Walker’s State of the State: A rigged economy that only benefits those at the top

MADISON - Today, in his 7th State of the State address, Governor Scott Walker indicated that he will continue to pursue policies that rig Wisconsin’s economy for those at that top, on the backs of working individuals and families. 

During his 6 year reign, Walker’s economic agenda has primarily consisted of tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations.  One of the biggest corporate tax giveaways in Wisconsin’s history will cost approximately $570 million in the next two years and doesn’t require those benefitting to create one single job.  Companies can even outsource jobs and receive the taxpayer funded windfall. The vast majority of individuals, 88% of those receiving this tax giveaway, make more than $500,000 a year.  Most shocking of all, 11 individuals earning $35 million plus annually are estimated to receive $21 million-plus in taxpayer-funded benefits. Despite these hundreds of millions in corporate welfare, Wisconsin continues to lag in both Midwest private sector job creation and behind national job growth.

“More than any Governor in Wisconsin’s history, Governor Walker has rigged the system against working families,” stated Taylor.  “From Rhinelander to River Falls to Racine, working individuals and families are struggling in an economic system that only benefits those at the top and leaves everyone else behind.” 

Instead, Governor Walker and legislative Republicans have gutted the very things that create opportunities for all Wisconsinites in both rural and urban communities, including Wisconsin’s public education and transportation systems.  Today, children in our K-12 public schools are receiving more than $1,000 less state aid than in 2008 while millions of taxpayer money is diverted to unaccountable private schools.  The UW System has been cut by nearly $800 million during Walker’s tenure, and the UW-Madison flagship campus dropped out of the top 5 in research rankings for the first time in decades. Wisconsin local roads and bridges are ranked as some of the worst in the country. 

“There is a way forward.  Democrats are focused on creating an economy that works for everyone, not just those at that top, starting with a real middle income tax cut, ending corporate tax giveaways to companies outsourcing Wisconsin jobs, investing in families through paid sick days and family leave and returning the government to the people through curtailing the influence of corporations and billionaires in elections.  Our focus will be making sure policies are actually benefitting the people of this state, instead of rich campaign donors and billionaire CEOs.”