By The Associated Press

Kenosha News. February 13, 2022.

Editorial: Tax rebate plan nothing but an election-year ploy

It was almost as if Gov. Tony Evers in late January was telling all of us, more or less, “Who wants $150, no strings attached?”

We’re referring to the governor’s announcement that he wants to give every Wisconsin resident a $150 tax rebate. The Jan. 27 announcement comes on the heels of news that the state coffers will take in $2.9 billion more than expected through the middle of next year.

“This is the people’s money and sitting on the people’s money for another year and a half makes no sense,” Evers said at a Jan. 27 news conference at the state Capitol.

On the surface, it might look like a nice and genuine gesture on the part of the governor, and if we took his quote at face value we might say, “Yes, it is our money.”

But state Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu of Oostburg hit it on the head when he called the plan what it is — an election-year gimmick.

Democrat Evers will face a tough bid for re-election this fall, be it against former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch or conservative activist Kevin Nicholson, one of whom we feel safe in predicting will win the Republican nomination to be the party’s candidate for governor.

Not that Evers’ rebate plan is anything new in the politics handbook, mind you. We called out Republican Gov. Scott Walker when, in 2018, he proposed a $100-per-child tax credit for the parents of every child living at home under the age of 18.

Walker’s tax credit ended up being paid out just before the November election when Walker was attempting to secure a third term as governor. He used the power of his veto to get through the tax credit that was projected to cost the state $122 million in revenue. Like Evers, Walker touted the justification for the credit by citing a budget surplus.

Evers should know full well that the tax credit did not work to Walker’s advantage. Evers ended up beating Walker in the November 2018 election, albeit narrowly.

In 2018, Walker was criticized for his proposal, even by some in his own party, for what some called “vote buying.” Just as LeMahieu has said, more or less, Evers is attempting.

LeMahieu, Kleefisch and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, have said what is needed is a more solid and broader tax reform plan.

We say there is definite credence in that suggestion. And we continue to advocate that the state Legislature and governor need to ensure that the state has adequate funds to address unforeseen emergencies as well as to stay on par with changes in the economy, the current inflation spike notwithstanding.

State government’s purpose is not to act like a retail establishment offering loss leaders and buy one, get one free ploys. Its purpose, of course, is to provide for the common good of the people in a fiscally responsible manner.

Gov. Evers’ proposal does not meet that criteria, is not responsible and is not sincere.


Racine Journal Times. February 11, 2022.

Editorial: Rep. Tiffany’s trucker idea needs to go back to the shop

We were waiting for the punch line, but it never came.

One of the most bizarre proposals we have ever heard from a Wisconsin congressman came this week when U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, who represents the huge 7th Congressional District stretching across the northern third of the state, suggested the U.S. government enlist protesting Canadian truckers and send them to the Mexican border to curb illegal border crossings.

Tiffany, a far-right conservative, spoke at a House Freedom Caucus forum on immigration issues Tuesday and said, “I would submit to you, we should be talking to Canadian truckers in Ottawa, Canada, right now, and asking them to come to the southern border … I think they might be somewhat effective.”

We watched the video of the event, fully expecting to find that Tiffany was being facetious, but, no, he was deadpan in his comments.

Stunning. In a simple sentence, Tiffany was conflating two difficult issues — ongoing U.S immigration problems along the Mexican border and the Canadian truckers fighting against vaccine mandates for drivers crossing the U.S.-Canada border.

The truckers parked their rigs across U.S.-Canada border crossings this week aiming to shut down commercial traffic and then descended on Ottawa, jamming streets and creating an emergency situation.

Tiffany, clearly thinking out of the box, or maybe in this case out of the loony bin, suggested rolling the two problems together to find a solution.

First of all, Canadian truckers are fighting vaccine mandates — and probably have no reason to care about U.S.-Mexico border struggles. Is he suggesting they be paid to come to the Rio Grande and park their rigs at crossings to disrupt all commercial traffic? Or to park them out in the Sonoran desert where many of the illegal immigrants cross into the U.S. to create a big-rig wall?

This would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. The Canadian vaccine feud and the U.S. illegal immigration struggles are both serious problems and they demand critical thinking and work to find resolution.

Tiffany’s lightweight “solution” offers neither. Voters in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District deserve better.