Guest Contributor

Icing on the Cake for Corporations, Crumbs for Working Families

Guest post by Jon Peacock of Wisconsin Children and Families to PR Watch

win-lose cakeAs the Joint Finance Committee wrapped up its work on the biennial budget bill late last Friday night, June 3, one of the final motions that was offered was a brand new proposal for a large corporate tax break. At about 11:00 pm Friday, the Committee voted 12-4, along party lines, for that motion to create a new tax credit for corporations that produce goods in the state –- gradually reducing their state income tax by as much as 95 percent, once the $129 million per year tax break is fully phased in.

Kathleen Gallagher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote a good article on the subject earlier this week. As she reported, James Buchen, vice president of government relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, called the amendment "the icing on the cake for us be able to go out and sell Wisconsin as manufacturing heaven."

Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools

The cost of K–12 public schooling in the United States comes to well over $500 billion per year. So, how much influence could anyone in the private sector exert by controlling just a few billion dollars of that immense sum? Decisive influence, it turns out. A few billion dollars in private foundation money, strategically invested every year for a decade, has sufficed to define the national debate on education; sustain a crusade for a set of mostly ill-conceived reforms; and determine public policy at the local, state, and national levels. In the domain of venture philanthropy -- where donors decide what social transformation they want to engineer and then design and fund projects to implement their vision -- investing in education yields great bang for the buck.


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