Jan 23, 201407:05 AMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Under Gov. Walker, cows giving more milk but Democrats still sour
(page 1 of 2)
Scott Walker in his State of the State address Wednesday night proved that Democrats will cheer for walleye but not tax cuts.
Walker cheekily drew attention to that exception to the opposition’s sour mood. I’m not sure the Democrats could bring themselves out of their funk when the governor announced that Wisconsin’s cows are giving more milk.
The wind is at Scott Walker’s back. A $1.04 billion surplus — $912 million more than anticipated — can do that for you. That’s the surest sign Wisconsin and its people are working. Pity the poor Democrats; their problem is convincing Wisconsin that the milk glass is half-empty and sour, to boot. But pessimism never sells. Just ask Mike Dukakis.
Tommy Thompson and Ronald Reagan were optimists, and so is Scott Walker, who merrily gigged the Assembly’s minority leader. I listened to Peter Barca give the Democrats’ response. It boils down to “more money for teachers.” I’m waiting for Barca to call to his podium the Middleton teachers union boss.
Having given Scott Walker a $3.6 billion deficit, Barca is now worried about the structural deficit and bashing ALEC. Yawn.
Walker’s quote of the evening: “People don’t tell me taxes are too low. Or that taxes are just right.” Was that a shot at Mary Burke, who this week argued that Wisconsin is not a high-tax state after all?
Making a buzz in conservative circles was State Rep. Christine Sinicki’s tweet during the speech: “OMG ... this speech is so full of [expletive]; I wish I could get up and walk out.” We wish you had.
The Democrat also tweeted: “Bottom line: the rich get richer and the poor and the middle class continue to get kicked in the butt.” Time for some fresh talking points, lady. What do you call those people standing behind the governor on the podium last night? That’s right, they were working men and women about to get a little less poor.
The lowest marginal tax rate will be reduced to 4% from 4.4%. Add a $101 reduction on the next property tax bill for the typical homeowner. Factor in two straight years of a UW system tuition freeze. That’s pretty family-friendly stuff after years of 5.5% annual increases.
Not sure that this got the kind of play it should, but Scott Walker has pretty much enacted his income tax cuts already. Walker directed Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler to reduce the payroll withholding tables. He can do that without legislative approval. That will put an average $520 a year back into workers’ pockets rather than making them wait for the April 2015 refund. Only $58 of that is new money — the rest reflects withholding tables that have long been too high. So refunds in 2015 will be smaller, but most folks understand that it is better to have the money now than later.
Now, if Scott Walker had wanted national news media attention, he would have closed a bridge like Chris Christie’s staff did in New Jersey. Instead, he reopened a bridge, the Leo Frigo Bridge in Green Bay, ahead of schedule and under budget.