Monday, September 24, 2007

Protecting the taxpayer: One man stands alone

Today, the ball finally gets rolling on passing a complete budget for the state of Wisconsin.

As the Governor, Senate Majority leader Judy Robson and Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch hunker down at the governor's mansion to try and hash out a budget compromise, one thing has become painfully clear:

When it comes to protecting the taxpayer, one man stands alone.

Speaker Mike Huebsch will be carrying the mantel for every single taxpayer in Wisconsin.

Without him, the folks paying the bills in this state would have absolutely no representation at all in these budget negotiations.

The virtual silence by the Democrats on the issue of protecting the taxpayers of Wisconsin is truly amazing.

There was a small blip from the Democrats a few weeks ago when they realized that if a budget was not passed by September 28th, property taxes could skyrocket. When this issue was addressed last week and passed by the Assembly, the Democrats are refusing to act on this legislation.

We have seen the Governor traipse around the state having his photo taken with school superintendents, fire fighters and city officials. Nowhere during these photo ops, have we seen the Governor Doyle standing up and fighting for the average taxpayer that continues to pay the bills this state incurs.

Even though, Speaker Huebsch will be alone in these meeting with the Governor and Senator Robson, he certainly has the support of the average taxpayer.

Many of the 2.7 million taxpayers in the state of Wisconsin are counting on Rep. Huebsch to push back against the Governor and the Senate Democrats and fight off the proposed tax increases.

Of course, the Governor and Senator Robson will accuse Rep. Huebsch and the Republicans of obstructing a new budget.

However, Rep. Huebsch must stand firm, even against these accusations.

We are counting on the Rep. Huebsch and the Republicans to wholly and completely obstruct the massive tax increases by the Democrats.

The Democrats are currently defending these massive tax increases by stating that the taxpayers expect services to be supplied to them by government.

To a certain extent, this is true. As taxpayers, we do expect our government to supply the services that we have paid for.

When we pay almost .33 cents in state taxes on every single gallon of gasoline that we purchase, we expect our government to provide good and safe roads to drive on.

When we scrimp and save for months to buy everything except for food, we then pay an additional 5.5% in sales tax. We expect our government to use that money to pay for good schools, health and family services and many other services.

When we hand over thousands of our own dollars in property taxes every year, we expect our government to spend this money wisely.

What we do not understand is why we have already paid .33 cents a gallon for gas and then we find out that the money for safe roads has been used in other departments.

We also do not understand why our senior citizens have paid their taxes for years and years to our state government, and then that government decides to jack their rates for hospital stays and a nursing home bed.

It is completely unacceptable that most Wisconsinites are living middle class lives in the middle of the Middle West and still we are one of the highest taxed states in the entire country.

Even as Rep. Huebsch and the Republicans head into the lion’s den today, they need to know that as taxpayers, we are counting on them and we are supporting them.

Last week, these same Republicans, with bi-partisan support, passed the most difficult parts of the budget and they are currently sitting on the desks of the lazy Senate Democrats who refuse to act.

Rep. Huebsch and the Republicans need to understand that there is absolutely no reason to try to ram thru the rest of the budget, if the terms of this budget are not perfect.

No matter what the Democrats, the UW Regents and the teacher’s union may say, there is no reason to impose massive tax increases to the already overburdened taxpayers in Wisconsin.

Rep. Huebsch and Republicans, please take your time and understand that the onus is now on the Governor and the Democrats to meet the Sept.28th deadline on funding schools and stopping the massive property tax increases. You have done what you needed to get done, with the passage of AB 506 and AB 507 and the people living in the state of Wisconsin know this.

If for some reason, our schools do not get funded, shared revenue is dispersed or our property tax levels are protected, the people of Wisconsin will look straight to the Governor and the Democrats and ask them why, with bi-partisan support, they still were not able to get the job done.

Yes, Republicans and Rep. Huebsch will be called obstructionists and that is okay. As taxpayers, we are counting on the Rep. Huebsch and the Republicans to build a protective wall between us and the massive tax increases proposed by the Governor and the Democrats.

Rep. Huebsch you may be walking in there alone today, but know that most of the 2.7 million taxpayers are standing behind you.

Good Luck.

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