The Twittersphere jumped on Gov. Scott Walker’s post using a “report” from UW-Madison’s Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy to promote his $100 per child tax rebate and sales tax holiday proposal.
“It’s another reason it’s better we give projected surpluses back than spend it in Madison,” Walker tweeted.
The Senate approved a tax bill including the measures, and the Assembly was expected to act on the bill in an extraordinary session on Thursday, March 22.
Critics called Walker’s use of CROWE product to sell a tax break for voters as he seeks reelection proof of the right-leaning think-tank’s purpose: supporting Walker.
WisconsinSOS linked to a Cap Times story reporting that the conservative Koch and Bradley foundations funded CROWE, which opened in July. The center is headed by Noah Williams, best known for a controversial analysis predicting the Foxconn plant would return nearly $4 for every $1 of a $3 billion state subsidy. Williams was an advisor to Walker’s short-lived presidential campaign.
The recent CROWE blog projected $61 million in spending from a $122 million tax rebate, and $309 million in spending from $51.5 million in sales tax not collected on the holiday.
Linda Martin posted an illustration of a transactional relationship that might be like that between CROWE, its funders, and Walker.
“CROWE and Noah Williams are part of Walker’s propaganda machine,” posted another critic.
“Thanks dork, my kids are grown so no $100 child tax credit for me or any other childless or child free people. How are you going to pander to me?” asked Kurt Weyers.
Joanne, replying to @GovWalker @CROWE_UW, said: “You mean you economist-for-hire? Your shill?”
“Cooked up numbers to support your embarrassing effort to literally buy votes, #career politician” posted tsr.
One poster challenged the Walker administration projection that there will be a budget surplus.
And some posters criticized the use of tax money for a small, one-time payout to taxpayers.
“This is another $173.5 million cut from the state budget, meaning even less money for public schools, @UWSystem, infrastructure, etc.," posted Mark Copelovitch, associate professor of political science and public affairs at UW-Madison.
“Or, you know, we could fix our crumbling roads and P-16 education system. But hey, you do you,” Mike Steele said.