Monday, May 28, 2012

What Has Act 10 Cost You?

From the minute Scott Walker was elected, he had a plan.  His plan was to "divide and conquer" Wisconsin.   His weapon in doing so was ACT 10.

Recently, our friends from the right, knowing they lose on the issue of ACT 10,  started a website, "I save with act 10" where you can put your county and home value in and it magically comes up with the many dollars ACT 10 has "saved you"(for me personally it said I saved $189 when in reality my taxes increased $111) . They do not tell you what their equations are, just trust them, you are now in the upper 1% thanks to Scott Walker. That website, however they come up with their numbers (it appears that an Alchemist does it using magic stones), there are many things that they do not take into account.

Some things they are missing are:

* Was ACT 10 the ONLY way to balance the budget (PS we all know the budget is not balanced)

* How much has the big government expensive bills that the republicans passed cost you, where would webe    had they focused on jobs instead of them (some examples of course are Voter ID,  Redistricting and the incredible bills they ran up and charged to the taxpayers to do so, sending the train money back, sending the federal money to expand wireless internet in rural Wisconsin back, etc...)

* The fact that the JOHN DOE investigation has trapped many of Walker's top staff and will probably close upon Scott Walker himself in the near future and that is not ok!  

* The Scott Walker lied to be elected, and lied under oath when discussing it. 

* One of the biggest things not taken into account is the fact that DEMAND is what drives the economy, Econ 101 - when people have less money they buy less things, thus CONTRACTING the economy.  
That being said not everyone saves with ACT 10.  ACT 10 has cost Wisconsin dearly this past year and a half.   My wife works for the Madison School District, and, like all public employees, we were forced to take the cuts to her pay in ACT 10(which was approximately $6000). 

Here is a quick and partial list of what we have cut in this past year(its not scientific but it is reality) 

* Our subscription to the Wisconsin State Journal $130/yr 

* Subscription to ESPN the Magazine $59/yr

*  Our membership to the YMCA $68/ month - $816/yr 

* My son's karate lessons - $100 + a month 

* We rearranged work schedules and daycare and saves us approximately $3000/ yr

*  We have cut out going out to eat to local restaurants monthly probably saving $200/month 
* Cutting down going out to eat, cuts out our need for babysitters so we probably save about $50-60 a month on babysitters. 

 Everything on that list(except for ESPN the Magazine) is money that was DIRECTLY TAKEN from our local economy.   Our daycare money was to a local daycare where I live, babysitters also, YMCA helps the community, I would estimate that of the going out to eat money we are no longer spending 85% would have went to locally owned restaurants, the karate lessons were in our community etc.... We also plan to get an extra 100,000 miles out of the car I drive now than we would have before.   

That is just the dollar cost of ACT 10 to our family.  Then there s the cost of the friends who have "defriended" me and the family members that no longer talk to us.  

In my opinion, none of this was worth the $49 that some people "saved" in property taxes.  These cuts have real world effects on local communities and local businesses.  

That is what ACT 10 has cost us......what has ACT 10 cost YOU?  

Please share your stories here, and also "like" our facebook page  and share your stories there also!   


  1. It's a sad story but I still suggest you are better off than if you had the same jobs in Illinois, maybe not this year, but in years soon to come. The fact that they keep delaying the inevitable will make it worse.
    This is where Jim Doyle was taking us. He knew it too, I assume it is why he didn't run for another term.,0,4531294.story

    1. No, we just beat Illinois. We already have had our tax hikes, our mass layoffs (and they keep coming), or cuts in vital services, and our budget still isn't balanced. But at least Illinois is adding jobs while we keep losing them.

      And this is better how?

    2. For once we agree Capper. We beat Illinois to the road to fiscal responsibility. It will be interesting to see what they do in session now.
      There's a lot of ways to make Walker look bad, but to say we aren't in better fiscal shape now isn't one of them.

    3. If you think Walker is fiscally responsible, you've had too much Memorial Day beer. The deficit is bigger, the number of unemployed is way up, and the state is dead last in economic growth. Not good signs at all.

    4. What state do you live in? (state of) confusion?
      The deficit was projected in the billions when Walker took office. So bad Doyle did not even run for another term. Unemployment rate is down. And even your source in Philadelphia has left you looking for different predictions.
      Better stick to the ad-hominem when it comes to Walker.
      No, time for you to double up on the anti-depressant meds.

