Faced with a $4.6 billion budget gap (or whatever unbelievably large number is being bandied about these days), we're constantly being told by Republicans and Democrats alike that we can no longer afford wasteful and/or unnecessary government programs... you know, extravagances like full-day kindergarten, children's health care and affordable higher education (or in Wisconsin, basic collective bargaining rights for public employees).
But you know what we apparently can afford? A new tax exemption on the sale of beer from small domestic breweries, yet more tax incentives for the aerospace industry, a new B&O tax exemption for certain in-state manufacturers, and the tens of millions of dollars of other special interest tax breaks that have already been introduced this session... a total adding up to over $97 million of lost revenues in Fiscal Year 2013, according to a tally released today by the Our Economic Future Coalition.
Health insurance subsidies for small children? No. Tax subsidies for small breweries? Yes. Nice to know our legislators have their priorities in place.