Wisconsin Student solution to the state deficit: Tax the rich! Video

Maybe the best video you will watch coming out of the Wisconsin Teachers job action. But then again, there’s so much. The teachers have made up the bulk of the protestors pushing back against Tea Party Governor Scott Walker’s austerity plan. But it’s the students … ahhh … the students, who have provided able backup with people power and … ways to solve the crisis. Teach … your children well … their parents hell … and so yada, yada.

As teachers disrupted class at the state capitol to protest Scott’s plan to change the mostly teachers compensation plans, students took the opportunity to put the lessons they have learned in school to join the fray. One of those students was interviewed by Gretta VanSusteren, Jacob Fiksel. The interview is priceless especially when Gretta asks ole Jake to offer a solution to Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion dollar shortfall.


Gretta: In terms of your state do you have any suggestions on how to deal with your budget crisis?

Fiksel: Yes I do. I think we should really consider raising taxes on the rich. I know the argument against taxes is it’s really gunna hurt small businesses but with this plan if you are taking money away from teachers and public workers small businesses are going to lose millions of dollars but if we can raise taxes on the rich who can afford it and we can start to pay for our budget problems.

Hmm, where have I heard that before? Democrats? Organizing for America perhaps? Young Jake, if you allow private sector workers to keep more of their money it actually allows them to spend and boost the economy. When you take money from the private sector and put it into the public sector all you do is transfer the same cash … and, as we have learned, eventually you run out of other people’s money to spend.

He later tells Gretta that the “run away” Democrats should do whatever it takes to stop this bill. And, by the way, teachers would not lose their collective bargaining rights on pay, just benefits. And the cuts being planned are hardly worth skipping class for.

His budget also limits government collective bargaining to just wages, and prevents government unions from forcing taxpayers to fund their luxurious benefits.

Workers would be asked to contribute:

The proposal includes limiting state employee wage increases to the rate of inflation unless approved in a voter referendum. Public employees — other than police, fire, and inspectors — would lose many bargaining rights and could opt out of paying union dues after current contracts expire, with dues no longer collected automatically.

State workers will have to increase contributions to their pensions to 5.8 percent of salary, and double contributions to health insurance premiums to 12.6 percent of salary. Wisconsin’s unfunded pension liability is $252.6 million, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Not exactly draconian.

13 replies
  1. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    They're going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the reality that public sector unions are bankrupting this country one state at a time.  These teachers want guarantees in a time when there aren't any for those in the private sector.  That they were even allowed to believe in guarantees is a crime.

    The dem legislators running away to IL is priceless…now that's how to teach leadership.  Whatta spineless buncha losahs.

    (I blame Favre, too…)

  2. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    This kid is an indoctrinated, useful idiot, who is simply parroting what he was told. I'm betting his parents are contributors to the public employee unions as either gov't employees or teachers.

     No kid gets a head full of that mush during a school day (I hope) from his teachers. Not all kids are useless drones. I know my high schoolers and their peers would not tolerate a teacher who used class time to preach this crap, and it would only take one to complain. 

  3. Plainvillian
    Plainvillian says:

    Here's the scary part:  In a few years, this kid's vote will count as much as a thinking adult's.  A few years later and his generation will be running the country.

  4. Cliff G
    Cliff G says:

    Yeah, I know, all us Democrat/Liberal/Socialist/Communists are zombies.  You folks are living on planet Bizarro!

    What your business interest masters want is  brainwashed quiescent workers who can't think for themselves. Anyone who doesn't regurgitate the learned propaganda is ridiculed and destroyed.

    Just ask Rush.

    Young Mr. Fiksel, and the students I saw on "The Ed Show" last night, give me hope for their up and coming generation.

    Tyrants of the world beware!

  5. weregettinghosed
    weregettinghosed says:

    As Reagan would say…. My Goodness……

    This is to be expected, in a Marxist society you must educate (brainwash) the youth to retain control of the people, It worked well in Germany, youth were a major part of the whole regime. They know no better, it is what they have been indoctrinated over the course of 13 to 14 years, but there is a rising sect of students that do get it, will not be brainwashed.

    Keep exposing the nonsense, when you put it out in the open, it is glaringly wrong for America; causing Americans in increasing numbers to stand up, defending what we still have and what we want back.

  6. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    I only hope this kid is smart enough to one day realize how severely he has been shortchanged.


    This is the kind of student for whom they have to make cash registers with little pictures for the fast food he will be selling.