    5. See, cupcake, your confusion comes from lack of independent thought.

      If you use the same system that Walker used to say Doyle had such a huge deficit, you find that Walker increased the deficit.

      Unemployment is down because people moved out of state or simply gave up looking. Actual unemployment numbers show more people out of work.

      No, the newest numbers from Philly, which just came out today, shows us still rock bottom.

      If you're going to come here, you have to have the facts. You didin't so now you look as foolish as you really are.

  2. You understand though that there are not two options the Scott walker model and the Illinois model....

    The talking point is because IL has a dem Governor then that is the only way democrats do things. Does that mean we are on the way to a Mississippi model?

  3. Act 10 has cost me $3,600 a year in take-home pay, which means that I'm downshifting in the apartment I have and grabbing more 2-for-1 coupons if I go out to eat, which costs restaurants a sizable amount of income.

    I also refuse to patronize the counties around Milwaukee that elected Walker, (i.e, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee) and given that I do a decent amount of traveling around the state for my job, that's a few hundred dollars that they're not getting.

    Given that Scotty seems to be getting the most outward support from governors in Louisiana and South Carolina, I'd say the Confederate method of low-wage, low-service, low-intelligence seems to be what Scotty is shooting for. And that type of state seems to be the only one where IMBR could be remotely "successful", so no wonder why he wants it.

  4. You'll notice that the common sense approach to creating demand, and thus jobs, faded. The 15 minutes of fame by billionaire Nick Hanauer is no longer used by Democrats to counter the tragedy of the now cliched "job creator" myth.

    What you've written is nicely presented and should be easily understood by even those reporters that seem to be missing the impact of Act 10 on their own lives. You'd think their own pocketbooks would garner some urgency in their questions and pursuit of the truth from these political ideologues.

    Instead, they've continued to report sound bites that have only resulted in a voting public hungry for "leaders" with the easy answers and magic tricks.

  5. I lost more than all of you in take home pay when the housing market crashed. I adjusted, and not by increasing debt.
    Every public sector worker I have talked to has always said they could have taken a private job with more pay but stayed for the benefits. Well, If Walker has made it that bad maybe now's the time to show it wasn't a lie. It would make Walker look pretty bad if he couldn't get anybody to work for government.

  6. $92,000 per month in lost teacher wages in one small northern Wisconsin city. $92,000 dollars of potential loss to the local economy. $1.1 million per year.

    Just wait folks small cities can't make up this type of loss without cutting back on services.

    Will Walker be there to plow your street in the winter? Keep your parks open in the summer? Man your fire halls to keep your homeowners insurance lower?

    Of course he won't.

    But at least I'm hoping he will at be making licenses plates.

    Living in a small close community with lots of good new buddies named Bubba.

    Maybe he can get elected as a tier representative.

    And finally get that college degree.

  7. Scooter's an IdiotMay 28, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Imustbe The problem is not getting people to work for the Gov. It's that all his backers KEI, Scott Jensen, Dick Devos and the likes are all in place to step in and take our money when he makes our public services broken. Look what he's doing to the DNR. Not sure how refi our debt and costing us more money puts us in a better financial situation. Also not sure how 300 mil in futher revenue cuts in the budget and in ACT 10 that have not kicked in yet puts on good footing.

  8. We almost didnt't have our second child because of my 10% takehome hit. I am a teacher in a southshore community. We then realized that walker may have taken our financial comfort but that f'er wasnt going to make all of our new family choices. Our family plan for the hubby to stay home with number two went down the crapper and now we both have to work to pay for someone else to watch our children so we can make the mortgage payments. Not to mention the money we dont spend in the community any more..

  9. I've taken a $5,500 pay cut. My wife, who worked in the service industry, lost her job and is currently being denied unemployment. We haven't gone out to eat, taken in a movie in over a year. We used to go to our trailer at least every two, three weeks. We've only made it up once this year because we can't afford the extra $40 for gas, much less food, etc.

  10. $7200 between my wife and I. I don't even know what a movie theatre is anymore. But I am happy I can get 14 channels on my antenna. No restuarants either except special occaissions. Oh, and my property taxes went up too. When it all hit I sent notes to eateries we liked and a bunch of the local shops I tried to frequent even though they were more expensive. I let them know that I wouldn't be spending with them anymore, but that I hoped they enjoyed their tax break.

