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Doyle says Tea Party rally protested middle-class tax breaks

Gov. Jim Doyle says those at Wednesday's Tea Party rally at the State Capitol were protesting "the biggest middle class tax breaks we have seen in decades in this country."

Organizers estimated the crowd at 5,000. State officials said police were prepared to handle 5,000, but they wouldn't give an official estimate.

State Democratic Party director Joe Wineke derided the claim that the Madison rally and others like it stemmed from a grass movement.

The conservative FreedomWorks group promoted the nationwide protests, and the Americans for Prosperity sponsored the Madison rally with the help of state Republicans.

Congressman Paul Ryan of Janesville, the leading Republican on the House Budget Committee, told the rally that Democrats just want you to "pay up and shut up."

Doyle's proposed state budget includes $1.7 billion in tax and fee increases, on top of another $1.2 billion in tax hikes approved in February.

It will also result in local tax hikes averaging $91 for homeowners next December.

But unless you make $300,000 a year, Doyle says "You're not going to face any kind of a tax increase."

The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee will start considering Doyle's budget today.