State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
Beware of “The Coming Tax Bomb.”
John Cogan, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and former deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan, and Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School, and former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush write an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal about what’s in store for taxpayers if the Bush tax cuts disappear.
Cogan and Hubbard write:
“Letting the Bush tax cuts expire will drive the personal income tax burden up by 25% – to its highest point relative to GDP in history.
This would be the largest increase in personal income taxes since World War II. It would be more than twice as large as President Lyndon Johnson's surcharge to finance the war in Vietnam and the war on poverty. It would be more than twice the combined personal income tax increases under Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The increase would push total federal government revenues relative to GDP to 20%.
Why this large tax increase? The tax code changes enacted in 2001 and 2003 are scheduled to expire at the end of 2010. If they do, statutory marginal tax rates will rise across the board; ranging from a 13% increase for the highest income households to a 50% increase in tax rates faced by lower-income households. The marriage penalty will be reimposed and the child credit cut by $500 per child. The long-term capital gains tax rate will rise by one-third (to 20% from 15%) and the top tax rate on dividends will nearly triple (to 39.6% from 15%). The estate tax will roar back from extinction at the same time, with a top rate of 55% and an exempt amount of only $600,000. Finally, the Alternative Minimum Tax will reach far deeper into the middle class, ensnaring 25 million tax filers in its web.”
Cogan and Hubbard contend a tax increase “is neither wise nor necessary.”
Read their entire piece.
Governor Doyle has signed legislation that creates the official state tartan. I was the lead Senate sponsor of the legislation.
Take a look. The story behind the tartan is quite interesting.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ranks Wisconsin health care at number two in the nation.
Do we really want to toss out our health care system and convert it into a government health care program?
Here are more details in the Stevens Point Journal.
State Senate Democrats have been pushing to implement a multi-billion dollar government health care plan in Wisconsin.
Thankfully, their efforts have been unsuccessful.
Government health care is failing in Massachusetts where patients are having difficulty finding doctors. Patients fortunate enough to find a physician then experience long waits for appointments. One physician’s next opening for a physical is early May — of 2009.
The New York Times has the story.
A study by the non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) says that debt service has vaulted into the state’s list of top ten expenses, right up there with school funding and aid to local governments.
The principal reason the state faces major challenges whenever it has a budget crisis rests on how it spends its money. In addition to debt service, which it legally cannot cut, it devotes 55% of general fund expenses to aiding schools and local governments, and another 12% on health care for low-income individuals (Medicaid). That means that close to 70% of what the state spends is devoted to programs whose costs are difficult to control (Medicaid) or to programs that, if trimmed, would likely result in local property tax increases.
"What is not readily understood," observes WISTAX President Todd A. Berry, "is that the cost of operating state governments accounts for only 17% of general fund expenditures. The public and press often presume that cutting state agency budgets can solve a budget problem, yet the uncomfortable truth is that more than four of every five dollars in the state budget are spent elsewhere."
Read the press release from WISTAX and a Wisconsin State Journal editorial