10 Days Of Early Voting, 10 Reasons To Vote Against Scott Walker: State Budgets

Oct 22, 2014

We’re nearing the end of the first week of early voting in Wisconsin, and the Democratic Party is continuing its series of reasons for voters to cast their ballots early and say no to Scott Walker on Election Day. 

Scott Walker was ushered into office in 2010 on a message of job creation and fiscal responsibility, but nearly three and half years later Wisconsin faces massive budget deficits thanks to Walker’s fiscally irresponsible decisions and policies.

  • Scott Walker keeps doubling down on his claim that he turned a $3.6 billion budget deficit into a surplus, but in the current budget Wisconsin has a deficit of $396 million. [1]
  • Independent fact-checkers rated Scott Walker’s claim that Wisconsin has a surplus heading into the next budget as “False.” [2]
  • Wisconsin faces a massive $1.8 billion deficit in the next biennium – a figure which is expected to grow even higher as agency budget requests are considered. [3]
  • The agency requests that have been submitted thus far include $1.1 billion in new spending without including complete requests from the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Transportation — potentially two of the largest requests. 
  • Immediately upon taking office, Scott Walker passed a draconian budget that drastically cut critical government services, raised taxes on working-class families, and gave huge tax breaks to big businesses and those at the very top. 
  • Walker’s fiscally irresponsible policies include a lopsided income tax cut which puts individuals making $21,760 a year in the same tax bracket as someone making $239,600. 
  • In addition, Walker issued tax increases aimed at putting the squeeze on nearly 140,000 working class families to the tune of $69.8 million, while dishing out $610 million in tax breaks to businesses over his term. 
  • Walker sold his policies as necessary for economic growth while preaching fiscal responsibility, but today Wisconsin has a huge, growing deficit. 
  • As other states enjoy surpluses thanks to the nationwide economic recovery that has come after the recession, Wisconsin is slated to be one of the few with a deficit headed into the next budget. [4] 
[1] “Meanwhile, the state’s projected gap in its current budget ending June has risen to $396 million — or about 1.2% of the spending planned for the 2013-’15 budget.” (Wisconsin state budget shortfall projected at nearly $1.8 billion, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel9/8/14)

[2] “That rosy number flies in the face of the official estimate that uses a long-established method used by members of both parties, and the governor’s budget office. We rate the claim False.” (Scott Walker says next state budget will begin with $535 million surplus, Politifact Wisconsin, 10/22/14)

[3] “The expected shortfall for the next two-year state budget starting in July has risen to nearly $1.8 billion, or about half of what it was when Gov. Scott Walker took office in January 2011.”(Wisconsin state budget shortfall projected at nearly $1.8 billion, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel9/8/14)

[4] “Most states are still clearing their books and accounting for the end of the fiscal year, with final revenue and spending projections to come in the weeks ahead. The full picture of state fiscal health likely won’t be known until near the end of this calendar year.” (After years of cuts, state budgets show surpluses, Washington Post, 7/15/14