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Scott Walkers Corporate Entitlement System

Madison – The citizens of Wisconsin have all heard state Republicans use the word entitlements when referring to programs such as social security, Medicaid and Medicare. In the same breath, Wisconsin Republicans have also shifted the blame of the state’s financial woes on those enrolled in the state food share program. In 2012, Scott Walker and fellow Republicans used their majority to punish those who they believed were feeding from the “public trough” through cuts and legislation.

In 2011, 1.1 million families in Wisconsin received $1.1 billion in Food-Share benefits. In January 2012, 58.7 percent of recipients were children, disabled, or older than age 59. The average assistance group included two individuals and received a benefit of $246 in January 2012.

Walker Punishes the Poor

In 2012, approximately 20,000 Wisconsin citizens lost their state sponsored/federally assisted health insurance while another 33,000 low income families saw their premiums rise as much as ten times what they were currently paying. In Governor Walker’s 2011-’13 budget, he raised taxes on lower and moderate income working families and others by cutting back the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit and the separate Homestead Credit.

Corporate Welfare Isn’t Working

In 2010, Scott Walker made a campaign pledge to create 250,000 new jobs in the state of Wisconsin, and with only a little under two years to go, he is approximately 220,000 short of his promise. At the end of 2012, 6.7% of the working population in Wisconsin was unemployed. Governor Walker and fellow Republicans placed the blame on Washington, Obamacare, and Wall Street, while saying that government doesn’t create jobs, but only cultivates an environment for them to grow.

Wisconsin tax payers should be alarmed at the amount of manure being used to “cultivate” jobs that are not growing in the state. On average Wisconsin Republicans dole out $1.53 billion in corporate welfare each year. The state funded corporate giveaways include such things as:

  • $957 million in Sales tax refund, exemptions or other sales tax discounts
  • $416 million in Property tax abatements
  • $107 million in Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reductions

The corporate hand-out program costs each tax payer in the state approximately $268 or .10 cents for every dollar collected and cost (If 37,000 jobs created is accurate) $41,300 per job, with many of those positions paying the employee less than the amount it took to create the jobs. The corporate public trough was approximately 2.3% of Scott Walker’s previous budget. These numbers do not include the nearly $20 million in loans to businesses through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) that will never be recouped.

Scott Walker should change his slogan of “Wisconsin is open for business” to “Wisconsin is Open to Corporate Welfare” as you can see the state gives away more money to corporations than it does to those struggling to feed their families and provide health insurance -- while at the same time raising the taxes on the poor as businesses operate tax-free.

United Wisconsin's Executive Director Lisa Subeck had this to say about Walker's Corporate Entitlement System:

"Scott Walker is failing miserably on fulfilling his promise of 250,000 new Wisconsin jobs to the people of Wisconsin. Instead of creating jobs, Walker adds insult to injury by taking from those who can least afford it, while providing huge giveaways to big corporations. The winners here are the big-money special interests that poured dollars into Walker's campaign coffers with the expectation of favorable returns. Meanwhile, the losers are the people of Wisconsin still left waiting for the 250,000 jobs and improved economy that Walker promised."

Published in Wisconsin Politics

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