Mary Lazich (R-ALEC) ignorant, mean-spirited, deceptive or lazy: You Decide | WisCommunity

Mary Lazich (R-ALEC) ignorant, mean-spirited, deceptive or lazy: You Decide

The first paragraph of Senator Lazich's (R-ALEC) editorial is included below with comments and clarifications in italics.

Mary Lazich Editorial in Cap Times March 20th, 2012


The most contentious, and productive, legislative session in recent Wisconsin history is finished.


Our state’s fiscal house is in order;

Unless you consider the projected $143,000,000 shortfall which is greater than the $137,000,000 shortfall that Walker used last year to justify the infamous “budget repair bill.”

And unless you consider the $332,637,600 General purpose revenue outstanding principal due in 2011-2013 was restructured so that no principal will be paid until 2013-2014. The repayment schedule (it will be paid off in 2033-34) looks like this for the next four years:

2011-2012; $0

2012-2013; $15,957,216

2013-2014; $55,472,590

2014-2014; $55,472,590, gleefully kicking the can down the road until 2033-2034.

By the way, public financing and budgeting is complicated and many faceted and can no way be addressed in this short posting. But, clearly, Lazich is either deliberately misleading the reader or has not taken the time to read the editorial that was ghost written for her or has no clue about the budgeting process

the unemployment rate is falling;

The unemployment rate is a poor metric to use when data such as actual job growth or loss are available. To determine the unemployment rate the federal government surveys about 60,000 households each month. Wisconsin's portion of the sample is just over 1,000 households, said Eric Grosso, a senior economist with the state Department of Workforce Development.

Only those people without a job who have tried to find work in the prior four weeks are considered unemployed, Grosso said.

"People who drop out of the workforce aren't counted," he said. "You need to be actively searching for a job."

That's because the government, in order to figure out the unemployment rate, needs to know how many total people are either employed or available to work right then, Grosso said. This is called "the labor force," and it eliminates those who are imprisoned, confined to nursing homes, under age 16 or otherwise not employable or recently forced into retirement.

People who aren't looking for work because they've given up all hope also are among those considered "not in the labor force," according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Note: Senator Lazich and the Republicans know this is true. It has been presented to them in many venues. I was present at one of her listening sessions when the folly of using the unemployment rate was clearly presented to her and her response was, “we all know that you can use numbers to say anything.” Not so much, Senator. You have used numbers to misrepresent the facts while never addressing the job losses in Wisconsin. Like Governor Walker, you have deliberately deceived the people of Wisconsin.

and Wisconsinites are enjoying a session largely devoid of tax increases.

According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau in a memo from Bob Lang, director to the Members of the Wisconsin Legislature on July 5, 2012 There were two categories of tax increases. These two are summarized below by Politifact, using the information and analysis from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo.

Earned income credit

Walker’s budget proposal reduced the earned income credit for low-income working families that have more than one child. Since a tax credit reduces the amount of tax you owe, reducing the earned income credit means higher taxes for those families, or a smaller refund if the families owe no tax.

Walker’s proposal would have raised $41.3 million in additional revenue over two years through the earned income credit change. (The version of the budget adopted by the GOP-controlled Legislature actually made the increase $56.2 million.) Note: Senator Lazich must have known about this, after all, she is a senator.

Homestead Credit

The homestead credit is a property tax break that appears as a credit on income tax forms for low-income homeowners and renters. Walker’s budget proposal stopped the inflationary adjustment of this credit. So that means those taxpayers pay more in taxes.

Walker’s plan would have raised revenue by an additional $8.1 million over two years through the homestead credit change. (The budget adopted by the Legislature made the increase $13.6 million.) Note: Again, Senator Lazich must have known about this.

So, Walker’s budget proposal would have raised an additional $49.4 million over two years through the two tax credit changes. But because of changes by the Legislature, the adopted budget actually raises an additional $69.8 million through the two changes. Note: Senator Lazich and the Republicans raised taxes on the poorest of the poor and she doesn't even have the dignity to acknowledge it in her opinion piece.

Yet Wisconsin finds itself at a political crossroad. Democrats chose to engage in a second round of costly and unwarranted recall campaigns against four state senators and Gov. Walker. But why?

Were the officials corrupt?

Yes, Senator Lazich signed a secrecy agreement with the rest of the ALEC Republicans, as a starter. The lack of transparency and disregard for the open meetings rules are additional evidence of corruption, not to mention allowing the mining company to write the mining legislation. Or for that matter, the fact that the Governor needs a legal defense fund.

Did they ignore their duties?

Yes, they thwarted citizen input on every controversial issue from having hearings in West Allis regarding mining hundreds of miles away, to writing legislation that singles out Milwaukee Area Technical College without including any senators from Milwaukee.

No. Rather, Gov. Walker and the Legislature approved a responsible budget

provided job creation incentives for businesses,

Like the deferral of Capital Gain Reinvested in Wisconsin which will decrease the taxes paid by $36.3 million. But, not to worry because the increase to the budget by decreasing the earned income tax credit for the working poor will more than compensate for this corporate give away. Or the capital gain exclusion for Wisconsin businesses which will reduce individual income tax collections by $6,000,000 the first year it is phased in (2016-2017) and eventually reduce individual income collections by $79,000,000 when fully phased in. Does She even have a clue?

and approved laws Wisconsinites have been seeking for years.

Like concealed carry, and the right to shot the paper boy.

This column includes some of the highlights. (the highlights are in the Cap Times article, but are not included here)

The highlights are just a rehash of the faulty rationale for implementing the ALEC written bills and have little to do with the reality of Wisconsin. You can actually go the the ALEC exposed web site to see the legislation that Senator Lazich (R-ALEC) is so proud of.

So, the question is:

Is Senator Lazich ignorant?

If you think that she truly believes what she has written (or what was ghost-written by the folks who write the script of the Walker commercials) then you must conclude that she is ignorant.


Is Senator Lazich mean-spirited?

If you think that she understands and is comfortable with increasing the financial burden of the poorest among us and dividing the private sector working class from the public servant working class in order to give benefits to corporate donors, then you must conclude that she is mean-spirited.


Is she deceptive?

If you think that she knows and understands the federal statistics about private sector job loss, and knows that the poor will have more of a tax burden and the rich will have less, but she deliberately omits this information from her column, then you must conclude that she is deceptive.


Is she lazy?

If you think that she has done nothing more than introduce and support legislation that was written for her and the rest of the Republicans by the ALEC legislation team and you think that the Cap Times editorial was ghost written for her, then you must conclude that she is lazy.


Given the disconnect between her editorial and the actual reality of what has happened in Wisconsin over the past year the answer may very well be; All of the Above.



March 22, 2012 - 3:31pm