A Business Owes Nothing in Taxes & Gets a State Check?

Kathleen Vinehout
April 29, 2015
A Business Owes Nothing in Taxes & Gets a State Check?
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“Why doesn’t the press cover what’s happening with refundable tax credits?” I asked the journalist. We were chatting about what I found in the state budget.
“Because the press doesn’t understand them,” she told me.
“Doesn’t understand them?” I thought. “There has to be an easy way to describe what’s happening...”
Imagine if you had no state tax taken out of your paycheck. You filed your tax return but you owed nothing. Now imagine the state sent you a refund check. Wow!
This is like a refundable tax credit. A company owes little to nothing in taxes but gets a check back from the state - cash from the taxpayers of Wisconsin.

Guest Post - Jonathan Rosenblum on Rana Plaza and the local-global march against sweatshops

Rana Plaza

Rana Plaza and the Local-Global March Against Sweatshops

By Jonathan Rosenblum

Today is “Rana Plaza Day.” That's not a good thing. More than a thousand apparel factory workers died two years ago as they sweated literally to keep the sweat off your backs. The building collapsed on top of them, just after a dramatic street side negotiation in which managers forced the workers back into a tectonic building.

All this is pretty far from Madison, WI--in fact, 7261.1 miles from central Madison to the Savar industrial section of Dhaka Bangladesh on Mapquest. You can’t take a bus. You can get a one-stop from O’Hare on Qatar Air.

Happy Earth Day -- 57 DNR staff receive layoff notices

As the anti-science anti-environment drumbeat in Wisconsin continues, 57 staff at the DNR have received layoff notices (they're not officially laid off yet --- just being warned that they may be).  As expected a lot of these are in the science division - science has no place in our current policy-making.

I think that mystery noise heard in some parts of the state the other day may have been Gaylord Nelson turning in his grave.

Let’s Debunk a Few Budget Myths

Kathleen Vinehout
April 22, 2015
Let’s Debunk a Few Budget Myths
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“I’m okay with the cuts,” the man wrote me. “It’s shameful to pass debt on to our children.” In the man’s message, he implies a common misconception about Wisconsin – there is no state debt.
Wisconsin owes a lot of money. The state budget proposes that we borrow even more money. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) reported in January that the state owed about $13.8 billion. This is slightly less than the previous year, but almost $600 million more than when Governor Doyle left office.
The conservative Tax Foundation reported in 2011 Wisconsin ranked 18th of 50 states in terms of the worst state debt per person ($4,013). In 2013, Wisconsin ranked 16th of 50 states ($4,044 per person). Wisconsin is headed the wrong direction in paying off the debt.
The Governor is proposing a great deal more borrowing in the new budget. Of greatest concern is the borrowing to pay for roads and bridges. The LFB estimates by the end of the coming budget almost a quarter of every dollar in transportation will be spent on debt payments.

Under Walker, WI Trade Deficit with Germany has Increased by 153%

As Governor Walker continues on yet another taxpayer-financed "trade mission" to Germany, here's a little German-Wisconsin trade trivia:  When Scott Walker took office in 2011, the trade deficit with Germany was 274 million.  In 2014, that number grew to 694 million-- a 153% increase. 

In fact, overall Wisconsin has gone from an overall trade surplus of 146 million in 2011 to a trade deficit of 82 million in 2014.  That's a pretty damning indictment for a state that used to be a leading manufacturer of American goods and be called "the tool shop of the world."  

Hmmm... maybe instead of taxpayer-financed campaign trips to bolster his presidential resume, maybe Walker should focus on actual trade and the very real trade deficit. 

People Speak Out About Consequences of Budget Decisions

Kathleen Vinehout

April 15, 2015

People Speak Out About Consequences of Budget Decisions

By Senator Kathleen Vinehout


“This is not my cup of tea,” the farmer said quietly as he moved up to the microphone at the Eau Claire budget hearing.


“I’m a UW grad. I’m a farmer. I’m a tech college grad. My kids went to public school. There’s a lot I could talk about today. But I’m here today for Craig, my son. He loves where he lives.”


“I don’t want to lose that,” said Craig sitting between his parents. Craig had surgery to remove brain tumors at 3 years old. His mind is quick and his words are heartfelt.

Adamczyk Heating and Air Conditioning Son Denies Climate Change!

OK, now it is official, Wisconsin no longer is a real State. It is a charade run by some third party that is trying to see how bizarre it can be made to look and still have the citizens act like everything is just fine. It is like a State sized Candid Camera! I keep waiting for someone to step in and say “Smile, you're on Candid Camera!”

When the son of a family that has run a heating and air conditioning company for 30 years denies climate change, we are truly living in a world were capitalism is disconnected from reality.

This is NOT what Robin Vos had in mind when he insisted Milwaukee put more skin into new Bucks arena

Headline over at UrbanMilwaukee.com:

Bucks Plan Envisions Arena Streetcar

Well, that's the end of that! Even worse, at least if you're an anti-rail Republican, the arena developers also would tear down a nearby parking ramp used by [OMG] automobiles! Man, that is like, so socialist! Republican heads no doubt already are exploding.

Urban Milwaukee's Michael Horne provides more detail:

Shirley Abrahamson sues to keep chief justice position

Shirley Abrahamson

Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson has filed a lawsuit asking for an injunction to keep the constitutional amendment approved in yesterday's vote from taking effect. 

Abrahamson, 81, argued in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Madison that the change should not be applied until after her current term ends in four years or if she leaves before then.

To have the selection process change immediately would shorten the 10-year term of office to which Abrahamson was elected as chief justice, she argued, and would therefore violate her constitutional rights to due process and equal protection rights.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/chief-justice-shirley-abrahamson-sues-over-amendment-approved-by-voters/article_e448ebbb-f376-5a40-a2f0-ac0515b31ba3.html#ixzz3WlRvs9gV


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