Scott Walker lowers taxes on the rich, while cutting spending in public schools
DANYA NADAR, TRNN: On Tuesday, March 1, embattled Wisconsin governor Scott Walker delivered his controversial budget repair bill in the state’s capital.
GOV. SCOTT WALKER: We must work together to bring our spending in line with reality. We were elected–not to make the easy decisions to benefit ourselves–but to make the difficult ones that will benefit our children and our grandchildren. Our budget reduces all funds spending by $4.2 billion, or 6.7 percent, and decreases the structural deficit by 90 percent from $2.5 billion to $250 million–the lowest structural deficit in recent history. That’s over $2 billion we are saving from future obligations and for future generations.
NADAR: The governor also proposed to cut $1 billion of funding to local governments and public schools, while there were no provisions in the budget that raised taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals. Although he reiterated his threat to lay off public sector workers if the 14 Democrats did not return home, he remained silent on the controversy that has swept Wisconsin for more than two weeks. Public access to the capitol building remained highly restricted in spite of a court ruling issued on Tuesday afternoon ordering the doors to be reopened to the general public. Still, hundreds of demonstrators remained inside, while thousands more gathered outside to express their discontent with Governor Walker’s plans. According to one union leader, tensions are not likely to cool in the coming days.
KEVIN GIBBONS, CO-PRESIDENT, TEACHING ASSISTANTS’ ASSOCIATION: You need people to really mobilize around the state. So I think some of the larger teacher unions, and maybe SEIU as well, the health care unions, and I think just Teamsters and other employees around the state are going to be pretty taken aback by a lot of the cuts that are being proposed, ’cause I think they’re very drastic, (depending on how you see the word) ambitious cuts to the government. This may end up radicalizing people. What that turns into I’m not sure. It’s–the next couple of days are going to be–they’ve all been pivotal days, but I think these next few days and people’s reactions to what’s been proposed are going to say a lot about the directions that this campaign goes.