Friday, April 17, 2015
Local Tax and Spend Fiscal Phonies Lobby Madison On Tax Day
So the local Walker-booster club Forward Janesville held their "lobby" day in Madison on "Tax Day" Wednesday. A very fitting day for their annual junket, although April Fools would have been more accurate.
But did they go to Madison to lobby lawmakers to reform the state aid funding formula making it more equitable for municipalities in the post-2008 recession economy? Nope. How about more funding for public schools? Nope. How about more funding to repair and maintain our existing local roads? Noooo, not at all.
In this story at the Janesville Gazette, none of the pressing needs listed above are mentioned. Instead, as the story goes, they were in Madison to preserve funding for the Interstate expansion and to plant seed for a new idea. Hmmm.
As in previous years, this group of special interest lobbyists was in Madison on behalf of their membership and their all-important and highly political road companies. That's it. Period. These folks are like the Halliburton of Rock County. They need a constant stream of profits and without government collectivist public works, they're completely sunk.
In fact, Forward Janesville was thee central player in a behind-closed-doors deal for the interstate expansion that shifted hundreds of millions in state/federal dollars away from maintenance of Wisconsin's existing rural and city roads. So of course they're pushing local taxpayers for tax and spend referendums. They want that too. That's who they are. It's about their vision and other people's money.
I can hear some folks asking, "but don't you want to expand our roads, build new bridges and infrastructure?" Sure I do, but not at the expense of defunding existing roads, bridges and infrastructure. You want something new? Go out there and create new funding mechanisms first - not steal resources from existing needs. To put it another way, they're saying since we don't have funding or can't afford to maintain the windows on our 100-story skyscraper today, lets build 20 more stories of windows on the top. That'll impress everyone. * eyeroll *
None of Forward Janesville's backward lobby priorities surprises me because all of this comes after they got theirs. "Theirs" being state income tax cuts for their membership, low-wage conservative right-to-work regulations, TIF District modifications, enterprise zones, tax credits, portable and transferable tax credits. They've even set up a taxpayer funded slush cache allowing businesses that created jobs but could not claim the credits because of the way they file taxes, to essentially barter the tax credits for goods or services or sell those credits to their big-profit business pals like they're black market food stamps. Good deal, uh? All legal. They figure, hey, why let that welfare money go to waste.
But there they are in Madison looking to lock up public dollars for the interstate expansion while much greater needs go unfunded and oh, I almost forgot ...their "new idea." It's called Vision Wisconsin. Purportedly spun off from an Iowa program for funding quality-of-life improvements. It certainly appears that Forward Janesville, after stating Janesville faces a "death spiral" if we don't increase our local tax obligations, have taken their high tax demands state-wide.
Keep in mind however this group along with the Janesville Gazette remained silent during the passage of low-wage right-to-work, have shown no support to raise the minimum wage and again are absent on a position regarding the end of prevailing wage provisions. Yet they claim to want to attract young people to Wisconsin?
Had they shown support for the proper side of those top-flight quality-of-life issues first, maybe some folks wouldn't think they're nothing more than tax and spend fiscal phonies.
RNR - Divide and Conquer Club: Without Higher Taxpayer Obligations, Quality Of Life Could "Death Spiral"
RNR - At The Crossroads, Paul Ryan's Hometown Facing a Death Spiral. But Where's Ryan?
RNR - Local Walker Cartel Gear Up To Provide "Cover" For Political Cronies
Posted by Lou Kaye at 12:01 AM