Live blogging the Neumann and Walker debate

Walker just lost a huge point regarding taxes in Milwaukee County. Walker can not refute the fact that taxes and spending have increased under his watch. He can not refute the fact that the increase for Milwaukee County has taxed faster than the state under Doyle.

Instead he claims the fact the rate of increase has been less than the rate of inflation negates those facts.

That kind of thinking will bury Wisconsin. These are facts. Deal with it, Scotty. There’s another way to play this. Are you smart enough to figure it out?

12:21 p.m. – Neither candidate is floating my boat on the taxing question. Someone in this campaign needs to get real that we’ll have to cut spending and keep taxes about the same to balance the budget. Then, if all goes well in about four years, tax cuts can happen.

I don’t see any way austerity alone will win the deficit war.

12:23 p.m. – Jobs to Wisconsin. Walker’s talking about a lot of things he really won’t be able to control. Federal mandates? They are.

Neumann’s touting his switch to monthly tax payments as a tax cut. I still have a huge problem with that. It’s not a tax cut – one still owes exactly the same in taxes – it’s simply an accounting move. Yes, it will provide a one-time benefit to someone’s wallet, but the number of those benefiting will be very few.

Neumann does talk education to increase jobs. I do approve.

Walker – Neumann’s plan is a tax shift. Not really, but I’ll concede it’s not a game changer. However, Walker’s not whoopin’ backside on specifics either.

Can someone please come to terms with the idea voters think?

Last question is on the judicial appointments. The two aren’t going to have a difference here.

This segment’s a draw, folks. Neumann gets one in on Walker for raising taxes; Walker picked up the jobs argument by calling the Neumann plan a “tax shift.” I still say that’s not accurate, but we all know accurate doesn’t count in sound bites.

It looks like there’s more to go, but who wants to spend a beautiful Friday afternoon listening to two candidates sound the same?


  1. I’ve already lost count of all the lies Walker is telling.

  2. I didn’t hear lies. I hear technically correct information being applied inappropriately.

    Today I hate politics. My dissatisfaction won’t last long, but wow, do I long for a realistic option.

  3. Re: paying property taxes monthly. Those who want to deduct the property taxes on their returns (which is in the minority of filers, yet still a significant number,) would not use this plan since to maximize the deduction, taxes have to be paid fully by year end. You cannot deduct taxes paid in 2011 on your 2010 return. More to the point, mortgage holders normally require that taxes be fully paid at year end. They do not normallly allow mortgagees to pay taxes in installments the following year. I predict a tiny number of people may use this proposal, and many of those who do would be in violation of their mortgage terms. When I had a mortgage, I always had to mail the mortgage holder a copy of the fully paid tax receipt early the following year.

  4. What she said! I didn’t have the patience to lay it all out like that. Thanks Barb.

  5. I cannot expect many local taxing authorities would be happy with Neumann’s plan. Let’s take almost any school district as an example. They receive their initial property tax receipt in January. The first thing they do is pay off the short term note they took out in the fall to fund ongoing operations for the period from the time they borrow the money until the time they receive this initial payment. Under the proposal they would take longer to pay off the note incurring more interest. We the taxpayer would now have more of our taxes paying for unnecessary added interest. The school district would also lose revenue they now have from the interest income they currently receive from depositing the initial tax receipt. Whoever on Neumann’s staff thought of this did not clearly think through all of the implications. That is a little frightening.

  6. Even if they don’t use short term funding, they rely upon the cash flow from the advance take. In Brookfield, our local government has actually made loan arrangements with the Elmbrook School District to supply that district’s short-term funding.

    I still disagree with Walker that Neumann’s plan is a tax shift, but I also disagree with Neumann that his plan is a tax savings.

    No, it’s not frightening, but I wouldn’t call the plan well conceived, either. Very few, and I mean very, very few, politicians understand the financial nuances of all the levels of government. Those of use that might are dismissed as crazy because we make the others feel stupid.

    I’ll offer one exception to my thinking, though. If someone who might take advantage of the new plan to pay property taxes in monthly arrears is a big employer like Harley Davidson, and if HD would commit to using the payment strategy to keeping jobs in Wisconsin, then it might be good for this economy. But again, I still think selling the plan as a tax savings for all taxpayers is bad PR.

    Sorry Mark and Co. If there’s one thing people learn around here, it’s that I call ’em like I see ’em. You have dozens of other advantages over Walker. Why not focus on something else?

  7. Walker had kept iterating his usual campaign stump sound bites, which have already been proved to be wildly inaccurate at best.

    My thoughts will be posted in a little while.