Saturday May 28, 2022

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Ron Johnson Votes To Help The Rich, Not Small Business PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Thursday, 21 April 2022 09:24

ron-johnson-quibblesMADISON, Wis. – Wednesday, Wisconsin small business owner Melissa Bucholz penned an op-ed in the Cap Times slamming Ron Johnson for voting against crucial pro-business legislation like the American Rescue Plan while prioritizing tax handouts for the ultra wealthy.

The Cap Times: Opinion | Ron Johnson Votes To Help The Rich, Not Small Business

For many Wisconsinites, Tax Day is just the deadline to file your taxes and avoid any penalties from the IRS.

For small business owners, Tax Day is also a reminder of all the ways in which tax policies at every level play a crucial role in either increasing the likelihood of survival for our businesses or making it harder to succeed. As the owner of Odd Duck restaurant for nearly a decade and having recently moved to our new location at 939 S. 2nd St. in Milwaukee, I have experienced all the ups and downs of operating a business. And when facing those ups and downs, you come into direct contact with those policies that will affect the course of your business for better or for worse.

I know firsthand what it means to have a tax credit that is meaningful to my business as opposed to a tax giveaway to the rich that makes competing as a small business even harder. When Sen. Ron Johnson voted against the American Rescue Plan last March, he voted against expansions to the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Both are important to the success of my restaurant and small businesses across this state.

The expanded Child Tax Credit made more Wisconsin families eligible for the credit, increased the size of the credit, and made payments to parents monthly, which was huge for my employees who are raising children. When their kids are not in school, these monthly payments made child care more affordable, making it easier on them to continue working. And as small businesses like mine can attest in Wisconsin and across the country, getting more people into the workforce is critical for our business and the economy as a whole.

Additionally, the American Rescue Plan temporarily made the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit more generous and potentially refundable up to $8,000 for two or more young children or other dependents for 2021. Combined with the temporary increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for workers without dependents in 2021, and expanded eligibility for the EITC reaching younger and older workers alike, these tax credits are putting more money into people’s pockets at a time they need it most in the face of rising costs. This boost for families is often the difference between paying the bills on time or wondering how they will make ends meet, and our elected officials should be working to make these temporary provisions permanent.

In light of this, I cannot understand the great pride Johnson takes in voting against these policies while touting his support for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, where the average tax cut amounted to $30 for the poorest Wisconsinites, less than $700 for Wisconsinites making up to $113,800 in 2020, but nearly $40,000 for the richest 1% in our state. For Johnson to stand behind these tax giveaways to the rich, pretend they are uniformly benefiting us all, then argue we can’t afford to make health care and child care more affordable and accessible for the parents on my team and the families we serve every day makes clear that his priority is not looking out for "Main Street," as he claims.

Too often, politicians use Main Street as a shield to pass policies that favor their wealthy donors while corporate interests use small businesses as pawns to protect their power and profits. As we marked another Tax Day this week, I wanted to be sure you all heard from an actual small business that knows it does better when the families that are just getting by can get a little more breathing room, not when the rich can buy a bigger yacht.

 
GOP Megadonors Spend Big To Reelect Ron Johnson After He Saved Them $43 Million in Taxes PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press, Philip Shulman   
Thursday, 21 April 2022 09:19

ron-johnson-quibbles"According to Federal Election Commission filings, in the first quarter of 2022, Elizabeth Uihlein, the president of Uline, donated $266,300 to Ron Johnson Victory…”


MADISON, Wis. – A new report details how after Ron Johnson secured massive tax breaks for two of his biggest donors, they have already rewarded him with over a quarter million dollars in donations for his 2022 re-election campaign. 

The American Independent: GOP megadonors spend big to reelect Ron Johnson after he saved them $43 million in taxes

Key Points:

  • Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein just gave nearly $280,000 to the Ron Johnson Victory joint fundraising committee.
  • In 2017, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) helped pass then-President Donald Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and insisted that it include provisions that benefited so-called "pass-through" entities, companies that pay taxes through the personal filings of their owners. Among those who benefited from the provisions were billionaires Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein, owners of the Uline shipping supply company, generous donors to Republicans and right-wing causes.
  • The Uihleins are spending big to help Johnson get reelected. According to Federal Election Commission filings, in the first quarter of 2022, Elizabeth Uihlein, the president of Uline, donated $266,300 to Ron Johnson Victory, a joint fundraising committee benefiting Johnson and other Republican Senate candidates. Her husband Richard, the Uline CEO, kicked in another $10,800. The $277,100 will be split between Johnson's reelection campaign committee, his Strategy leadership PAC, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
  • In 2017, the Republican-controlled Congress passed Trump's tax cut plan — which slashed tax rates for corporations and the wealthy while actually raising them for 10 million families — without a single Democratic vote.ProPublica reported in August 2021 that in the weeks before the vote, Johnson threatened to tank the legislation if the proposed tax cuts were not expanded to include more savings for "pass through" companies, whose business income is taxed as personal income of the owners. Desperate to get the bill through, Trump and the GOP leadership acceded to his demand. ProPublica reported that confidential tax records it had obtained showed "Johnson's last-minute maneuver benefited two families more than almost any others in the country — both worth billions and both among the senator's biggest donors."
  • One of those was the Hendricks family, owner of the construction materials company ABC Supply. The Uihleins were the other. The Uihleins saved $43,534,878 in 2018 alone due to the new tax deductions. Overall, the news outlet found, the top 1% of American earners saved $24.8 billion in 2018 from Johnson's pass-through tax cuts; the other 99% saved just $18 billion total.
  • ProPublica also noted that in 2016 the Uihleins had given $8 million to outside political groups that helped give Johnson a narrow reelection victory over former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.
  • ABC affiliate WKOW in Madison, Wisconsin, reported on Monday that Johnson had admitted that he personally benefited from the pass-through tax cuts and that it had been beneficial for his top donors.
  • Johnson, who has low approval ratings and faces a tough reelection campaign in November, said in October 2021 that he believes the top 1% of Americans already pay "pretty close to a fair share" in taxes — even though many of the wealthiest Americans pay at a lower tax rate than do middle-income families.
 
Republican Agenda Betrays Wisconsin Seniors PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press, Hannah Menchhoff   
Thursday, 21 April 2022 09:06

disability-oldThe Republican Plan Would Sunset Medicare For 1,193,017 Wisconsinites And Social Security For 1,275,932 Wisconsinites After 5 Years


MADISON, Wis. – Despite Medicare and Social Security funding crucial programs for retired, senior, and disabled Wisconsinites across the state – and being some of the most popular programs in the country – Republican politicians are headed into the 2022 midterms with a plan that would sunset all federal legislation, including Social Security and Medicare, after five years. 

Republicans running on an agenda that would sunset these federal programs is a slap in the face to the over one million Wisconsinites who rely on Medicare for their health care coverage and 1.2 million Wisconsinites who receive Social Security benefits. As the GOP ramps up their 2022 campaign against working families, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Rick Scott and Ron Johnson agenda is disastrous for Wisconsin and is a direct attack on these cost-saving programs – which help Wisconsinites put food on the table and pay for rent.

“Republican politicians have made it clear that if they take control of the government, they’ll begin a rapid attack on Wisconsinites’ hard-earned Medicare and Social Security benefits,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Devin Remiker. “Despite the GOP’s constant strikes against Medicare and Social Security, President Biden and Democrats are committed to the seniors, retirees, and disabled workers who rely on them – including the families who have been buying into the federal programs for more than half a century.”

While the GOP continues to threaten Wisconsin seniors’ benefits, President Biden and Democrats are working to bolster Social Security and responsibly reduce the deficit by simply asking billionaires to pay their fair share in taxes – which would lower costs and alleviate pressure on working families.

 
Evers “Setting A Positive Example” on Public Safety PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press, Hannah Menchhoff   
Thursday, 21 April 2022 09:00

milwaukee-shooting-2020MADISON, Wis. – In an op-ed for the Milwaukee Courier, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley outlines how Governor Evers is doing the right thing on public safety for Wisconsinites.

In 2022 alone, Gov. Evers has invested more than $50 million to help make our communities safer. These funds will go to every Tribal and local law enforcement agency in the state, as well as integrate licensed mental health professionals into Milwaukee’s 911 dispatch center, prevent reckless driving with road repairs, and expand pre-trial supervision staffing. More than $16 million will go towards reducing the pandemic-related backlog of criminal cases statewide, including the backlog of cases in Milwaukee’s criminal division.

These investments follow years of systemic underfunding to Wisconsin’s public safety by Republican leadership. The Walker-Kleefisch administration slashed funding for localities to support services such as police departments by $76 million in 2011 alone. This has left police departments, including in Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee, decrying Walker-Kleefisch's cuts, which negatively impacted their ability to fund those services.

Despite this, Republicans in the legislature continue to reject proposals from Gov. Evers to increase funds for localities to help keep people safe.

