Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Doyle's budget plan remarkably sound

I'm reading over Doyle's budget plan and shaking my head - because, overall, it actually seems to make sense. Especially when compared to California's current budget gridlock, this is particularly refreshing.

Instead of the tired old (typically Republican) insistence on across the board tax cuts being the savior of us all, there's actually a proposal to raise taxes on those enjoying the top 1% income bracket. There are spending cuts which may result in some painful decisions for the affected organizations, but may well be necessary for the time being. He's also included funding for commuter rail (praise be that this is finally catching on nationwide). And the icing on this money cake? A cigarette tax hike and another proposed statewide smoking ban.

Two things in the budget likely to raise the most hackles are the income tax hike and the early release of certain "low risk" felons. The former strikes me as a non-issue - those people bringing in the most money should be taxed proportionally. Rep. Robin Vos, R-Caledonia, took umbrage at this proposal, however, saying that "the income tax increase would strike at small business owners who already have difficulty maintaining or creating jobs." Maybe I'm missing something, but how exactly would this hike for the top 1% of earners affect small businesses? I'm willing to bet that most of them don't make enough to qualify for this in the first place. If someone can better explain this to me, though, I'm all ears.

And as for the early release program, done with the appropriate amount of thoughtful consideration, I can see this as being the right (if most controversial) step. Our prisons are wildly overpopulated as it is, and letting so-called low risk inmates out early could help solve that problem and save the state money. The trick, of course, lies in making sure these people have proper support once on the outside, so that they aren't as likely to reoffend.

I'm hopeful that Wisconsin can get this budget into place and make the necessary choices and moves to see our state through the economic downturn with as little pain as possible. It helps that we don't have the ridiculous 2/3rds majority rule for passage as in California, but we do have bitter partisan battles, so who knows. One thing's for sure: We need smart, swift action to stay on track - not petty power struggles and old, tired ideas.


Anonymous said...

Many small business file as S Corporation, which means that any profit the business makes is reported to the shareholder,and is taxed at individual rates. There are taxed on the profit, even if they did not take cash out of the business. There are ways to lessen the impact, but to say that not many small business owners generate more than $300,000 profit is naive.

I can tell that you have never

Anonymous said...

run a business

Anonymous said...

Just remember money is moble and so are the people who have it. More money and capital is leaving this state than is comming in. You want to increase jobs, cut the corporate tax rate and investment rates in Wisconsin and you will see capital being moved here. But to raise captial gain taxes and income taxes on people who own sucessful business in plain stupid.

Pete Gruett said...

If your small business is netting you more than 300 grand a year, you're not in trouble. If it isn't, your taxes stay the same.

There's way more to a business climate than taxes and, whatever their investment rate, states that are beating Wisconsin in the race to the bottom tend to shed a lot of their quality of life on the way. I'd rather live in a better, if more expensive, place to live than Alabama North.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me ? A budget created in the dead of night and out of 16 people on the finance committee, only 4 are republican and NONE of them were invited. How is this a "transparent" government ? What are they trying to hide ?

Drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. Oh and we will subsidize their education into the UW system that we taxpayers support. How about being 1% liable for something and if you have deeper pockets you will end up paying ! what happened to the rule of law ? $1.5 million for the Whitewater Opera House ? Like we really need to renovate that ?

In these bad times most people are tightening their belts. A 7 % increase in spending even after an increase in taxes of a whopping $3 billion ? Now we will have another deficit this year even though we are $6.5 billion in the hole now ? Please explain this to me ??????

The democrats are anti-business. period. the "soak the rich" schemes backfire all the time. businesses move and then they don't get the income. Instead, government does better charging less taxes. How come the red states are in financial hot-waters ? Because they better understand economics.

Join our grass-roots drive to recall Mr. Doyle ..... . he is incompetent and time to shove him out !

The Lost Albatross