So today was the day that the rabidly anti-tax folks at Americans for Prosperity held a rally against hiking Wisconsin’s taxes even higher. What’s most interesting about the rally (at least to me) is the fact that the number of anti-tax folks who were in attendance was far smaller than the number of folks that were in attendance to support the budget proposed by Governor Doyle.
Americans for Prosperity drew hundreds of people outside the Capitol to say lawmakers should not raise taxes. They were surrounded by a larger group, made up primarily of state union workers, calling for a budget that includes new taxes on cigarettes, hospitals and oil companies.
Among the anti-tax folks rallying was Boots and Sabers’ own Owen Robinson, who said, “I’m a Wisconsin taxpayer and I can’t afford for my taxes to be any higher.” Robinson, you might recall, is proud of the fact that he got 11 members of the Republican-controlled Assembly to sign a pledge against raising any taxes, and at today’s rally he thanked them for sticking by their word in budget talks so far. What’s really curious is how proud Owen seems to be that lawmakers are perfectly content sticking it to autistic children as they blatantly pander to their wingnut base. I wonder….does Ole’ Owen really think that autistic children don’t deserve the treatment which in many cases could help them be productive, well adjusted members of society?
What was really encouraging about the accounts I’ve read of the rally is how folks really turned out to show their dissatisfaction with the fact that some of our lawmakers just don’t seem to care about getting a budget done. It’s certainly telling that the folks who want a budget and support Governor Doyle’s proposed budget outnumbered the people who are perfectly content with no budget – and the inevitable belt tightening that would accompany no budget. I know some on the right love to label those who support the Governor’s budget as nothing more than “pro-tax-increase folks” (Boots and Sabers) and “teat-sucking squealers” (No Runny Eggs).
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a state employee, and I’d like to not that contrary to the all-too familiar conservative stereotype, most state employees are not lazy and useless. At this moment, I’m sure bunches of wingnuts are railing at this very moment against state employees on their blogs, and while those folks write their entries about how we favor “tax hikes” as if we don’t pay taxes, they need to start using a little bit of logic. I pay taxes just like conservative folks pay taxes, and while I don’t necessarily enjoy paying taxes, I take some pride in knowing that my tax dollars are being spent to provide high quality services to the people of this state – and that’s not something that can be said in many parts of the country. I can’t help but wonder – are these folks who rail against the size of state government and the quality of state employees willing to do their part? Are they willing to man our prisons, supervise offenders in the community, plow our streets, pick up our trash, and fight fires? I’m willing to bet they’re not.
Pundit Nation has more on the rally here.