Governor Walker’s $100 Million Tax Cut Not in Wisconsin’s Best Interest*


I do not believe Governor Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature’s decision to give Wisconsin property owners a $100 million tax cut over the next two years was in our state’s best interest. The bill was rush through both houses and signed by Scott Walker in order to have it reflected on this year’s billing. But for the sake of efficiency our government clearly discouraged us from having any input.

 I would have told them to use the money to help Wisconsin’s residents and businesses lower their carbon dioxide footprints instead. As I recall, that was one of your newspaper’s main goals this year and I supported that.  Considering the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – that it is “extremely likely” (with 95% certainty) that our burning of fossil fuels (in things like power plants, automobiles,motor cycles, trucks, jet airplanes, ships and ATVs, etc.) is causing our planet to warm, resulting in rising sea level, ocean acidification, ecosystem changes worldwide, more and longer (and deadlier) heat waves and other extreme weather events like heavy rainfall and flooding, faster and faster melting of the polar ice cap, the permafrost region, mountain glaciers, more drought and fire threat and increased threat of a whole of other climate changes caused by rising carbon dioxide other greenhouse gas concentration in our atmosphere.. According to the scientists who wrote the report, these threats will increase in severity the more heat absorbing greenhouse gases remain in our atmosphere, and the effects will be felt for centuries.
The $100 million tax cut comes on the heels of the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) decision to withhold utility contributed rebates to Wisconsin homeowners installing solar panels for electricity or hot water, rather than their continued use of fossil fuels (natural gas, electricity from coal or natural gas burning power plants.
I was not pleased, either, to read the Associated Press article saying federal renewable energy aid for American farmers is doubtful after this year as well, due to heavy lobbying by coal and other fossil fuel industry interests.
It was disheartening to me as well to read the quotes of the federal representatives from this area and our two senators in Washington. In my opinion, Senator’s Baldwin and Ron Johnson; and Representatives Mark Pocan, Ron Kind, and Paul Ryan. All promised to work harder on creating jobs and growing the economy and paying down the federal budget debt. It is so terribly discouraging for me to see that, despite the overwhelming cost that global warming is already bearing down upon us, our governmental leaders at the federal and state level continue to act as if its “business as usual”, procrastinating on meaningful and timely actions that are urgently needed now to minimize our GHG contributions and not just keep waiting be better and more efficient technology. It’s a problem that is already causing great hardship;  we do not have the luxury of waiting for better technology to solve the problem. Future Americans and Wisconsinites will have it the worst. Our governmental leaders as well as all of us should step up to the plate now and do something. We risk having the game get over before we even get our chance to bat.That’s what happens when one waits too long, and does use their finances resources wisely.
* Copy of a letter I sent to the Wisconsin State Journal editor, October 21, 2013. /MTN

About Mike Neuman

Environmentalist; Father; Senior Citizen; Husband, School Crossing Guard; Green Bay Packer Fan; Wisconsin Badger Fan; Animal Lover; Humanitarian

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