MADISON, Wis. — Dr. John Perryman, a pediatrician from Walworth Wisconsin, penned an op-ed slamming Senator Ron Johnson for paying virtually nothing in state income taxes in 2017 despite reporting roughly half a million dollars in income. See more of what Dr. Perryman had to say below:


The Cap Times: Dr. John Perryman: Johnson pays his paltry ‘fair share’ while the rest of us pick up the slack


We all want to live in clean and safe communities with good public schools, safe roads and enough first responders that nobody has to wait when they are in danger. In order  to make that a reality, we each need to pay our fair share in taxes. Sadly, far too often, we’ve seen that the powerful and well connected get out of paying their fair share, passing the burden onto those of us who can’t take advantage of the system. Our own senior senator, Ron Johnson, has become the poster child for everything that is wrong with the rigged tax system.


Johnson is one of the wealthiest individuals in the Senate. According to reporting by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he made nearly $500,000 dollars in 2017 yet only paid $2,105 in state income taxes. To put that into perspective, I don’t have nearly that level of income, and I’ve paid that same amount in state income taxes in the last two months alone. For Johnson to pay so little, he should have reported an income of only $40,000, which we know isn’t true, since he collects a taxpayer salary of $174,000 a year. All of this raises questions that Johnson has refused to answer, instead choosing to lash out and defend the top 1%.


During a recent town hall, a Wisconsin truck driver told Johnson that in the first year after the 2017 tax bill — which Johnson was a deciding vote in favor of — was passed, they paid $900 more in taxes, thanks to the bill’s elimination of per diem deductions commonly claimed by truckers. And what was Johnson’s response? The top 1% (including himself) pay their “fair share.”


It doesn’t matter to Johnson that this struggling individual spends upwards of 300 days on the road, works day and night to make ends meet, and is just looking for a little fairness. No, for Johnson you have to pay to play. He withheld his support for the 2017 tax bill until a provision was added that gave himself and his biggest donors a huge tax break. Johnson saw his own personal wealth grow by at least $1 million, and two of his biggest donors, who gave $20 million to his 2016 re-election efforts, saw a tax break of $218 million in 2018 alone.


If we go back even further, Johnson had the luxury of loaning his first campaign in 2010 nearly $9 million. Immediately after, he had his company, PACUR, pay him $10 million in what he called “deferred compensation.” While Johnson legally skirted the system, we all know that this self-dealing is corruption, plain and simple.

It’s not just that Johnson avoided paying his fair share in state income taxes in 2017. Since his arrival to the Senate, Johnson has been fighting for himself, big corporations and his donors and leaving less fortunate Wisconsinites out in the cold. He has betrayed Lincoln’s vision for America, instead fighting for government of, by and for the connected. This is selfish, wrong, and is the antithesis of leadership. We deserve a United States senator who is going to do their part and work for us — not themselves and their rich donors.

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