    It amazes me that people don't see that Walker is a tool, a criminal and a pathological liar that is implementing a plan laid out by his pay masters. He's only just begun and if he gets a "mandate" on June 5th we better all take cover.

  11. Thank you all for sharing your stories please encourage your friends to come and share also. If you have facebook come join our page

  12. Your claim that we,, does not tell you how we calculate your savings is incorrect. I don't know if this is because you would rather put out false information or if you simply missed it. The full description of our quite simple math is documented on the site, see the FAQ page. But the reality is that it is an average of 4 previous tax year collections applied to 2010 collections. It shows what 2011 would likely have looked like without Act 10, not what your 2011 tax bill was vs. 2010. Most of us saw a small savings there, for the first time in many years. But far more important, we avoided yet another massive tax increase.

    1. Regardless of how you pull the numbers out of your arse, they are still not anywhere close to honest or accurate. Most people saw an increase in taxes and the ones that didn't see that rise saw a $20,000-30,000 cut in their property's assessed value.

    2. Here is from the FAQ on your website

      In the absence of factual hard numbers received from municipal sources, we are forced to calculate what we believe the 2011 figures to be.

      So your saying you have no facts you are making all of these numbers up....

      The reality is your assuming that the only way to work on the budget was ACT 10 and we all know that is not true. We also know that we have never had a "massive tax increase" and had we not started the year giving away $2.2 Billion in tax cuts to the members of WMC(who exert a major influence on policy in this state), we could have balanced our budget without forcing massive pay cuts on the middle class in this state.

      As you see from this post and our facebook page

      The real world consequences of ACT10 have been very devastating to Wisconsin families...

  13. Hi. I love your blog. I'm a little bummed I just found it though. However, you'd be wise to look up who your local business men are that you are supporting. There are a lot of vile business people in Wisconsin that are using the money you give them to put their boots on your neck. Food for thought.

  14. I thought Act 10 wasn't a fiscal act, otherwise it shouldn't be law. Big Fitz can't make rules that ignore our Constitution, so I'm sort of hopeful that the courts will overturn this Act.
    Instead of raising taxes $400 per person, Walker has cost my wife $6,000 a year in lost earnings. Pretty soon our town will be dead. We would have bought a house but for what Walker did to teachers. The sellers all voted for Walker and now they complain no one is buying. Duh.

  15. For all of you crying about taking a $7200 paycut, put life in perspective. There are so many UNION skilled tradespeople who have been laid off due to the bad economy, most if not all would take the $7200 pay cut per year any day than being on unemployment. Yes does it suck, absolutely, but a pay cut is better than no job. My husband a JOURNEYMAN UNION carpenter hasn't had work in almost a year. The Union has done NOTHING to help him other than have some cranky woman answer the phone when he calls each month to say he still is on the "out of work" list. They still want his union dues. Now they are saying they might strike because they want them to pay a $9 per hour pay cut, we are all for it if it guarantees 52 weeks of work. Don't mind the fact they get NO vacation, no sick time, no holiday pay, and the insurance isn't any better than anyone else.

  16. It's really sad that you can't do ALL those things anymore, but no you know what the rest of us go through and we STILL don't have the benefits you have.

    1. Hope you get some solace in the fact that you brought a bunch of Wisconsinites down to your level. I am assuming that you are in the private sector have a masters degree and make less than all public workers of comparable education and experience.

      Look on the bright side, now that Governor Walker has taken $1 billion out of the States economy, hopefully a bunch of small local businesses will be going out of business soon so the owners can all join us in misery.

  17. Yep, our cut was about $5400 with the potential to spend $6000 more on medical (the deductible went up that much but fortunately we are among the healthy, or at least able to put things off). I was a SAH parent also in school so things were already tight, but it was supposed to be temporary. In out case, I had to go out and get a job. Our children suffer- the little one is in remedial reading now- and I could also say I took a job that someone else could have used as much or more than I. Act 10 has been horrible for our family.

  18. My wife is a teacher and was on a pay freeze prior to Act 10. We now pay for some of the healthcare cost ($310/ month) and she has had pay increase of $400/ month. And we have not changed any of our spending or saving habits. So the Cost of Act 10 to us was an extra $90 per month. And our property tax has decreased this year.