In an absolutely stunning move, our State Senate has decided that the best way to handle a downturn in the economy is to spend more money and raise taxes on businesses.
Wisconsin Senate Democrats formally broke with Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle and Assembly Republicans on economic development today, recommending an immediate $50-million boost in highway spending and development of the KRM commuter rail line between Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee.
The Senate Democrats' package means the Legislature is not likely to pass any major economic development incentives before the session ends in mid-March.
"This is something that Senate Democrats want to push," said Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Weston). The Democrats' package would also spend $5 million more to train welders and health-care workers, give vocational colleges $1.3 million more in state aid, and spend $15.1 million more to subsidize child-care costs for middle-income parents.
Decker said the new package would immediately let "Wisconsin companies hire Wisconsin workers," giving them jobs that "can't go to China." Boosting highway spending by $50 million alone would result in 2,5000 new well-paying jobs, he said.
Decker said he hasn't seen details of the Democratic governor's $15-million package of tax credits, breaks and exemptions. Doyle has said his proposals, embraced by Republicans who control the state Assembly, would help create the next generation of jobs in technology and start-up companies.
Democratic Sens. John Lehman of Racine and Bob Wirch of Kenosha both said the KRM commuter rail line would be paid for a $13 increase in car rental costs in southeast Wisconsin and is backed by leaders from both parties.
Decker and Sen. Pat Kreitlow (D-Chippewa Falls) estimated that their economic development package would cost about $180 million - $90 million in the year that ends June 30 and another $90 million the following year. The money would be generated by ending a corporate tax loophole that allows businesses to create out-of-state companies that don't pay Wisconsin taxes.
That's right folks. When your family is going through a downtime, do you go out and immediately spend more money and expect your problems to disappear?
Businesses are struggling, so the Democrats plan on hammering them with another $180 Million in taxes.
Families are struggling, so the Democrats plan on hammering them with a $13 tax increase on car rentals.
The Senate Democrats clearly have no grasp on reality.
Who is advising them to do this?