  7. howdy
    howdy says:

    Let me start out by saying that I'm not a fan of unions.  I think that pay should be based on merit, not on strong-arming by unions.  That said, I recently read a study that suggests that when you look at the overall compensation package, and controlling for education, experience, etc., public sector employees in Wisconsin are paid less than their private sector counterparts. http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/6759/
    So I can see why they'd be pretty upset about losing more of that — like 8% of their paycheck.

    But a fact is a fact, Wisconsin has to come up with the money somewhere.  So the kid said "raise taxes on the rich."  I have to admit that it has some appeal.  If I'm making a million dollars a year and I get taxed 50%, I'm still making $500,000 a year.  I hardly call that a hardship compared to teachers who are making $40,000 a year and may lose $3,500 of that.  Of course if we drive away wealthy people with taxes that are too high, then we shoot ourselves in the foot.  We need industry and people at all pay levels.

    So my honest and respectful question is, would it really be that bad to raise taxes by a little bit on people making more than $200,000 a year?  I'd really appreciate some good economic arguments on this. Because I think that we're not yet on the bad side of the Laffer curve and have a little wiggle room here.

  8. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    I would vote for raising everyone's tax, so they all have some skin in the game.  Share the pain and all that.  Just because a "rich" guy has the money, and you think he can afford it, doesn't mean you have the right to seize it by mob rule (government).


    A flat tax is a happy tax….

  9. howdy
    howdy says:

    Well, I guess whether you believe in a progressive tax or a flat tax has to do with two things:
    1) whether you think the person making $1 million per year deserves it because of his/her own merits/hard work over the, say, teacher who makes $35,000 a year.
    2) whether you think the trickle-down theory is panning out.
    In response to 1), I would say that a lot of people at the top hustle hard.? But they also benefit a lot from circumstances beyond their control, like often being born into some wealth or at least being given a lot of opportunity.? Other people are born into circumstances that make it very difficult for them to succeed through no fault of their own (but maybe through fault of their parents.).? So if we believe that a person shouldn’t be overly-penalized for their parents’ behavior, then we believe in creating some sort of level playing field for those starting out.? And if we believe that a salary of $1 million doesn’t only reflect the value of a person’s work but is also the product of supply and demand (especially scarcity of specialized skills, and that the person holds those skills partially due to an educational opportunity that was not 100% equally available to others), then a progressive tax makes sense.
    In response to 2): I’m not sure how much trickle-down is happening.? Hourly wages for the bottom half of Americans have only increased slightly over the last 40 years while they have increased dramatically for the top 20%.? Sure this is due to a lot of factors, like globalization, but makes me wonder how much trickle-down is actually working.

  10. NH-Jim
    NH-Jim says:

    Howdy, it's simple:

    IT"S NOT YOUR MONEY!  You obviously don't know how much a wealthy person already pays in taxes.  A millionaire is already paying out 50% in total taxation.  Let's take a look at JUST the <a title="Tax Foundation – IRS Data" href="http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/22652.html&quot; rel="nofollow">federal government's take and income redistribution:

    The top 1% of earners in this country pay 40% of the income tax revenue.

    The top 10% earners in this country pay over 70% of the income tax.

    The top 25% earners in this country pay 86% of the income tax.

    At $35,000-40,000, a teacher, or anyone else in this group for that matter, would pay only 10% of the nation's tax.

    Let's look at Wisconsin:

    In 2009, the Wisconsin per Capita income was $40,321 (the national per Capita income was $42,539).  I would guess that these figures are the same or less for 2010 given the economy and a continuation of 7.5% Wisconsin unemployment.  Wisconsin (#4), very similar to CT (#3), is ranked as one of the highest in local and state tax burden at 11%.

    At $225,000+, a Winconsinite pays 7.75% state income tax ($17,437), ranking it at 11th highest.  A WI millionaire would pay $77,500 in state tax.

    Wisconsin has a state Earned Income Credit based on a percentage of the Federal Earned Income Credit.  If a Wisconsinite with 2 kids files jointly on $40k income, they will receive $1137 credit from the Feds and $160 from WI.

    Also, less we forget, a millionaire is in the top tenth of the top one percent of earners (0.1%).  Not as many of them out there as you think.


  11. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    A flat tax simply means that everyone pays, and pays FAIRLY, i.e. an equal percentage of their income.  What  your parents did/didn't do is irrelevant, providing they earned their wealth legally and paid their taxes on it (unlike the Kennedy Crime family).

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