June 15, 2009

Turner defends Assembly Dems' budget

State Rep. Robert Turner, D-Racine, defended Monday the budget passed by the Assembly on Saturday, insisting the "challenging process" yielded results "safeguarding Wisconsin's taxpayers from an overall tax increase."

The Assembly is controlled by Democrats 52-46, and the $62 billion budget's passage came without any Republican support. The State Senate will debate the budget Tuesday or Wednesday; it, too, is Democrat-controlled, 18-15.

Republicans have criticized the roughly $2 billion in tax and fee increases -- including increased gasoline and cigarette taxes -- contained in the budget.

Here's the statement issued by Turner Monday:
“This budget that began with a $6.6 billion deficit was balanced with cuts of $3.2 billion in spending cuts, the deepest in Wisconsin history,” said Turner. Turner added that despite criticisms leveled at certain fee increases in the budget, Wisconsin’s income tax rate has remained stable at approximately 11 to 12 % over the past 40 years. “If you make less than $300,000, your income taxes are not going up. If you make more than $300,000, your taxes are still less than those in Iowa and Minnesota,” Turner stated.

Despite criticisms by Assembly Republicans that the budget contained too many tax increases in the form of fees, Turner pointed out that this budget features 2.3% in cuts in spending of state tax dollars. “During their tenure, the Assembly Republicans increased spending of state money by 74% during the 14-year Thompson administration,” Turner emphasized.

“I was somewhat surprised that many higher income people contacted me repeatedly to complain about various budget provisions, especially the language the Governor offered changing the joint and several liability law,” noted Turner. “But the bottom line is that this budget contains no general sales tax increase, no payroll tax increase, and no income tax increase for 99% of all Wisconsin residents.” Due to the many complaints that were received on the joint and several liability issue, Assembly Democrats voted to remove it from the budget. Turner said he expected that the liability issue may be reintroduced as separate legislation sometime in the future.

“I was especially proud of the passage of the KRM project in the budget,” said Turner. The plan is funded by an $18 car rental tax in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha Counties. Under the plan, the passenger rail will only make stops in Racine, Kenosha and Milwaukee. Other communities in the tri-county area created by the Regional Transit Authority must develop their own funding mechanisms in order to have a stop in their town or city. “I think this is a workable solution and hope that some of Racine County’s mid-size communities decide to eventually approve plans to offer rail service to their residents,” he added.

“I look forward to seeing the budget pass without too many changes in the State Senate,” said Turner. “Not everyone is going to like everything in this budget, but we protected our core Democratic values of education, job creation, public safety, and support for local communities through the shared revenue program. I believe that the Assembly put forth a very good effort in the face of immense financial distress due to the national economic collapse,” Turner concluded.


  1. That's why the likes of Turner, Mason and Lehmann should be voted out of office at the next election.

  2. What the hell is only money not like the Feds are spending trillions and raising tax after tax.
    We just need to shut up and pay our taxes like good sheep

  3. He could have been mayor.

  4. Sheep Vote for Turner6/15/2009 10:01 PM

    The lack of courage from the Democrats who used the stimulus money to plug this sinking ship is unbelievable. Two years from now Bob, you'll be making the cuts you should have made this month, only the state will by $10Billion in the hole by then.

  5. These guys are dangerous - How about Mason's idea of 17 year old voting, or how about transportation within 2 miles of school for pregnant students. Tell me Cory, what statistics are there that prove your premise that transporting these students would reduce infant mortality. You are so off base it's incredible - hell, my wife use to cross country ski and jog when she was pregnant. Excercise is good for pregnant women. Let's make sure these three clowns do not get re-elected, especially Mason. He needs to find a real job.

  6. Anon 9:06
    I am with you. The problem is that there are enough clown watchers to elect these three.

    Only in a democracy do you deserve what you get, and get what you deserve.

  7. I know a tae kwon do instructor who was still teaching late in her pregnancy. Leading a class of 24 kids. The baby was in for a bumpy ride.

  8. My wife continues to ask me why we stay in Racine (and Wisconsin for that matter) with our escalating taxes, and it's getting tougher for me to answer. This is only the beginning - once this budget passes our local governments will need to fill funding "gaps" by blowing up property taxes. Maybe we should cut spending instead?!? BOHICA!

  9. Anon 10:54

    Go ahead...leave. One less whining complainer around here not helping. Less noise pollution for the rest of us.

  10. Why don't we just have our employers send our whole check to Doyle and let him give us what he thinks we need?

  11. 11:35


    For everyone who moves, every business that closes that more TAXES you get to pay and less jobs for those here.
    Look at Milwaukee and the high taxes going higher. The lack of good hell any jobs.

  12. Hopefully, everyone in Wisconsin follows these simple steps.
    1. If your state legislator voted for this two year budget you vote for the person running against them.

    2. If the state legislator voted for the budget and then told the voters it was a good budget for the state, vote for the person running against them with a big smile on your face.

    There is no way anyone should be telling us that this was a good deal for the taxpayers or the State of Wisconsin. This is going to be a bad two years for Wisconsin.

  13. Obviously many of you are either younger than I, didn't start paying attention to politics until recently or have selective amnesia.
    During their tenure, the Assembly Republicans increased spending of state money by 74% during the 14-year Thompson administration,” Turner emphasized.
    I happen to remember all too well what that moron Thompson did with putting us into such deep debt. If you want a refresher from a big R republican just give McCellan a call or email, I'm sure he'll be happy to explain why he tanked in his race against Doyle. LOL

  14. kay - Scott Walker will take your buddy Doyle down.

  15. Every day, ten men go out for coffee and the bill for all ten comes to $100. They decided to split the bill based on how we pay taxes:
    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing; the fifth would pay $1; the sixth would pay $3; the seventh would pay $7; the eighth would pay $12; the ninth would pay $18; the tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

    So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men coffee at the shop every day and seemed happy with the arrangement. Then, one day, the owner threw them a curve. “You’re all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to give you a break - coffee for all ten of you is now cost just $80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’

    They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his coffee. So, the owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings); the sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings; saves $1); the seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings; saves $2); the eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings; saves $3); the ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings; saves $4); the tenth now paid $50 instead of $59 (15% savings; saves $9).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

    “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,” but he got $9!”
    “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got nine times more than I!”
    “That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $9 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
    “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next day the tenth man didn’t show up for coffee, so the nine sat down and had coffee without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

  16. Kay can't help herself, attacking rightie is all she knows.

    Kay, I hate to clue you in but these are nto the same times. Increasing spedning 6.3% in these times is wrong.

    Increasing taxes by $3 billion is immoral.