

    I simply cannot believe that this guy still enjoys a 43% approval rating! If ever there was an example of “a populace getting what they deserve”, those 43% of people will at some time regret their votes last November.

    When more and more repuke thievery is revealed as walker continues to rape the middle class, I would hope his approval rating would go down. Or are his supporters just blindly supporting him because of his party, his religion, his, whatever? Then again, maybe 43% of Wisconsinites are simply ignorant of the facts, and don’t really understand that politics has consequences.

    • I believe that Walker got elected for one reason only: because of the abysmal track record of Obama. And Obama got elected because of Bush. I think the recalls will be interesting.

      But that said, Barrett ran by omitting the two most important issues out there: cleaning the swamp of political corruption and passage of single-payer healthcare. Thus Dems stayed away from the polls and the Tea Partiers had their day.

      • ffakr says:

        I agree, What the F did Obama do anyway?

        .. other than save upwards of 2 million jobs by the estimate of most non-partisan (and even some conservative) analysts.. Inherited a an economy that was headed for a Depression and over saw the end of the recession, and growing employment and GDP.
        .. added funding to the Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs.. which had soldiers sitting in roach infested rooms under Bush.
        .. provided health care immediately to 4 million more uninsured kids
        .. Signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to cut fraud in the Pentagon.
        .. Signed the Credit Card Bill of Rights to prevent your lenders from arbitrarily raising your interest rates.
        .. Tax cuts for up to 3.5 Million small businesses to help them provide health care
        .. Tax credits for up to 29 million individuals to help them get health coverage, stopped recisions, allowed people to keep their kids on their insurance till they’re 26..
        .. eliminated subsidies to middlemen, reducing the cost of student loans.
        .. Expanded Pell Grants
        .. signed Financial Reform Law requiring lendors to verify borrowers credit history and ability to repay
        … oversaw creation of more private sector jobs in 2010 than occurred during Bush terms.

        I could go on. 🙂
        http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

      • Yea, and how about running as a progressive and flipping to governing as a conservative; and allowing the $125 million in campaign contributions from the insurance industry to keep single-payer off the table; and signing the stupidest ObamaCare bill ever; and opting for bipartisanship even when he had 60 votes in the senate; and, and… I could surely go on as well. He doesn’t impress me.

      • ffakr says:

        my point is that there is a myth that his track record has been ‘abysmal’. He’s actually got a remarkable amount of stuff done and I, personally, think most of them have been for the better.

        I certainly don’t agree with everything he’s done. Personally, I’d like to have seen a roll-back of the Bush-era civil rights infringements and a serious investigations of possible crimes in the past administration.
        I just wanted to point out that there are very real metrics to judge the Obama administration. More consumer protections and the reality that the economy is improving are pretty good points in my favor.

  6. PunchNRun says:

    Your position on corporate taxes is rational on the face of it but is flawed when you account for the local vs global impact. Eliminating a state or local tax reduces revenue that locality needs, partly to fund the services that the business consumes. The resulting benefit of lower cost products impacts globally but does not offset the local reduction in revenue. So elimination of corporate taxes can only be implemented if coupled with compensating changes to mitigate the revenue loss to the locality.

    • But it’s the global impact that I consider the most. And since these corporate taxes represent only 8% of state income, the 1% increase needed from the rest of citizens should be worth it for the added jobs. And can you imagine this being offset by campaign reform?

      But your arguments are valid and I would certainly give way to a qualified and non-partisan panel studying the issue. But that isn’t possible under Walker.

      • heubler says:

        But it’s the global impact that I consider the most. And since these corporate taxes represent only 8% of state income, the 1% increase needed from the rest of citizens should be worth it for the added jobs. And can you imagine this being offset by campaign reform?

        That’s assuming that businesses who haven’t hired, in the most business-friendly climate (the Bush years)in the past century, will suddenly decide to act like good citizens, instead of using the money to fatten their liguid reserves. Hasn’t happened, and won’t happen if you eliminated all corporate taxes. They aren’t in business to make products, or offer services. They are there for profit, pure and simple, and eliminating their taxes wouldn’t spur job growth, except for yacht manufacturers, and the like.

      • I wouldn’t be so sure… except that if we had public funding of campaigns and our politicians worked for us rather than them, I think they’d find the right answer. But they have us diverted to things like putting food on the table for our families.

