Far be it from me to understand the meteoric rise of Donald Trump, but many folks have been willing to overlook his not exactly iron-clad conservative bona fides because of his apparent determination to fix a broken government and upend the entrenched establishment. And who could disagree with stopping the flood of illegal immigration, strengthening our borders and making sure we make better trade deals?
However, conservatives willing to overlook his shifting opinions on social issues and unclear policies for repealing and replacing Obamacare may be having second thoughts after this latest attack on Scott Walker, after his endorsement of the very conservative Ted Cruz.
According to The Guardian, Donald Trump attacked Wisconsin governor Scott Walker for failing to raise taxes in order to properly fund schools and roads on Tuesday, in a startling new break from rightwing orthodoxy from the Republican frontrunner.
Walker became a conservative hero for his efforts to crush public sector unions and cut government spending in the Democratic-leaning state in Wisconsin, something that led to an attempted recall of the Wisconsin governor in 2012 and became a national cause célèbre. But, in a radio interview with talkshow host Michael Koolidge on Tuesday, Trump bashed Walker’s administration.
“There’s a $2.2bn deficit and the schools were going begging and everything was going begging because he didn’t want to raise taxes ’cause he was going to run for president,” said Trump. “So instead of raising taxes, he cut back on schools, he cut back on highways, he cut back on a lot of things.”
Um, well…maybe this is a clever way to build a ‘bigger tent” and attract Independents and Democrats, but how is pushing for higher taxes going to appeal to skeptical conservatives? Gosh, I’m not a billionaire businessperson, but even I know raising taxes isn’t the only answer for funding crucial budget items. How about just cutting back on waste, fraud and abuse in other areas?
In any event, Mr. Trump’s statement regarding the deficit isn’t actually true, when you take into account Wisconsin’s budget rules, according to Politifact:
By law, Wisconsin’s two-year budgets must be balanced — revenue equaling expenditures.
So, unlike the federal government, Wisconsin can never run an actual budget deficit by borrowing money that piles up as debt.
Trump said that under Walker, Wisconsin “projected a $1 billion (budget) surplus and it turns out to be a deficit of $2.2 billion.”
There was in early 2014 a projection of a $1 billion surplus heading into the 2015-’17 budget period. Late in 2014, there was a projection of a $2.2 billion shortfall — the difference between expected revenues and the amount of money being requested by state agencies. But the shortfall was never a deficit — and some of the surplus was consciously spent by Republicans, as tax cuts.
For a statement that contains only an element of truth and ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, our rating is Mostly False.
And for a candidate trying very hard to compete for votes from committed conservatives, I would rate Donald Trump’s comments about raising taxes mostly alarming.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]