Scott Walker Tool Kit: Fighting Talking Points With Facts - Budget Lies and Distortions
Scott Walker Did Not Balance Wisconsin's Budget
Scott Walker brags that he balanced the budget, but this is like saying we kept our promise to call the Legislature into session. Wisconsin law requires a balanced budget – its up to the administration and Legislature to do so in a way that cares for our citizens and respects our traditions.
When Scott Walker was running for governor, he promised to balance budgets Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP); however, the budget he claims as balanced is anything but when using GAAP. By gutting public education to the tune of $2.6 billion and slashing more than $500 million from public healthcare, along with skillfully kicking the can down the road with accounting tricks that pass debt onto future budgets, Walker has given the appearance of a balanced budget.
But when using the GAAP that Walker promised to use, Wisconsin’s deficit will actually be more than $3 billion at the end of the biennium – a larger deficit than Walker inherited.
Scott Walker Raised Taxes on Seniors, Working Families
Scott Walker says he didn’t raise taxes. If you are a wealthy corporation or a super-rich donor to Walker’s campaign you might benefit from his $93.8 million tax cut for those who least need help.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau projects that Scott Walker’s tax giveaways will cost Wisconsin more than $2.3 billion in lost revenue over the next ten years. Most of these losses are a result of changes in Capital Gains and Combined Reporting – which benefit the highest wage earners and largest corporations in Wisconsin.
To pay for those giveaways, Walker raised taxes on seniors and working families by nearly $70 million. These increases include a $14 million increase by reducing the Homestead Tax Credit, affecting 247,000 homeowners and renters, and a $56.2 million increase on low-wage workers with children as a result of cuts to the Earned Income Tax Credit.
In addition to raising taxes, Walker’s budget also increased fees by more than $133 million,$106 million of which came in the form of UW System tuition increases.
See Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo on tax and fee increases.
Scott Walker Made the Largest Cuts to Education in Wisconsin History; Says He "Added" to Education
Scott Walker slashed $2.6 billion from public education, so it’s hard to believe there is more money in the classroom. What’s added to the classroom are students, and what’s been taken out are teachers and staff.
Analysis by the Department of Public Instruction shows that Scott Walker’s budget reduces the revenue limit per pupil by 5.5% in FY12, eliminates several revenue limit exemptions such as school nursing, pupil transportation, safety equipment, and funds for school security officers data and reduces nearly all categorical aids by 10%, in addition to eliminating some programs outright.
Scott Walker’s defense of his multi-billion dollar cuts to public education is centered on isolated examples that seemingly prove his “tools” are working. In reality these so-called success stories come as a result of record retirements, larger class sizes, reduced benefits and planning periods for teachers and staff, federal funding and a one-time savings from the increase in employee health care and retirement contributions that will not be available next year.
Scott Walker Supports the Segregated Fund Raids He Once Was Against
Despite a campaign promise to end the practice of segregated fund raids, like the one engineered by then-Assembly Speaker and current Walker appointee, Mike Huebsch, Scott Walker has utilized the same practice he once decried as "inexcusable."
Walker's budget proposed a $20 million cut to the successful SeniorCare program, which provides prescription drug assistance for thousands of low-income Wisconsin seniors, by raiding the program's surplus fund. ["Vital Signs: Battle heats up to save state's popular SeniorCare drug program," The Capital Times, 3/21/2011]
Walker's budget adjustment included a $28 million raid of the reserves from the state's health insurance/pharmacy fund to offset other budget costs. [Biz Beat: Walker eyes raid on employee insurance fund," The Capital Times, 2/25/2011]
Scott Walker Says Wisconsin Is Broke, Buys iPads for Privatized Agency
Knowing his recall is fast approaching, Scott Walker claimed that Wisconsin is broke in a campaign fundraising email. Walker has consistently held that his union-busting legislation was an effort to rein in spending and solve the state's fiscal crisis, yet analysis by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau has shown that the straits are not as dire. In fact, Walker's crony agency, the privatized Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, just spent $60,000 in public funds to purchase iPads for its employees.
Scott Walker Uses Taxpayer Money to Fund a Koch Brothers Banner
Scott Walker has continually railed against waste, fraud and abuse in government. But in 2009, Scott Walker used Milwaukee County resources to cross-promote a Koch Brothers Tea Party event.