Sales taxes are inherently unfair. They place a greater burden on working families than on the rich.
The fairer calculus would place the greater burden on the rich, with the sort of progressive taxation that Wisconsin Democrats and Republicans favored in the days before wealthy campaign donors exploited a corrupt campaign finance system to buy themselves compliant politicians.
And there is no more compliant politician than Scott Walker.
Wisconsin’s governor is never going to do right by working families because he doesn’t serve them; he serves his campaign donors. The Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and other out-of-state millionaires have paid for his political viability since he emerged as a statewide political figure. The only flexibility that Walker’s masters permit him is at election time, when the career politician is allowed to tinker with sales taxes in order to try to win a few votes.
That is what Walker is doing with his proposal for a weekend sales tax holiday just before the Aug. 14 primary, in which the governor is expected to be nominated for a third term. The scam, organized by Walker with his Republican allies in the state Assembly, is designed to provide a one-time sales tax holiday on items that cost under $100 and are purchased during the Aug. 4-5 weekend.
Combined with a one-time $100 per child tax rebate to parents, the scheme would empty roughly $172 million out of state coffers for what Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, calls “an election-year bribe.”
“The governor might as well save money on postage and just hand these checks out at polling places in November,” said Hintz. “For seven years, Governor Walker has handed out favors to his donors and corporations to stay in power. Now, he’s trying to do the same with voters, but they’re not going to fall for it.”
Working Wisconsinites shouldn’t fall for it.
But that does not mean they should not take advantage of the tax holiday. They can take advantage of a brief break from the unfair sale tax, recognize this “holiday” as the ham-handed attempt to bribe them that it is, and still vote against Scott Walker in November.