As Republicans cut 384 proposals from Governor Ever’s budget document that was sent to the Wisconsin legislature, the GOP leaders characterized Ever’s efforts as “liberal fantasy.” Instead, they offer their own vision as “pro-growth.”
What pro-growth really means is favoring the wealthiest Wisconsinites in the form of keeping generous tax credits for the richest manufacturers and minimizing capital gains taxes for the most privileged. Ever’s proposal to have the wealthiest pay their fair share would have meant more than $838 million in revenue to help those who need it the most.
One key GOP cut was, once again, to refuse federal money already allotted under the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid, which in Wisconsin would mean the expansion of Badger Care. This $1.6 billion from the federal government would save Wisconsin tax dollars and allow 91,000 more Wisconsinites to get health insurance. Two-thirds of Wisconsin citizens support this and 38 states have already taken advantage of this program. The Wisconsin GOP, once again, though, has been hiding behind the mind-numbing rationale that “it’s another example of too much big government.” We should ask those same GOP leaders about their desire to use big government to end Roe v. Wade, restrict voting rights, and continue to criminalize marijuana use.
With popular, but misleading, messaging and gerrymandering that has allowed the GOP strong majorities in the Assembly and State Senate, Democrats need to engage all voters in budget issues and recruit candidates at all levels to represent the grassroots needs of Wisconsinites. Otherwise, the failed GOP trickle-down narrative will continue to prevent the economic justice that Wisconsin so badly needs.