No Republican running for governor has put out a public safety plan that amounts to more than talking points.

Read more below on what Gov. Evers has done to invest in the safety of all Wisconsinites.

Milwaukee Courier: Gov. Tony Evers Is Setting A Positive Example

Every Wisconsinite deserves to be safe in their community. Violence is in our communities is a crisis that needs our attention and action, and like any public health issue, it starts with prevention.

We have to focus on the root causes and invest in interventions and community-based solutions, and when our leaders make decisions about where money goes, the trusted people and organizations who are already doing this work should be at the center of the process.

tony-eversGov. Tony Evers is doing just that. He understands the hard work happens at the local level. But years of cuts by the Republican-controlled legislature are forcing our cities, towns and community-based organizations to do more with less. They are starving local municipalities by refusing to increase localized funding that can be used on local priorities, including to fund public safety and first responders.

With the Republican-controlled legislature turning down Evers’ proposals to increase local revenue payments, he’s taken action on his own to get communities like Milwaukee the resources they need to invest in public safety. Last fall, Evers invested $45 million in violent crime prevention and crime victim services, including more than $8 million for the Office of Violence Prevention in Milwaukee for violence prevention and support for crime victims. And just last month, the governor announced an additional $50 million that included grants to help ensure fair and speedy trials and alleviate the backlog in our court systems caused by the pandemic.

We also need to take steps towards ending the gun violence epidemic. During his first term, Evers called on the Republican-controlled legislature to put aside partisan games and pass common-sense gun safety measures to protect Wisconsinites. But they rejected that proposal and went even further, attempting to make our state and our public schools less safe by allowing 18-year-olds to carry guns on school property. That kind of divisive policy making will only endanger our schools, teachers and our kids.

But what’s most important is Evers recognizes that we also need to look at the whole picture – safer communities aren’t only about the court system or law enforcement, it’s also clean water, quality public education, access to health care and good paying jobs, mental health resources, access to public transit, safe roads to drive, bike, and walk on and more.

In his $50 million investment in our state, almost $20 million was earmarked to Milwaukee to help with community safety projects such as preventing reckless driving, a big issue in our region and something so preventable if we fill potholes, update our roads, and put pedestrian safety first with road design. Beyond that, Evers has prioritized improving our education system, with the first special education funding increase and largest investment in general aid in a decade in his latest budget. Evers announced in Milwaukee in December that on top of the funds in the budget, his administration was investing $110 million toward Wisconsin’s schools. Milwaukee Public Schools will receive about $9.6 million of the new funds.

Evers has also worked to bring much-needed funding to local communities across the state and support local efforts to address the opioid epidemic. Last July, the governor hosted a press conference in Waukesha County announcing a law directing a larger share of money towards local governments to help combat the opioid epidemic.

We can trust Evers to continue to do the right thing when it comes to public safety. Not only is he investing in community organizations, he’s also investing in improving every aspect of the Milwaukee region, so that every Wisconsinites can live a safe and healthy life. We need our leaders in every part of the state to follow his lead.

 
Ron Johnson’s Trainwreck Tax Day PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Wednesday, 20 April 2022 08:36

ron-johnson-quibblesAs Wisconsinites Rallied Outside Of His Office, Ron Johnson Doubled Down On Securing Tax Break That Benefited Himself And His Biggest Donors, Who Just Gave $280,000 To 2022 Re-election Efforts


MADISON, Wis. – Senator Ron Johnson’s 2022 Tax Day can be described in one word: trainwreck. While Ron Johnson was doubling down and defending efforts that in his own words “benefited” himself and his campaign donors, voters in Johnson’s hometown held a rally blasting Johnson for rigging the tax code in his favor and supporting a Republican agenda that would raise taxes on 32% of Wisconsinites.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it came to light over the weekend that some of his campaign donors who got millions of dollars in tax breaks because of the provision Johnson pushed, just donated another $280,000 to Johnson’s 2022 re-election efforts. 

See what voters are reading below.

