Democrats were caught off guard this week by Governor Walker’s call for a special session to return $100 million to school districts and other local taxing authorities, to reduce individual property tax bills.
In fact, Democrats were flailing in desperation, looking for any excuse to say it’s a bad idea for people to keep more of their own money.
State Representative Brett Hulsey, the bizarre Madison Democrat, tied himself in knots objecting to Walker’s plan for a modest reduction of individual tax bills. Counting on short memories, Hulsey tried to skate around the fact that the Walker administration’s earlier budget adjustments had to include measures to cope with the $3.6 billion deficit and the legacy of higher taxes Hulsey’s party left behind.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca helped clarify why he’s the minority leader, not the majority leader, with his frantic objection to a plan that would reduce tax liability for Wisconsin residents. Barca appealed disingenuously to the authority of the Legislative Fiscal bureau to claim a tax increase.
To see just how shifty Barca’s reasoning is, it might be helpful to go straight to the nonpartisan source and find out what the Fiscal Bureau actually says about property taxes for 2013 and ‘14.
Almost as valuable as the tax reduction is the opportunity to see two Liberal pathologies on full display: Even if they’re the only ones damaged by their objections, Democrats can’t stop themselves from railing against anything that might enhance Walker’s popularity; and they can’t abide the idea of people keeping control of a bit more of the money they earn.
Walker’s proposal invited them to reveal what they’re all about, and they did not disappoint.