  7. singe says:

    i differ with you on tenure. while it has it problems in that it can protect folks who are no longer invested in doing their job what would you replace it with? to think that suddenly only horrible teachers would get the ax and that merit would be rewarded by enlightened school superintendents and boards is unbelievably naive. if you have worked in any real institutional environment and i have worked in many you know that any power over other people that can be abused often will be. politics, old buddy networks, etc. would rule and leave teachers to kowtow to the whims of their supervisors no matter how much against the grain of sound educational practices they went. the reality is teachers like most of us live pay check to pay check and when the choice is between getting fired or recommending the wrong but connected kid for say advanced placement class they are going to do what they can to keep eating. i have yet to hear a proposal that would insulate teachers from such abuse promoted by any of the armies of folks who want to do away with tenure. like unions we need to focus on the history of where and why these worker protections come from and not be so arrogant to think we should dissolve them and hope the big guy in the sky will make us all honorable and ethical citizens.

    • singe, I’m simply of the opposite view. I think if principles and supervisors are under the same pay-for-performance rules they’ll not play favorites with teachers. But at least in Wisconsin we’ll find out now that Walker has brute-forced it.

      • singe says:

        I hope you are right but in my 35 years working in education, mental retardation, mental health and juvenile justice organizations I never saw such a system work. What I did see work was the wonderful output one gets when workers are hired into a new initiative type program such as was the case in the 1970’s with the implementation of the Willow brook Consent Decree in New York and as occurred in some brand new charter schools I was in contact with. Unfortunately after the excitement of being in on a new program with high goals and creative leaders wore off (in a matter of a few years) folks were left with concerns about their job security, advancement, whether they were getting their fair share and so on and the programs were no longer as effective. In response leaders became more pressed by their leaders to produce and all the ugly things humans do to get power and control in organizational settings were exhibited. The thing about getting rid of tenure and seniority is that once they are gone they won’t be coming back for a long, long time if ever.

      • Thomas Theobald says:

        Won’t happen. We live in an era where school boards get elected – and as the line goes in Religulous, it don’t take a high IQ to get elected. Creationist idiots or outright bigots can be elected – and they can dump worthwhile teachers when they do.

        That’s a lot more danger to the system than the rarity of a deadbeat teacher.

        The entire argument against tenure is somewhat fatuous, anyway – sure, I remember one or two dumb teachers in my childhood. But I also remember a great many good ones, and a few great ones. The protection offered to a teacher by tenure is there for a reason – it’s so they can teach controversial topics without threat of reprisal. In case you weren’t watching, that is IMPORTANT.

        And it’s also worth noting that tenure is *not* a bulletproof shield.

  8. The 137 million dollars for corporate tax breaks is in the next budget, the changes were in this budget that were voted upon yesterday.. Right church wrong pew, dummies.
    Our choice is jobs or more of Doyle’s welfare programs. You make the choice, though most of you never have a job so the rest of us have to support you.

    • Yea, the $137M is in next year’s budget, but to believe they will create jobs in this budget cycle is naive. They did absolutely nothing to create demand, and it’s “demand” that creates the need for more workers. If you are a recipient of the tax breaks, however, I would expect an argument from the conservative side.

    • singe says:

      Why would you think I have never had a job? This comment makes me think your mom should make you come up from the basement, get out of your pj’s and take out the trash before you have to go do your paper route.

  9. kindness says:

    I take issue with your premise that tenure is bad. Specifically that younger teachers are better than tenured teachers.

    Take this episode in Wisconsin as a case in point. Without tenure, when there is a budgetary problem, it would be the older, veteran teachers that would be laid off. Why? Because they are paid more. Honestly, if a teacher is bad, tenure isn’t going to save them. But tenure will save the people who have given their lives to teaching your children.

    I suspect you would be less than thrilled with your job if you knew that your likelyhood of being fired raised every year you did it. The contradiction you offer in terms of what you want in the staffing you have vs. making your staff less & less secure will certainly make the teachers worse.

    • I’ve been a union steward though I’ve never had a guaranteed job. I’ve always been subject to firing and had to be better than the next guy. But I nonetheless went on to start and own my own company for 25 years. And I’ve never had union employees to salt my mind.

      But I do believe there are ways we can protect good teachers, and we must. Review boards are one way. At 73 I don’t worry any more, but I do for my grandkids.

  10. Blakenator says:

    For all you “never tax the job creators,” I would like you to analyze my state, Nevada, and tell me why we aren’t full of these corporations running from the tax man. A fine opportunity to engage in creative writing for those taking the challenge. Yeah, I know, the theory is all these jobs will provide the taxes we aren’t charging the employer. Remember the old saying, “In theory, practice and theory are the same, in practice, they are not.”

  11. Don says:

    I am opposed to immigration and immigration “reform” (amnesty). This country is overpopulated, and 21 million Americans are out of work.

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