WKOW: On Tax Day, Sen. Johnson Defends Tax Cut That Benefitted Himself, Top Donors

  • Sen. Ron Johnson defended the tax cut provision he demanded more than four years ago - one his political opponents hope will damage his re-election efforts this fall. In late 2017, Johnson withheld his support for the sweeping Republican tax cut plan under former Speaker Paul Ryan and former President Donald Trump.
  • Johnson insisted on raising the amount business owners could deduct on the “pass-through” tax provision. The move had an outsized benefit on high earners, including two of Johnson's biggest donors. Johnson successfully pushed his colleagues to allow pass-through business owners to deduct up to 20 percent of their profits. A report from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, which reports to Congress, estimated that by 2024, the tax cut would amount to $60 billion in savings with 60 percent of that money staying in the pockets of owners taking in more than $500,000 per year.
  • A 2021 report from ProPublica obtained confidential tax records of some of the country's wealthiest owners of pass-through businesses. Its analysis found two of the three biggest beneficiaries were Wisconsinites among Johnson's biggest donors.
  • The second and third biggest beneficiaries were Dick and Liz Uihlein, owners of Uline Packaging in Pleasant Prairie, and Diane Hendricks of Beloit-based ABC Supply Co. The Uihliens saved $43.53 million in 2018 while Hendricks saved $35.91 million. The Uihleins gave Johnson's campaign fund about $280,000 in the last quarter per FEC filings due last Friday. Johnson has admitted he personally benefited from the expanded pass-through provision.


WISC: Johnson Reiterates Defense of Vote in Favor of 2017 Tax Cuts That Benefitted His Business

  • Sen. Ron Johnson on Monday again defended his vote in favor of the 2017 tax cuts that he admitted earlier this month benefitted his own plastics company.
  • Johnson’s comments during a stop at the Oregon Area Fire/EMS District headquarters came a week and a half after he told attendees at an event in Medford that his business and those of some prominent donors benefitted from the tax law changes.
  • When asked why he voted against the American Rescue Plan, which included funding for first responders, Johnson said that while there is “worthy spending” in large legislative packages, his concerns about the nation’s debt led him to vote no at the end.


CBS58: Sen. Ron Johnson Defends Tax Cuts That Benefited His Plastics Company

WISC: Republicans Pushing to Raise WI Taxes 32%

FOX 11: Rally Outside of Sen. Ron Johnson’s Office Asking for Change

 
Rebecca Kleefisch’s Administration Cut 30 Percent of Technical College System’s Funding PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press, Julia Hamelburg   
Wednesday, 20 April 2022 08:24

rebecca-kleefischMADISON, Wis. – Rebecca Kleefisch lists building a worker pipeline as part of her campaign platform and talks a big game about investing in technical education, but as Scott Walker’s lieutenant governor, she sabotaged efforts to invest in our workforce.

Kleefisch supported a $71.6 million cut to Wisconsin’s technical college system’s funding - that’s 30 percent of their funding - and $250 million from the UW system. And while she was stripping resources from our schools, she gave tax breaks to her wealthy donors and big business executives. She even told them, behind closed doors, “we want to know how we can love you more.”

It’s pretty clear that Kleefisch does not care about building opportunities for students and future workers - she only cares about boosting her profile and hobnobbing with political donors. Republican politicians say one thing behind closed doors, and then tell the public another.

Governor Evers understands that Wisconsin’s technical colleges are at the forefront of filling jobs across our state. That’s why, in his latest budget, Governor Evers proposed an increase of $36 million in technical colleges over the next two years, and eventually secured an increase for technical schools, universities, and K-12 education. He is committed to fighting for workers in our state - Rebecca Kleefisch cannot say the same about her record. 

“Republican politicians love to use Wisconsin’s education system as a talking point, but when it comes to actually investing in public education and our state’s workers, they never fulfill their promises,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Hannah Menchhoff. “For years now, Wisconsin voters have worked towards our students getting the educational support they need to thrive in their lives and careers. We need a governor who is serious about filling jobs and supporting our local businesses and working families - not stuffing the pockets of the rich and powerful.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 April 2022 08:35
 
TAX DAY: Wisconsinites Seeing Income Tax Cut PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Evers Press Wisconsin   
Monday, 18 April 2022 10:57

high-voltage-lines-farmsGov. Tony Evers’ support of bipartisan income tax cuts helps families facing rising costs.

Read more...
 
Wisconsin Supreme Court’s Adoption of Gerrymandered GOP Maps PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Saturday, 16 April 2022 10:26

vote-47-milwaukeeThrough this act of political greed, Republicans are further alienating the voters of a state that has overwhelmingly expressed its support for fair maps say WisDems.

Read more...
 
Democrats Lower Costs for Working Families PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press, Julia Hamelburg   
Friday, 15 April 2022 14:38

working-women-aflcioMADISON, Wis. – Ahead of Tax Day, Wisconsin Democrats from the White House to the Statehouse have led a historic economic recovery from this pandemic by supporting Wisconsin businesses and lowering costs for families across the state.

