By Jack E. Lohman
This may not be mainstream thinking, but it seems silly to me to tax corporations only to have them pass those taxes back to us in higher product prices. And worse, after they’ve added their exorbitant costs for tax avoidance lawyers and accountants, which also get passed on to consumers. Or worse yet, they move out of the state and take their jobs with them.
As bad as the nation’s economy is, our patriotic CEOs keep outsourcing our jobs. Good guys these.
Anyway, let’s make corporate taxes zero, at least for “good” corporations that are loyal to Wisconsin. And then let’s brag like hell about it to attract other corporations and jobs to the state, and keep those that are here.
Base the zero-tax rate on whether corporate CEOs and executives remain in the state and pay taxes, and don’t outsource jobs to other states or countries. But in the process let’s ensure that they can’t pay their CEOs through “management” companies in another state to avoid personal taxes here.
Corporations currently pay only 3% of our state revenues, the third lowest collection in the country. Let’s be the lowest. Increase my taxes by 3% and make theirs zero. I’ll get it back in lower product prices, and we’ll have more tax-paying jobs in our state, which may even offset the need to increase mine.
Two of the things that drive companies out of the state are taxes and higher-than-normal health care costs. A third is labor costs, but that’s an issue for another day.
But our business leaders seem to support the very pay-to-play political system that perpetuates these problems. Wisconsin Manufacturers Commerce loves it, even though it drives up taxes and protects the insurance bureaucracy that drives up health care. But WMC also sells insurance and has insurance members, a potential conflict that could be detrimental to its other members.
Would companies like Miller Brewery be considering leaving the state if we had zero corporate taxes and a Healthy Wisconsin to reign in health care costs? I doubt it. Will politicians fix either system? Not without pressure. They like the current cash flow to their campaign coffers.
Yes, we should blame the health care industry, but more so, we must blame the politicians that are taking cash dollars to write or block laws that benefit their campaign contributors. Blame the Democrats for not pushing zero taxation for corporations, and the Republicans for blocking health care reform. Blame them both for passing laws that send taxpayer assets to favored corporations, which in the process drives up all taxes for corporations and taxpayers.
But also blame the corporate CEOs and WMC for perpetuating this corrupt political system. There is a high price to pay for political corruption, and we need only look at what it’s done for Mexico.
We’re heading there too. Get used to it.
Few corporate leaders would tolerate an employee taking cash from a vendor on the side, and trading corporate assets in return. They’d fire him, maybe even have him jailed.
Yet they don’t think twice when sending cash to politicians that do exactly the same thing. They give away taxpayer assets to fill their campaign coffers, and that seems okay.
Are we having fun yet? At what point in time are we going to stop politicians from giving away our state and country? Can anybody look at the current economy and claim that campaign contributions have no role in the tumble?
Would, you know, “regulation” have prevented the current money crisis? Or is the same “free market” that got us into it, going to get us out of it?
And while regulation won’t work with OPEC, the U.S. does have options if the politicians would get out of Exxon’s pocket.
As a disclosure, I’m retired, employed by no one, and I like it that way. I’ve paid more than my share of taxes, and I would hope for decreases in my retirement years. Mainly I don’t like the political corruption that will ultimately destroy America, and I don’t like CEOs and politicians in my pocket.