Democrat Embraces Reagan

By John Celock

The Democratic nominee for Wisconsin governor is taking a new approach in her campaign, embracing the economic policies of President Ronald Reagan.

Democratic nominee Mary Burke unveiled a commercial Thursday where she embraces Reagan’s expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit to benefit working families. She says it stands in contrast to decisions by Gov. Scott Walker (R) to provide income tax cuts for wealthy Wisconsin residents.

“You know who had a really good idea about taxes, Ronald Reagan,” Burke said in the ad. “Surprised you there didn’t I.”

Burke, a business executive and Madison school board member, said that Walker’s tax cuts have been hurting the state’s working families. Burke and Walker have been locked in a competitive gubernatorial race that has largely focused on progressive and union outrage on Walker’s decision to end collective bargaining in 2011. Walker survived a 2012 recall election launched by the labor community.

“Raising incomes taxes on working families isn’t just bad economics, it’s wrong,” Burke said in the ad.

Burke’s focus on Reagan’s tax policies stands in contrast to other Democrats who have regularly criticized Reagan era tax policies for deep tax cuts in order to stimulate economic growth. In Kansas, Democrats have been arguing against Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) tax cuts, which were drafted in part by economist Arthur Laffer, who advised Reagan on economic policy. Brownback is locked in a competitive reelection bid against Democrat Paul Davis.