The following is cross-posted at www.fiscalaccountability.org.
While Wisconsinites usually look forward to August as a break from uncertain and often cold weather, this August bears bad news for the state.
This year, Wisconsin joins four states that mark their Cost of Government Day (COGD) on August 12. This is the day when the average American worker is done paying off his or her share of the total spending and regulatory burdens imposed by all levels of government – federal, state and local. This means that out of 365 days in 2009, Wisconsinites must toil on average 224 days just to meet the cost of Government. Only residents in eleven other states will have to work even longer until their COGD finally arrives.
Sadly, the outlook for Wisconsinites is pretty grim, as the legislature has voted to raise taxes significantly this year.
In February, lawmakers rammed through a $1.2 billion tax hike labeled as an “economic stimulus bill.” Among other things, the package included new taxes on downloads and businesses.
However, lawmakers were far from done. In June, the Wisconsin Joint Committee on Finance approved a budget proposal with a massive $2.1 billion in taxes and fees! This includes tax hikes on income, investment, capital gains, manufacturing, tobacco products, oil and energy, retail sales, agriculture, game hunting, education, telecommunications (75 cent cell-phone tax hike), transportation, and veteran care. And despite the fact that the state faced a massive $6.6 billion overspending problem, the budget increased spending by another $3.63 billion.
Struggling Wisconsinite families and their businesses are being slapped again and again, at a time when they can least afford it, and with that, unfortunately, the state may well be making itself a contender for the latest COGD next year.
(photo by slambo_42)