Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Texas-Sized Problem

A week or so ago I wrote a column called “My Friend the Lawyer.” The column was based on a conversation with a friend who told me some of his clients were considering leaving Wisconsin in favor of lower-taxed states in the southwestern United States.

The response to the column was a bit unexpected.

The Democrat’s got defensive, which on its own is not unusual. I’d be a little sensitive too if I had to face my constituents after raising taxes and fees by $2.1 billion, bumping up property taxes by $1.5 billion, significantly increasing state spending and making it nearly impossible for Wisconsin businesses to create jobs.

Also not entirely surprising was a liberal special interest group attacking me for having the gall to point out that we’ve reached the tipping point in our state; people and businesses are leaving because we’re taxed too much and the job climate is only going to get worse. You would think if they really believed the Democrat’s budget was good for economic development, job creation and the future of our state they would want the media to remain focused on the budget and all the good is was doing. In reality the Democrats and like-minded third party groups are talking about anything but the budget.

The really unexpected bit started to arrive in my e-mail inbox a day or so after the article was posted on my website. Mixed in with contacts from my senate district were three e-mails from Texas. Not the Town of Texas, Wisconsin in Marathon County, represented by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, but the State of Texas; Austin, Lubbock and Sachse to be precise.

Unlike the Democrats who attacked my column and my take on their budget, the Texans liked it. They appreciated that someone recognized the benefits of lower taxes. One person went as far to express disappointment that the Democrat’s tax and spend policies are “not only ruining wonderful places like Wisconsin, they have infiltrated [Washington] DC, and will soon have our national economy, and worse the entire country on its knees if they have their way with us.”

If people in Texas understand what is happening here in Wisconsin why can’t our legislative Democrats understand?

If you were having trouble making ends meet, living pay check to pay check, would you go out and buy a more expensive car and increase your monthly payment? I would hope not, but that’s what the Democrats did this year. Their budget increased state spending 6.8%. To make matters worse, this week, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau published a report indicating our state’s structural deficit is now over $2.0 billion.

So in the last few weeks, the Democrats negotiated a deal amongst themselves to increase taxes, increase spending and grow the deficit and are now pretending like it never happened. They have shifted their focus to other things, like keeping an arm’s length away from $5.0 billion in new taxes before their constituents figure who is responsible.

Maybe if Senator Russ Decker and the Democrats would have focused more on the 1,700 people living in the Town of Texas, Wisconsin we wouldn’t have to worry about good Wisconsin businesses moving to the Lone Star State. Until they realize we have to keep job creating businesses right here at home, we are going to have a Texas-sized problem on our hands for years to come.


Anonymous said...

As if that weren't enough, the country has a "Chinese-Sized" problem - they can bankrupt us on a dime by turning in their treasuries and saying enough is enough- sure, we like to tell ouselves that our economy drives the world - but the reality is we have an economy built on leverage and the leverage is getting sucked out quickly. What is left is the house of Goldman running th country, with soicialists at the helm in Washington.

God help us all!

rex sikes said...

I can only hope at sometime people legislators understand that the people need to wokr, to develop and to grow ... and under the current administrative climate we have been over burdened, over taxed, out of work and more and more opportunity has been taken away. The Wisconsin people really can't take much more of this, change must occur.

Thanks for being a champion of opportunity, the film manufacturing business and the people.

We can't drive the movie business away, the auto business away and many other business opportunities and tax WI residents as we have and not expect them to flee. And fleeing the are and have been.