Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Chronicles Of Wanggaard

Once upon a time there was a small town cop who got his neck wrenched in a car accident while on the job. His public employee union made sure he got disability pay and an early retirement and so he became a State Senator and voted to crush collective bargaining rights for public employee union members.

He lied to his friends and neighbors by saying he tried really hard to make it less of an evil bill...just before he voted in favor of it.

Now his friends and neighbors are recalling the State Senator from his job.
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So begins the tale of Van Wanggaard, a guy who might as well be named "Benedict Arnold" according to the thousands of Racine County residents who have eagerly, hungrily and readily signed his recall petition.

Wanggaard has started to map out his recall strategy talking points in interviews and commentaries giving us a preview of the kinda things he will want to talk about.

But as the incumbent, Wanggaard will be forced to defend his brief and horrifying record. The Siren thinks any challenger would be crazy not to use that as the script that keeps chocolate boy permanently off balance.

So let's begin with his campaign to become a Senator...

Chapter One: Van Raised Taxes

Wanggaard made a centerpiece of his election campaign by saying as often as he could that John Lehman voted to raise taxes. Lehman did raise taxes and did not really argue the point. However, Lehman did argue on whom Madison Democrats raised taxes...basically corporations and the state's wealthiest residents - who were ripping off Wisconsin with multi-state tax loopholes called the "Las Vegas Loophole." Lehman worked to close it only for the Walker corporatist's - like Van - to vote to crack it open again.

As a State Senator, Van says he has not raised taxes. HE IS LYING.

The Walker budget has not only raised taxes, but they raised them on the state's poorest and least capable of dealing with tax increases all while they have given massive tax breaks to corporations in a breathtaking array of lost revenue dollars.

So what are these raised taxes?

Earned Income Tax Credit: A tax credit reduces the amount of taxes one owes. Remove it and you owe more taxes or what we like to call a TAX INCREASE. The earned income credit goes to state residents who are not only the poorest, but the poorest with children as well as working class families. More than 250,000 Wisconsin taxpayers claim the EITC each year and this tax increase will result in $41.3 million in extra taxes collected from Wisconsinites - both Democrat and Republican.

Homestead Tax Credit: Again, a tax credit reduction means that some people are paying more taxes aka a TAX INCREASE. With Wanggaard's compliant vote, this credit has been frozen and is no longer adjusted for inflation, meaning as inflation rises your credit does not keep pace. This is an increase of nearly $8.1 million in new taxes. BTW it should be pointed out that the Homestead Tax Credit is a measure that also impacts poor, elderly and working class people who earn less than $24,500 a year.

Nearly 250,000 Wisconsin residents qualify for this tax credit and because of Wanggaard's support they will see their taxes go up.

That's roughly $50 million in new taxes which will impact a half million residents each year.

Van Wanggaard said he wouldn't raise taxes and he lied. He continues to lie about it and that should be the first thing any qualified opponent says about him in the recall campaign.

Van Wanggaard raised taxes on Racine County residents.