We can restore Wisconsin to economic strength with policies that reward innovation and “in-sourcing.” Family farms, small businesses, tourism, Great Lakes-centered enterprises, and UW-system patents generate prosperity that stays in Wisconsin. We need to stop rewarding out-sourcing, foreign developers grabbing our farmlands, and the legalized blackmail that happens when a company demands tax incentives and still moves jobs out of state or overseas.
- lead the region and nation in job growth;
- reward entrepreneurs;
- develop sustainable industries such as tourism and medical technology.
Did you know that most of the largest companies in Wisconsin pay no state income tax even when they are making record profits? This shifts the costs of public services and infrastructure to wage-earners, small business owners, home owners, and family farmers. A fair tax policy means everyone pays a fair share. Companies use our highways, ports, and rail lines and benefit from our schools and universities. They need to help pay for them. Fair taxation will strengthen Wisconsin by encouraging investment in local communities and putting more money back into the pockets of those who live and spend here.
[graphs showing distribution of taxes by income bracket]
Here’s where taxes are now. Here’s where they should be.
Rather than redefining “small business,” allowing foreign developers to buy up huge tracts of farmland, and deregulating mining, it’s time for policies that are good for Wisconsinites. Letting multinational corporations set our public policy weakens our economy when companies move profits offshore and dodge paying their share of public costs. By restoring farmland protection, wetlands protection, and start-up funding for businesses with 25 or fewer employees, we can rebuild a sustainable economy that respects our way of life, from camping “Up North” to family businesses in the city and countryside.
Money intended for schools, universities, assistance to families, and the state’s rainy day fund should be used for those purposes, not for unneeded highway projects. Borrowing money for highway projects on an adjustable-rate loan leads to economic uncertainty for Wisconsin, just as the adjustable-rate mortgages led some home-buyers to financial collapse. Substituting one kind of debt for another is not a real solution to long-term economic stability.
[Video of small business owner—pride in creating jobs and being involved in local community; talk about the percentage of their income they pay in income tax versus that paid by GE Medical, Mercury Marine, Kimberly-Clark, etc. IWF has the stats on that, but they are all zero, except for K-C, which is about 0.6% if I remember correctly.]