Republican lawmakers voted Tuesday to trim taxes for corporations and investors while further cutting tax credit programs for the working poor.
The Joint Finance Committee also voted to shut down two youth correctional institutions and repeal early-release provisions for state prisoners. The pair of 12-4 party-line votes came as the powerful committee entered a marathon week of work that could stretch into Saturday as GOP lawmakers strive to approve the budget by the end of June. The bill must still be approved by both houses of the Legislature and signed by Gov. Scott Walker.
The committee also made changes to taxes on moist snuff tobacco, the state's system for distributing beer and a child care program for the poor.
When reading stuff like this I actually wish that Republicans really did ask themselves, "What would Jesus do?" I mean, yes, you can argue based on the New Testament that Jesus would have probably been a staunch foe of legalized abortion. But if anyone of these guys had ever read the Bible at all -- and I was raised Christian so I know what I'm talking about here -- they would know that Jesus would similarly disapprove of taking away resources from poor people to fund another tax cut for rich people. "What would Jesus do?" you ask. My hope is that He will float down from the sky, land on top of the Madison Capitol building and shout out, "What the hell do you crazy-assed crackers think you're doing in My name?" But since I've learned recently that betting on the Rapture occurring is a bad business move, I doubt we'll ever see this happen.
Of course, while the GOP is making big spending cuts for anti-poverty programs, there is one level of government spending they're more than happy to increase:
Vos said Republicans would include ending early release for prisoners as part of the budget. [...]
Republicans say higher spending on prisons was justified, saying a prison building boom in Wisconsin in the 1990s has helped lower crime rates since then.
I mean for God's sake. Forget asking what Jesus would do, it's like the Wisconsin GOP gathered around in a circle, sacrificed a goat, raised Satan through a pentagram and said, "What would you wish of us, Dark Lord?"
Let's recap exactly what the Wisconsin GOP is proposing here:
- Taking away collective bargaining rights from workers.
- Giving Corporate America another tax cut.
- Cutting important anti-poverty programs.
- Increasing spending on prisons to keep all of the wicked looters off the streets so their very presence won't offend the delicate sensibilities of our corporate masters.
I'm really hard-pressed to think of any system of morality where all of these actions are considered a net plus. It's like the GOP read Foucault's "Discipline and Punish" and thought, "Hey, this Panopticism thing sounds super sweet!"
But wait! There's more:
The state budget bill now in Gov. Scott Walker's hands would leave schools with roughly $900 million less in state aid and property tax authority over the next two years, state figures show.
Going beyond simple cuts in state aid to schools, the budget bill would also end up requiring many districts - perhaps two-thirds of them statewide - to cut their property tax levies, according to one analysis by a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor.
Aaaaah, cutting school budgets! What would a GOP budget plan look like without that? After all, why do Wisconsin's children need an education when they have a terrific career lined up for them stamping license plates in prison?
I've been trying for a long time to think of what America will look like if the GOP completely gets its way. I tried to imagine what the country would look if there were no labor laws, if there were no environmental protections and if corporations could simply run amok and trample people with impunity. Oh, and of course there would have to be well-funded prison system to keep the plebs in check. Then it occurred to me: The GOP watches Blade Runner and sees its ideal society:
Anyway, I'd like to ask y'all to make a donation to the Wisconsin recall effort if you can. The Wisconsin GOP needs to be punished for the crime of being evil SOBs. Throwing them out of office is the very least they deserve.