RACINE — Fewer than 24 hours after a group of protesters shut down traffic on Main Street, drivers may have noticed a giant inflatable chicken on Monument Square.
The chicken was intended to look like President Donald Trump. The event was organized by the group Tax March, which is opposed to the recent tax bill signed into law.
The group brought together community activists and some business owners to voice their opposition to the tax bill.
State Sen. Bob Wirch, D-Somers, spoke at the event, saying the new bill is bad for the economy.
“Republicans broke their promises not to touch Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid,” Wirch said. “There are cuts to all three of those programs buried in this tax cut.”
The event took place near House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Downtown Racine office.
Wirch said Ryan has abandoned the middle class and that it is “time to make a change in the next election.”
“I was around when Paul Ryan came into this area and he masqueraded as a moderate in those days,” Wirch said. “Now since he has gerrymandered a district, made it more Republican, he’s showing his true colors and doing things to help the rich.”
Although there is not much Wirch can do on the state level, he said there are changes that could be made during the next budget in 2019.
“I would like to see an increase in the earned income tax credit,” Wirch said. “Now that’s something both sides say they agreed on … even Ryan has said good things about the earned income tax credit. So I’m hopeful that we can come together on an increase to that wonderful program.”
Wirch said he would also like to see an increase in the minimum wage, but either change would help low-income people.
“Wisconsin leads the nation in people falling out of the middle class,” Wirch said. “This tax cut makes the situation worse … it’s time for us to put the country first and put aside party politics and that means compromise.”
Alec Zimmerman, communications director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said the new tax law is going to have a positive impact on Wisconsin residents.
“The reforms of Speaker Ryan and Wisconsin Republicans will save the typical Wisconsin family over $2,500," Zimmerman said in a statement. "While Democrats think Washington knows best how to spend the hard-earned money of our state’s taxpayers, the Republican tax reform bill putting money back in the pockets of Wisconsin families.”