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Scott Walker, Pinnochio
The Walker Administration saved up some very unpleasant economic news for release late in the day before the Memorial Day weekend.  Friday news dumps have become commonplace in Wisconsin.  There's usually plenty of it that's saved for late release on a Friday when few people, if any, will be paying attention.  Late yesterday, the Friday before the Memorial Day weekend, the State Department of Revenue, released it's own bad news it wants to hide.  

The news that so bad they want to hide it by dumping it late before the Memorial Day weekend?

The state Department of Revenue released tax collections for this fiscal year through April, showing that the state has collected $10.53 billion since July 1, down 0.2% from the same period in the previous year. The state budget has built in 1% growth for this year.
It doesn't look like much, but this is BEFORE Scott Walkers Election Year Vote Grabbing Tax Cuts and shiny new budget go into effect July 1.  That means that the situation is about to become worse.
Estimates for the two-year shortfall come to $642 million.
Remember, it only took a $140 million shortfall (that Walker caused himself by a tax cut to business shortly after his inauguration) to give Walker an excuse to slash and burn Wisconsin with a Budget Repair Bill.  Watch him ignore this one until the election is over and then, God help us.

So, why is he giving tax cuts knowing they'll come back to bite him in the ass?

First:

It's Silly Election Season in Wisconsin.  Governor Scott Walker is on the ballot and can't campaign against the recall this time.  He's forced to run on his own dismal record that has seen Wisconsin move from near the top 10 of states highest in job creation to one of the lowest.  

He's watching his poll numbers and the latest one has him dead even with his Democratic opponent and shows his negatives at 47%, above his approvals.

Second:

Pronouncements of tax cuts the Governor is generously doling out permit him to "prove" to the peasantry that his policies are "working".  He has demonstrated that by crushing public employees and sucking back a nice chunk of their paychecks, gutting social programs, extensive borrowing, and slashing state shared revenues to local governments his budget can be "balanced" even with his massive giveaways to business.

Wisconsin had a small surplus this year enabling him to justify a tax cut.  Imagine the votes applause that repeated meme and talking point will generate.  There's electoral gold in them thar tax cuts!

Nevermind that the tax cut heavily favors the rich (median income earners will get enough to take the wife and kiddies to McDonalds for 1 meal per year with their "tax cut").  It's a TAX CUT that Republicans campaign on!  

When the media exposed the actual "savings" for the average taxpayer, Walker sprung into action (it's an election year and things must happen at warp speed) and doubled the ante by having the folks at the Department of Revenue change the way that taxes are computed for withholding.  Less will be withheld from each paycheck giving people the illusion of a tax cut that's much larger than it actually is.

Third:

Taxpayers will discover the tax cut illusion only when they file their state income tax returns in 2015 (after the election is over) and find their refund non-existent or that they owe the state money.  Surprise!  The election will be over, it will be 2 more years before the next election, and voters memories are oh, so short.

Fourth:

Giving a few coins to the peasants enables Walker to dump buckets of money on Wisconsins richest citizens (donors to his campaign, he hopes).  He also gets to prove his allegiance not only to the Tea Baggers, but to the 1%, as well, bolstering his Presidential ambitions.

Mary Burke, Walkers Democratic opponent, has already started denouncing Walkers budgeting:

Joe Zepecki, spokesman for Walker's Democratic opponent, Mary Burke, said that the latest numbers showed that Walker should have left the state with more of a financial cushion. He said the figures were being released before Memorial Day to avoid drawing attention to them.

"Mary Burke was right, Walker's election year spending spree based on rosy assumptions was irresponsible," Zepecki said.

Walker said he's watching the numbers but not concerned. He said the tax cuts could help to stimulate the economy.

"Individual taxpayers as consumers will use more of that to make purchases to help fuel the economy," he said.

Naturally, put out Friday before Memorial Day weekend, the public won't really get the information on the future projected deficits.  But, it's actually worse since this real news has been, sadly, relegated to an online newspaper blog rather than even appearing in the very thin and barely Saturday edition of the actual newspaper.

The best that we can hope for is that this becomes an election issue that Mary Burke will use to expose Walkers budget tricks and tax cuts gimmicks.  Otherwise it's up to us to pass this on ear to ear, person to person.

This guy thinks he should be President.  Bwahahahaha!

.  

Update:

BFD perhaps.  The original blog post is now in the "news" section online.  It's the exact same article, but with a different link.

Could it be that it will appear in tomorrows newspaper (Sunday)?  

I can only hope.

By the way, the comments, particularly on the original blog post, are a hoot to read.  Clearly the RWrs haven't swarmed in yet, so they're full of snarky goodness.

A couple of favorites:

Could I get my property tax rebate (or whatever Scott is calling it) sent out early?I want to get my $400 before the the pot runs dry.
New figures show this? So does the 50 kids per classroom, the decision to use the copy machine rather than purchase new math books, and the potholes everywhere. Yeah, we don't want to pay too much in taxes, but you reap what you sow.
Walker combines the politics of Richard Nixon and the economic results of Herbert Hoover.

This isn't funny anymore...

We're almost in Kansas Toto!
.

Originally posted to Puddytat on Sat May 24, 2014 at 12:14 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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