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Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013

Issue of the Week: Walker Rewards the Rich—Again

Plus: Hero of the Week

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Gov. Scott Walker, the son of a minister, tries to portray himself as a politician who’s willing to fight for the underdog.

But his second state budget proves once again that Walker has no empathy for those who are down on their luck.

In his latest austerity budget, Walker’s cutting income taxes.

That may be popular among the tea party crowd and generate headlines, but it won’t do much to help Wisconsin’s families.

According to a new analysis by the state’s nonpartisan and highly regarded Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Walker’s $343 million tax cut would benefit the wealthy far more than it will help those who aren’t so fortunate. If Walker’s regressive tax cuts are implemented, the wealthiest 20% will net 50% of the tax cut. But an average worker making $35,000 a year will see an extra $35 per year and those earning a $45,000 salary will see an extra $52 in their pocket annually.

That’s hardly enough to change a family’s finances for the better.

But what it will do is starve the state of a much-needed $343 million to invest in the state’s schools, transit system and health care programs.

Walker is merely following the discredited economic strategy offered by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which promotes “starve the beast” policies to shrink government. The problem, according to independent and mainstream economists, is that ALEC’s economic proposals don’t result in job growth and prosperity. In fact, they do the opposite because they result in lower wages, higher income inequality and a weaker safety net and shared infrastructure.

But facts don’t matter to Walker. He’d rather ignore reality and offer unnecessary tax cuts to the wealthiest Wisconsinites than help out those who are struggling in the state economy that he, himself, is weakening. That may be what his deep-pocketed campaign donors want to hear, but it’s not in the best interests of Wisconsin.

Heroes of the Week: Aicardi Syndrome Foundation-Wisconsin Chapter Fundraising Volunteers

The Aicardi Syndrome Foundation (ASF) was founded in 1991 and is a nonprofit dedicated to researching the causes and treatment of Aicardi Syndrome. There is no cure for this rare disorder, which only affects females and is characterized by the absence of the corpus callosum in the brain, seizures, poor muscle tone and retinal lesions. ASF holds medical conferences to support and educate affected families and also provides funds for the purchase of medical and adaptive equipment for girls affected by the syndrome.

The Wisconsin chapter of ASF (1000 E. Park Blvd., Oak Creek) was founded by Terry Tveita (current chapter president) and friends (now board members) in 2006, all of whom have witnessed the effects of Aicardi Syndrome. Since 2007, the Wisconsin chapter has held The Aicardi Party, a wine- and beer-tasting event that raises money to benefit ASF programs. This year’s event will be held Saturday, March 9, at the Oak Creek Community Center (8580 S. Howell Ave.) and will offer samples of 80 kinds of beer and 30 kinds of wine. The goal is to raise $30,000 for ASF, which will go toward funding the organization’s Family Conferences all over the country.  

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Contact Terry Tveita at 414-232-5374 to make reservations. Auction and raffle items will include autographed sports memorabilia (Clay Matthews, Bart Starr, J.J. Watt, to name a few) and other great prizes (such as skydiving and golf packages).

For more information about the event or ASF, visit aicardisyndrome.org.