Now that it’s 2012, expect Walker budget cuts to really hit Wisconsin citizens hard

Scott Walker Budget

As 2012 begins, a list of how the Walker budget cuts needs to be shown to show how much the cuts are, who it affects and who gets the tax breaks and loopholes from Walker that are funded on the backs of the middle, working and poor classes in Wisconsin. These estimates are provided based on sources from the Wisconsin Department of Administration and Legislative Fiscal Bureau budget documents available. There is a lot of complexity in illustrating all of the budget cuts and this list attempts to shine the light on how Walker and the Republicans clearly have their priorities:

Walker Administration Budget Cuts to Wisconsin Families, Seniors, Poor, Children, Students, Unemployed, Disabled and Others Over Biennium 2012-2013
Program
Budget Cuts
Who It Affects
University of Wisconsin system $250 million Students
Technical colleges $70 million Students
K-12 public schools $834 million Students
Local government programs (various) $139 million Slower services, smaller staff, cutbacks
Department of Corrections $53 million Public safety
Low-income tax relief $49 million Poor population
Medicaid programs $500 million Seniors, poor
Public transportation programs $49 million Seniors, poor, children, students, disabled, others
Wisconsin Shares-Child Care Support $224 million Poor, children
BadgerCare 65,000 Wisconsinites losing coverage including 29,000 children Seniors, poor, children, students, disabled, others
FoodShare Program Supplemental Funds $380,000 Seniors, poor, children, students, disabled, others
FamilyCare $84.9 million
(pending federal legal actions)
Seniors, poor, children, students, disabled, others
SeniorCare Major damage to program structure Seniors, disabled, others
Family Planning Services for Men $73,200
(ending program)
Poor population
Tobacco Control Program $685,000 Wisconsin citizens
Mental Health $1 million Wisconsin citizens
Rural health dental clinics $300,500 Seniors, poor, children, students, disabled, others
Income Support Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) $41 million Seniors, poor, children, students, disabled, others

Transitional Jobs Program

$17 million
(ending program)
Seniors, poor, students, disabled, others
Homestead Tax Credit $8 million Wisconsin citizens
Head Start $12.5 million Poor, children
High Poverty Aid $3.74 million Seniors, poor, students, disabled, others
 
Walker Tax Breaks for Top 1% Investor Class and Political Contributors
Group Tax deductions/loopholes Who pays

Corporations 

$177 million Wisconsin citizens
Investors $36 million Wisconsin citizens

Source: Wisconsin Department of Administration and Legislative Fiscal Bureau budget documents

There have been more explanations on the complexity of the Walker budget cuts and while the full damage of the cuts is to be revealed as 2012 advances, here are some indications of what will occur:

  • The Department of Justice is dealing with a $2.46 million cut by, in part, cutting $1.36 million from criminal history searches and fingerprint identification. The agency earns revenue by performing such searches for businesses.
  • The Department of Corrections is dealing with a $9.46 million hit by cutting $3.8 million in operational cuts such as fuel and utilities, $3.9 million in youth aids and $846,400 in sex offender management.
  • The Department of Children and Families is dealing with its $8.3 million cut by slashing “income augmentation funds” by $8.1 million. Department officials did not return calls Friday.
  • The Department of Health Services is sending back to the state $18.6 million it received from the federal government as part of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The money is an unbudgeted bonus awarded to states that have simplified enrollment and renewal for Medicaid and CHIP and also have increased Medicaid enrollment of children, said DHS spokeswoman Beth Kaplan.

By far, the hardest hit was the UW System, which was directed in October to find $46.1 million in cuts this year and another $19.7 million in 2012-13.

UW System President Kevin Reilly has called UW’s cuts “highly disproportionate,” noting that the system gets 7 percent of state funding but is taking 38 percent of the cuts.

Huebsch has denied that, saying UW’s cuts are proportionate when you consider that certain funds, such as school aids and medical assistance, are exempt from cuts.

Reilly this month wrote a letter to Brian Hayes, state budget director, saying the cuts could result in fewer instructors and course offerings.

On Friday, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, criticized Walker over the cuts.

“This latest draconian cut targeting our universities explains why Wisconsin is one of the worst states for job losses since the governor passed his economic plan in the budget,” he said.

Read more from source

There have been a lot of debate about how the Walker budget cuts don’t have to be so extreme and focused on hurting those who need the help the most with assistance in these tough times, especially with millions of dollars taken out of the economy through the cuts as well as continuing private sector job losses since Walker’s budget cuts were made law. Some alternatives include:

  • Collect tax on investment profits to raise $140 million
  • A surtax on incomes over $250,000 raises $168 million
  • A sales tax on business and professional services raises $322 million
  • Boost sales tax by one penny to raise $860 million a year

Source

We’ll see how Walker and the Fitzwalkerstan Cult’s use of “austerity measures” on the backs of the working and poor will somehow improve the business climate in Wisconsin, a state leading the country in job losses ever since their policies have been implemented.

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  • KWolf

    I have worked ever since I was 15 years old. I am not lazy, and I have worked for minimum wage rather than do nothing on those occasions when I could not find a job that would support my family. I am typical of “Welfare” recipients. Most people who get welfare work; most people who go to low-income medical clinics have jobs that don’t pay enough or offer medical insurance. But now that I have a good union job, my coworkers seem to think that all the people who get help from these programs “don’t work.” Sorry, no; we worked HARDER when we were too poor to make ends meet. When you have no boots it’s pretty hard ot pull yourself up by your bootstraps. What happens when you give someone a hand up? THEY GET UP. Once they’re up–once someone like me gets a good job–we pay taxes. I can’t tell you how happy I am to finally be in a tax-bracket where I pay taxes. Cutting programs just makes it so that more people have no hand up; people who did not CHOOSE to end up disabled, old, poor, or a child will be stuck where they are, and those who voted for the cuts will be required to pay for people who fall further and further into poverty and despair. OR we could change things … invest in people and watch the dividends begin to build.