I would like to start out by saying that the media coverage of what is going on in Wisconsin is not only inadequate, it is filled with inaccuracies. The bill has many hidden parts intended to trick us. I will explain some of those parts throughout this piece.
The fact of the matter is that Wisconsin was projected to have a surplus at the end of this year before Scott Walker came in and gave $140 million to his special interested and to millionaires across the state. (http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_92e0c7e2-3bd8-11e0-861d-001cc4c03286.html).
On top of that, state unions have already came out and said that they WILL TAKE THE CUTS. They just want their RIGHTS. The unions are already compromising and they are willing to do so further. Scott Walker came out immediately and denied this request and essentially proved that he is not in it for the money, he is in it to shut down the unions and to silence the voices of Wisconsin's 300,000 public employees. It all makes sense when you look at who the main backers of the Democrats are (the unions). The Republicans want to shut down the power of these unions so that democratic candidates have no funding in upcoming elections.
Next, education is NOT the spot to cut funding. If we ever want to come out of the economic crises were are going to need educated minds and innovative thinkers. Children aren't going to spontaneously educate themselves nor are they going to have the motivation to further their education without the support of enthusiastic teachers. How can a teacher be enthusiastic when he/she has to worry about feeding his/her own children? Do you wonder why America is falling behind in education? It all comes down to funding for public schools. Let me give you an example in what this bill could do to schools. Currently, when a school board wants to raise class sizes, they first have to take it up against the union. This is why we currently have class sizes of 30 (which is too high). This bill would effectively take away the unions power to negotiate on things like class size and we could see class sizes of 35-40 (which our superintendent is in favor of). How do you expect to get a quality education with class sizes that are that high? Can you imagine what a kindergarten teacher would be going through if he or she had 40 wild kids running around in a class room? On top of that, this bill is going to immediately impact special education teachers who are already making dirt pay.
Of course, not everyone is going to be happy with this outcome. But when you have 80,000 people at the capitol against the bill and only a handful in favor, eye brows need to rise.
Further, this week when Walker introduces his actual budget, there will be more outrage. Rumor has it that Walker wants to cut one BILLION from education alone (not to mention the cuts to health care for the poor, bus service for the poor, etc). How can education every be quality when schools are forced to cut away the best teachers and when there are no funds for classes?
Now, when you ask where do you start to bring in money? I have a list of several changes that would bring in a flow of money:
1.) Tax the wealthy. Currently in Wisconsin if you make $10,000 in a year you pay around 9.6% of your income, while if you make over $250,000 you pay just 10.5%. I don't know if I see a problem there or not? Taxing the rich what the middle class pays as a percentage of their income would bring in large amount of money for the state.
2.) 10% tax on beer.
3.) Soda tax
4.) Rewrite the tax code so that everyone can understand it. If the government wants money to be coming in, they need to make their tax rules blatantly obvious.
5.) Invest in education. While in may not pay off immediately, if will pay off in the long run.
6.) Internet sales tax. Currently many consumers purchase goods online for the sole purpose of avoiding taxes. The state governments do not benefit from this, only the corporations.
7.) Higher taxes for LARGE corporations, not small or medium.
These are just some ideas. I am sure I there are more out there. Regardless, the middle tax has already suffered enough while the wealthy have contributed very little.