Walker was there to take part in a debate with former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann, but unfortunately, Walker flat-out refused to address the main issue which had dogged him - how will he pay for nearly $3 billion in proposed tax cuts, tax shifts and tax loopholes in the midst of state's looming $2.5 billion deficit.
Keep in mind that Walker offered a blistering assault on the state's historic BadgerCare program, which provides access to health care coverage to children, expectant mothers and uninsured working Wisconsinites. This critical investment, begun under Tommy! Thompson is a model for the nation and has allowed Wisconsin to cover a higher percentage of its citizens than almost every other state in the nation.
Walker was on the attack, telling viewers that kids who have BadgerCare better watch their collective heinies. Apparently, only kids like Walker's, who have been covered their entire lives through Walker's various taxpayer-financed plans he's gotten as an elected offical, should have access to quality care.
And the reason why government has deficits? Remember that it's because of tax cuts that benefit the rich and big business that go all the way back 30 years to Reagan unaffordable tax cuts which took the top 1 percent from 70% to 28%. It's because of the unpaid-for Bush tax cuts which gave the richest nearly $1 trillion over 10 years.
Usually, tax modern conservative tax policy is this: across the board income tax cuts that give the middle class crumbs but provide a banquet to the wealthiest. These happen at the federal level, so when the wealthy calculate their adjusted gross income, state revenue also suffers because the revenue they would generate through progressive taxation from those at the top income brackets is also lost.
So, when Scott Walker offers a first-of-its-kind tax cut, something our research can find no evidence of happening either federally or in other states ever - a tax cut just for the top one percent, people making more than $225,000 - by god, he owes us an explanation how the hell he is going to pay for it.
WISN political host Mike Gousha directly asked Walker and Neumann how they would pay for their tax cut plans.
Walker refused to answer. Flat out. Nothing. Nada.
Walker has called for five budget-busting tax cuts and shifts and he absolutely refuses to act like a responsible adult and tell us what he is going to cut from health care, education and police and fire protection to pay for it.
A list of the most prominent Walker tax schemes:
- Slash income taxes for the top one percent of income earners who make more than $225,000 a year -- two-year budget cost: $287 million.
- Reopen the "Las Vegas Loophole" which allows Wisconsin businesses to shelter their tax obligations to Wisconsin families through phantom "offices" in states without corporate income tax -- two-year budget cost: $185 million.
- Repeal changes made to the capital gains tax deduction, despite the fact 70 percent of capital gains filings are from those earning more than $200,000 a year -- two-year budget cost: $243 million.
- Shelter the assets of the wealthiest Wisconsinites even more by a radical end to tax paid on retirement income, regardless of income -- two-year budget cost: $920 million.
- Shift tax revenue from new car sales into the transportation fund -- two-year budget cost: $1 billion.
[Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 2/23/09, 7/8/09, 1/25/10; "Upfront," WISN-TV, 11/8/09; La Crosse Tribune, 11/24/09], Wisconsin State Journal, 6/20/10; Legislative Fiscal Bureau]
Earlier today, One Wisconsin Now offered a list of 10 potential questions for Walker to answer. We would have settled for a simple answer to this one.