cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Am I the only person who is exasperated with our state and national political/tax scene? I doubt that very much.
As I watch the 'Amazing Obama' versus 'Deserving Hillary' race unfold, I see a real race as to which can promise greater tax increases/profit confiscation to the tune of TRILLIONS of dollars. What is even more amazing to me is the blatant approach both are taking...coupled with the seeming lack of perception their two groups of supporters have of what they're getting into. These two people are socialist/populists so far as I can see. There is the inevitable class warfare coupled with promises that neither will ever be able to keep...thank goodness! And, it seems, with every passing day, that Barack Obama will wrest this nomination away from Hillary Clinton unless the Clinton 'machine' is able to do him in...and that cannot be discounted.
Then, I read of our state's revenue collection shortfalls totaling something in the range of $650 Million by the middle of next year. And, I hear the 'solutions' offered by Governor Doyle and by the Republicans.
On the one hand, we are collecting $650 Million less than projected due to an economic downturn. That economic downturn is, in large part, caused by heavy taxation in our state. We have all learned, if we'll admit it to ourselves, that lower tax rates increase revenue collections since they stimulate the economy. Let us keep more of what we earn, and we'll find ways to earn even more than we were before, and tax collections increase.
Governor Doyle would combine his already once-defeated tax on hospitals (which will exacerbate the health care cost crisis), and delay some of the tax decreases that were part of the so-called 'bipartisan' budget passed just a few short months ago. In essence, his solution is to raise taxes to get us out of our economic slump.
Fortunately, the Republicans are, so far at least, saying there can be no new taxes and there must be spending reductions instead. Sen. Alberta Darling is releasing today her "Stay In Wisconsin" program. That program represents her agenda aimed at keeping seniors, students and working families in Wisconsin. We talked just days ago about Wisconsin's outflow of population. Her package of proposals would eliminate the Estate Tax, increase the Property Tax Credit for seniors, eliminate tax on Social Security income, increase Tax Exemption limits, make Student Loan interest fully deductible, along with a few other things including evidenced-based health care reform.
Probably the biggest boost would come from what Sen. Darling calls 'Invest Wisconsin 2.0'. That includes the following:
a 1% across the board income tax cut for all Wisconsin taxpayers
Capital Gains reinvestment
Angel Investment tax credit
Education tax credit
Green Data Center tax credit
NanoSTEM research initiative
Nanotechnology tax credit
Product liability reform
Expert Witness reform
The Governor seems intent on raising taxes to increase revenue while many Republicans are pointing in the direction of economic stimulation as the solution.
I don't know about you, but I am just about at my tax paying limit. I'd much rather help pay for a new elementary school in Germantown than add more money to the state's tax collection coffers. The return on investment seems much better if we invest locally while our state stimulates the economy instead of increase taxes.
By the way, the idea of reducing expenditures when income lags is something that just about everyone of us has had to to do at one time or another. Isn't it the state's turn to practice that simple budget technique for awhile?