Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, revealed her economic plan if elected to the governor’s seat Tuesday, which involves increasing funding to the University of Wisconsin System, a day after many contenders for the Democratic nomination promised to repeal tax cuts supported by Gov. Scott Walker. 

In her plan, Vinehout also said she will keep tuition low and encourage students to complete their bachelor’s degree.

“We must recognize not all smart students are rich students,” Vinehout said in her plan. “We have to increase our levels of student aid so that students from low income families are not denied an opportunity.”

The plan also said Vinehout would work to increase access to affordable health care and to “resurrect” high-speed rail options for Wisconsin.

Vinehout said her plan recognizes the public sector and the private sectors are not “enemies” and each needs the other to thrive.

“Our current economic plan is to starve the public sector,” Vinehout said in her plan. “The theory goes this way: If taxes are reduced, regulations are eliminated and programs are slashed, the private sector will be set free and thrive. The facts don’t support that theory.”

However, Michael Hintze, Tea Party Patriots’ Wisconsin state coordinator, said evidence and a number of economists have shown lowering taxes and cutting government spending will improve the economy. He said the unemployment rate is not dropping because of the uncertainty the recalls have created in Wisconsin’s business climate. 

On Monday, Milwaukee Mayor and gubernatorial contender Tom Barrett promised that if elected, he would end many of the tax breaks for corporations passed under Walker’s administration. A campaign statement said Walker has delivered $2.3 billion in tax breaks to the rich and corporations throughout the next 10 years, while at the same time raising taxes about $50 million for seniors.   

“Tom Barrett will restore tax fairness by ending tax cuts for the super rich and corporate special interests and restoring tax credits for seniors and the working poor,” Phil Walzak, Barrett’s spokesperson said. 

Scot Ross, spokesperson for former Dane County Executive and current gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Falk, said Falk, like Barrett, wants to end tax credits Walker put in place for corporations, while getting rid of the “tax hikes” he said Walker has imposed on seniors and poor families. 

Secretary of State Doug La Follette, who is also running for the Democratic nomination, said he would also support closing the “Las Vegas” tax loophole, a $30 to $40 million special tax break for out-of-state corporations. He said the same amount of money was cut from the technical college system, which he said plays a bigger role in the state’s economy since they give students the skills employers want.

While Vinehout did not say in her plan whether she will support getting rid of the tax cuts for corporations, the plan did say Wisconsin must reevaluate its revenue structure. If the state decides to keep tax credits, Vinehout said in her plan that it needs to ensure companies are accountable for the jobs they create. 

However, Hintze warned repealing the tax cuts would cause the employers to leave the state “in droves,” citing what is happening now in Illinois. 

“If Barrett or Falk get in and undo what Walker has done, the state would flip 180 degrees and we would see business go somewhere else,” Hintze said. 

Walker’s campaign did not return requests for comment.