Preserving Wisconsin Communities

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Preserving Wisconsin Communities during tough economic times.

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  • This is about accountable state govt We can’t get to the heart of the budget crisis if we don’t define the problem appropriately and carry that narrative into policy debates. The person who defines “the problem” defines the solutions.
  • Tax system was designed well, 40-50 years ago and was designed to be in balance. What’s happened and economy’s changed and now it’s no longer in balance. Regain health of public structures. % of WI General Fund Taxes That Comes From… 1988 1997 2007 Individual Income Tax 44.2% 51.7% Sales & Use Tax 33.7% 32.5% Corporate Tax 8.8% 7.3% 6.4%
  • So HOW DO WE TAKE BACK THE NARRATIVE? HOW DO WE CREATE A FRAME THAT LEADS THE LISTENER TO THE POLICY SOLUTIONS WE SEEK? WE START WITH THE CAUSE OF THE GREAT RECESSION – WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
  • In February, 2009 the President worked with Congress to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – the stimulus bill. This legislation allowed the federal government to invest $800 billion in states for 2009-2010 to prevent a complete collapse of the economy. Over one third went straight to Americans pocketbooks through tax cuts and direct financial aid. Billions went to prop up vital infrastructure and services that allow communities to function and prepare for recovery.
  • Preserving Wisconsin Communities

    1. 1. Preserving Wisconsin Communities … during tough economic times Community Forum December 12, 2010 Institute for Wisconsin’s Future (414) 967-1682 wisconsinsfuture.org
    2. 2. Public structures support our quality of life We understand and appreciate that what breathes life and hope and happiness into our ‘homes’ is the quality of our neighborhoods, jobs, schools, parks, services, medical care, and transportation. Wisconsin Realtors Association
    3. 3. Government paves the way for economic growth through public structures Port of Milwaukee Mitchell Airport Sewage System Highway system Milwaukee Area Tech College Sanitation system
    4. 4. Balanced taxes from different sources build and sustain strong public structures
    5. 5. Public transport... Protecting natural resources Garbage services Parks and recreation. State revenue shortfalls for the past decade have led to cuts in... Education funding
    6. 6. In 2008 the US economy crashed <ul><li>Many megabanks brought down the economy by creating and selling risky financial products – with our money </li></ul><ul><li>$15 trillion in personal wealth was gone </li></ul><ul><li>Almost $50,000 for every man, woman and child in America </li></ul><ul><li>$6.1 trillion in housing value disappeared </li></ul><ul><li>As if a hurricane destroyed every house in every state on the </li></ul><ul><li>Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida </li></ul><ul><li>8.4 million jobs were lost       </li></ul><ul><li>As if every salesperson, secretary and nurse got a pink slip </li></ul><ul><li>39.8 million people in poverty – the most since 1960 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The total number of people living in the 30 largest US cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, etc. </li></ul></ul>The losses were huge
    7. 7. $800 billion Recovery Act for 2009-2010 <ul><li>Stop the job loss </li></ul><ul><li>Help people in crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Support business growth </li></ul><ul><li>Increase public investment on roads and energy </li></ul><ul><li>Prevent devastating cuts to education and public services </li></ul><ul><li>Stimulate private spending – </li></ul><ul><li>Tax cuts, Cash for Clunkers, </li></ul><ul><li>Unemployment Benefits </li></ul>
    8. 8. Stimulus spending didn’t cause the deficit
    9. 9. The Recovery Act prevented a full-fledged depression in America, using millions of economic sandbags to protect communities from going under Road Repair School Rehab Funds for DAs Food Stamps More UI for 99 Weeks Tax Cuts Funds for Teachers Business Loans Buses and Trains Energy Savings Rehab River Clean Up Health Care Cash for Clunkers Farm Aid Aid for Elderly Medical Research School Loans Improve Airports Child Protection Vet’s Aid $$ for Police Housing for Disabled
    10. 10. 2010 election results reflect the popular disconnect between taxes and the public good
    11. 11. The stimulus money is almost gone and communities are heading for a funding cliff in 2011-2013 Wisconsin faces a $3 billion deficit for 2011-12. The decisions made by state leaders in the coming months can protect or hurt communities across the state.
    12. 12. New state leaders wants to cut spending and taxes – a recipe for disaster Tax cuts and reduced revenue = greater deficit Bigger deficit = more cuts in program and staffing More cuts= higher unemployment, slower growth and less tax revenue
    13. 13. What do we do now? <ul><li>Conservative Agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Repeal the corporate tax reforms </li></ul><ul><li>Cut spending for public structures </li></ul><ul><li>Weaken Labor Unions </li></ul><ul><li>Cut taxes for business </li></ul><ul><li>Set the stage for 2012 electoral victory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Redistricting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voter IDs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inflame cultural conflicts . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Progressive Goals </li></ul><ul><li>Expand revenue to invest in community growth </li></ul><ul><li>Increase the number of family supporting jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Protect the middle class </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen tolerance and cooperation among diverse peoples </li></ul><ul><li>Hold new leaders accountable for decisions. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Keeping them honest– 250,000 Jobs <ul><li>Governor-elect Walker promised </li></ul><ul><li>to create 250,000 new jobs: </li></ul><ul><li>Starting in the hole – Thousands of </li></ul><ul><li>jobs lost with high speed train gone </li></ul><ul><li>and Talgo Co. moving to Illinois </li></ul><ul><li>Cutting public sector jobs is a minus- </li></ul><ul><li>Every job loss reduces economic </li></ul><ul><li>activity, tax revenue and adds social costs. </li></ul><ul><li>A teacher and a factory worker both </li></ul><ul><li>keep the grocery store running. </li></ul><ul><li>Cutting wages hurts growth – Buying generates jobs. The less money people have, the less they consume. Furloughs hurt the economy. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Don’t let new leaders bait and switch <ul><li>Support policies that preserve existing jobs and create new ones </li></ul><ul><li>Preserve strong community systems, especially in hard times </li></ul><ul><li>Keep Wisconsin revenue in Wisconsin </li></ul>Campaign Focus is JOBS Legislative starter- Concealed carry
    16. 16. How do we protect our communities? <ul><li>Talk to your friends and neighbors about what we value in our community and how to preserve it. </li></ul><ul><li>Sign-up for IWF’s e-mail newsletter and alert system. </li></ul><ul><li>Attend a training on how to talk about taxes and the role of government --reconnect the public with the common good </li></ul><ul><li>Pass-on the presentation What other groups should get this information? </li></ul>

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