The next time a Republican tells you that we’re broke, ask him if we’re broke or if we’re simply “Republican broke.”
According to The Wisconsin State Journal some economists allege that Governor Scott Walker’s budget crisis is a fabrication invented out of whole cloth and predicated on a series of tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. Walker has repeatedly asserted that the state is “broke”, but using the word “broke” they say, is a political tool.“Wisconsin is Republican broke, but it’s not broke,” said Mordecai Lee, a UW-Milwaukee political science professor and former Democratic state lawmaker. “Broke suggests near bankruptcy.”
Using the word “broke” helps Walker frame the debate around his controversial budget plans on his terms, Lee said, suggesting spending cuts are the only option and any tax increases are out of the question.
One measure of a state’s economic health is its public employee pension system. U-W Madison professor of public policy and applied economics Andrew Reshcovsky says Wisconsin’s is robust. “Wisconsin gets a gold star. We have a strong pension system.” […]
Wisconsin’s pension system has more than $80 billon in assets and is expected to cover its obligations made to current workers and retirees, making it one of the “largest and most solvent” pension systems in the country.
Tax increases are indeed out of the question, but tax cuts? Not so much.
Right after taking office, Walker signed $166 million dollars worth of corporate tax cuts into law. Sound familiar? It should, because the national Republican party, and indeed most Republican controlled state legislatures across the nation are following the same blueprint — claim that you’re “broke” and use it as an excuse to implement a phony austerity agenda.
To be fair, there are some states which are experiencing genuine economic dire straights, but in almost every case, tax cuts for people who don’t need them accompany tax increases for those who can’t afford them or spending cuts for those who will be hurt the most by them. Any amount of money that you would have saved by cutting services ends up being canceled out by the loss of revenue.
We may have a long-term deficit problem that will have to be addressed in due time, but we are by no means of the word “broke” And, I haven’t seen anyone use the term “broke” other than Republicans, so I guess we’re simply “Republican broke.”
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