Saturday, January 22, 2011

Discredited Proposal

Scott Walker thinks his business tax credit proposal is going to ignite job creation throughout the state. We should, we're told, lower the tax burden on small businesses, allow them more of their earnings, let them reinvest in their companies, resulting in job creation. Sounds pretty good. Superficially, at least.

The Business Journal details the plan, "The proposal calls for a 15 percent tax credit, to be applied to future tax payments, for small businesses making $250,000 a year or less. The credit would fade out for businesses making $250,000 to $500,000 a year." The Journal Sentinel elaborated, "Businesses with gross sales of less than $500,000 a year and an income tax liability could qualify for the proposed tax credit." Although, PolitiFact has found Walker's claim that 98 percent of small businesses will be able to take advantage of the tax credit is "false".

Growing business, in general, is a laudable goal. But isn't this the "picking winners" game that Republicans abhor whenever Democrats try to make such programs or initiatives more effective and/or more heavily invested? Plus, comparatively, isn't this really, in the greater scheme of things, ineffectual trifle which will barely make a dent into unemployment? And, relative to the subsidization provided to our "too big to fail" entities, the $40 million per year statewide tax credit (obviously inflated for appearance), amounts to a spit in the bucket. This amounts to about .0002 percent of Wisconsin's gross state product.

This isn't a "game changer." This is merely another giveaway to the select few who will take advantage of the credit. Yet another loophole in the tax code. And this from a Republican administration that supposedly hates taxes and wants them simplified.

As Madison's Channel 3000 discovered, for most businesses able to participate in the tax credit, the savings would range from a few hundred dollars up to $2,000. It's nice to have a few extra bucks. Yet, no business owner is going to hire staff due to an extra $2,000.

Come on, Scott. 250,000 is a large number of jobs. The clock is ticking. Thus far, your suggestions are real stinkers. If you're serious about creating that many jobs in your first term, you really need to lose the partisanship and your party line. You could have had billions of dollars of investment - trains and wind turbines - flowing into the state creating jobs, but you had to settle old political scores and push through bills that pat your party brethren on the back rather than accomplish job creation for Wisconsin.

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