Friday, February 16, 2007

"Upon my word, unleash tax hell."

I took a direct approach to Governor Doyle's tax and spend ways in this week's column.

The question has now moved from how is the state going to pay for all of Doyle’s new spending to how are Wisconsin’s families going to pay all the new taxes and fees?

Among the increases in taxes and spending, Doyle is proposing a $1.8 billion increase in state health care spending to be paid for by $480 million in new cigarette taxes over the next two years, $175 million taken from the state’s malpractice fund and a $418 million tax on hospitals.

Of course, the cigarette tax will fall disproportionately on the poor, raiding the state’s malpractice fund will put at risk a program to help victims of medical malpractice, and the tax on hospitals will be passed on to consumers.

Stealing the old joke about the New York Times announcing the end of the world, the title of Doyle’s budget should be, "Governor’s budget unleashes tax hell; poor, injured and the sick hardest hit." Doyle even throws in the elderly with a $75 increase in the nursing home bed tax.

Those of us driving to work to pay for Doyle’s new taxes can look forward to a $20 increase in the vehicle registration fee and a $10 increase in the fee for a driver’s license. But that’s OK because we won’t be able to afford to put gas in our cars after Doyle’s $270 million tax on oil companies gets passed directly to the consumer.

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