“Ahead of Tax Day, the difference couldn’t be more clear: While Republican politicians try to rip off the public in order to enrich huge corporations and wealthy mega-donors, Democrats like President Biden and Gov. Evers will always champion working people by lowering costs, cutting taxes, and growing the middle class from the bottom up and middle out,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler.

On the federal level, Democratic Reps. Kind, Moore, and Pocan have been working around the clock to pass legislation that will ease financial burdens on Wisconsin families. Without the support of a single Wisconsin Republican in Congress, Democrats have passed legislation like the American Rescue Plan, which continues to provide critical relief to schools, small businesses, and hospitals across the state, and the Affordable Insulin Now Act, which caps the price of insulin at $35 and lowers costs for the 392,965 Wisconsinites who rely on this medication.

While Republicans like Ron Johnson have spent years cozying up to billionaires and rigging the tax code to provide breaks to himself and his biggest donors, Democrats remain steadfast in their commitment to working families. In fact, President Biden’s newly proposed Billionaire Tax will demand the top .01% of the wealthiest Americans finally pay their fair share in tax – ensuring that billionaires no longer pay less in taxes than teachers or firefighters.

On the state level, Gov. Evers has a proven record of lowering costs and providing tax cuts for families in every neighborhood across the state. Since Gov. Evers took office, he has provided a combined $4 billion in relief and cut income taxes for working families by 15%. Overall, 2.4 million Wisconsin tax filers are breathing a little easier because of Gov. Evers’ relief efforts. As a result, taxes as a share of income in Wisconsin dropped to the lowest point since at least 1970, allowing for more money available for families to pay their bills.

 
Alex Lasry “Strengthening Our Rural Economies” PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Alex Lasry Press   
Wednesday, 13 April 2022 13:21

alex-lasryMilwaukee -- Today, Alex Lasry released his new “Strengthening Our Rural Economies” plan to help revitalize and invest in rural economies across Wisconsin. Lasry’s plan focuses on attracting and retaining new workers to move into our rural communities, reshoring manufacturing and improving supply chains, saving Wisconsin’s small farms and dairy legacy, and more.

Lasry’s full plan can be found here: https://alexlasry.com/issues/strengthening-our-rural-economies/

“I want to help bring real change and real results for the people of Wisconsin and that starts with putting more money back in the pockets of rural, hard-working Wisconsinites,” said Lasry. “I hope to be a partner to Senator Baldwin in the Senate, and through the right mix of job training, tax deductions and incentives, investing in and buying American, and strengthening our unions – we will bring more jobs and investment back to rural Wisconsin.

“This plan at its core is about investing more in our rural, working families. We all know Wisconsin families right now are struggling with rising costs – and my plan will have a direct effect on easing supply chain problems, help lower inflationary pressure on prices, and help create more jobs in every part of the state.”

Rural Wisconsinites have been faced with a population loss, a shrinking labor pool, and limited access to career training and opportunity. In too many cases, young workers are leaving rural Wisconsin, often driven by the growing problem of limited rural jobs, which then drives even less workforce availability for prospective employers. America has been in a race to the bottom where we have incentivized companies to ship jobs overseas and produce products for the lowest price possible, no matter what the consequences are. Lasry wants to make sure that when government dollars are being spent, they are being used to Buy American goods and help prop up companies that are producing goods and services in America with American labor.

Lasry’s new plan highlights:

  • Retaining, Attracting and Training Rural Workers and Jobs

  • Encouraging Remote Work

  • Capitalizing and Incentivizing Business Location Decisions

  • Re-shoring Manufacturing and Improving Supply Chains

  • Rebuilding Rural Infrastructure

  • Expanding Ethanol Use

  • Expanding Broadband

  • Strengthening Legacy Rural Industries

  • Creating More Access to International Trade

  • Saving Small Farms

  • Securing Wisconsin’s Dairy Legacy

  • Investing in Affordable Rural Housing

  • Improving Access to Rural Healthcare

  • Investing in Rural Legal Representation

  • Ensuring Clean Drinking Water

  • Improving Conservation and Climate Resilience

  • Protecting Our Public Lands

  • Investing in Agricultural Research and Development through the UW-System

Lasry’s campaign has been endorsed by the Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association, Teamsters Joint Council 39, IBEW Local 494, Operating Engineers Local 139, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers of Wisconsin, and IATSE Local 18.

The Democratic Primary Election for the United States Senate will be held Tuesday, August 9th, 2022. For more information about Alex Lasry’s campaign, visit www.alexlasry.com.

 
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