Assembly Bill 2: it may not create jobs, but it will add to the state’s budget deficit!

Earlier today the state Legislature’s budget committee recommended approval of tax breaks for people who have health savings accounts. The bill, which will likely be taken up for consideration by the full legislature later this week, will add $50 million to the state’s budget shortfall of more than $3 billion over the next two fiscal years while creating a grand total of zero jobs.

No doubt we can expect to see Wisconsin’s legislative Republicans tackle the issue of requiring a photo I.D. from voters as their next “job creation” initiative.


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13 thoughts on “Assembly Bill 2: it may not create jobs, but it will add to the state’s budget deficit!

  1. May not create jobs and will add to the budget problems – and I’m not thrilled that they’re expending effort away from those things, but it’s also worth noting…

    This does more to address making health care affordable – putting some downward pressure on health costs – than the hundreds of billions in the Orwellian Patient Protection and “Affordable” Care Act.

    Health savings accounts are one of the things that have a proven track record of helping people pay for their health care and encourages people to become better consumers of health care and shop around when possible.

    1. Sure, a health savings account is great….if you have disposable income you can put into an HSA.

      If you’re poor or even just struggling to make ends meet, you’re just out of luck.

        1. I’m just clarifying Locke’s point that HSAs help people pay for health insurance by noting that they really only help people to have the money to put into the accounts.

          I don’t recall ever writing that there shouldn’t be tax breaks because some people might not be able to contribute to HSAs; those were your words, not mine.

          But hey, I’d love to hear you explain how tax breaks for HSAs will create jobs!

          1. Because HSA’s are offered in tandem with high-deductible insurance plans which have lower premiums. A lower premium means savings for the employer, which can then be utilized for infrastructure or employees.

      1. You’re right, since it doesn’t solve every problem, we should just skip it.

        Instead of a targeted change that is simple, direct and has a track record of helping people – SOME PEOPLE, NOT ALL PEOPLE and actually providing some deflationary effect on health care costs, we should create a trillion dollar omnibus bill that strives to do more, but in practice will fail miserably – that still leaves millions out and does nothing to address rising costs.

        1. My point was that the focus was supposed to be jobs, jobs jobs, and instead what we’ve gotten is tort reform, HSA tax breaks, and a resolution honoring Reince Preibus.

  2. A very distinct majority of people in America do not even have savings accounts much less HSA’s.

    They dont even compare to Cash for klunkers…its apples and oranges.

    1. That wasn’t my point. At all. My point was that just because poor people can’t ever utilize tax credits because they can’t afford houses, cars, HSAs or anything for that matter doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be offered.

  3. Are you saying tort reform, HSAs, etc do not help to create a friendly environment that signals to businesses to stay or come to Wisconsin? That means jobs stay and new jobs are added. Or will these bills hurt jobs, as many of the Democrats and Doyle’s ideas did the last couple of years? When they raised taxes and added new regulations, did that encourage to give Wisconsin a second look? No!

    1. Really, nothing? So will these bills then hurt our state’s economy? I think a business that knows it doesn’t have to worry as much about a frivilous lawsuit is inclined to breathe easier and maybe invest more in their business by expanding and hiring more workers, for one example.

      1. A business never has to worry about a frivolous lawsuit as I would bet you cant name one “frivolous” lawsuit that has ever advanced to the stage of actual payout.

        Maybe a successful business owner can say it better:

        CT: What about Walker’s claim that Wisconsin isn’t business-friendly?

        CB: I don’t see it. My businesses and much of the business in Madison are based on good-paying, highly professional jobs. He’s coming from Milwaukee County, and the type of business people he is surrounding himself with are looking to find all the lowest common denominators. They want to keep the minimum wage low, keep benefits low and keep regulation off of businesses. It’s a race to the bottom.

        CT: Have you had problems operating because of government regulations?

        CB: Give me a break. I operate in one of the most regulated industries out there. My industry and the hospitality industry thrive when we have a healthy environment for people to live in and when we have a healthy middle class. Then people eat out. A healthy middle class is way more helpful to me than a tax cut.

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