I’d suggest that the WMC take a look at this report and stop whining and start representing and encouraging entrepreneurship in our state.I'm not sure how Mr Man feels about our 30th ranking, but I'd like to be clear about my feelings on the subject: 30th is pretty mediocre. We're not even in the top half. We have some serious catching up to do, and 30 is nothing to gloat about. There are no laurels here on which to rest.
You should go over there and see his numbers yourself, but I'll excerpt a few here for discussion:
Where we aren’t doing as well as our #30 ranking according to the report:The thing is, these are all areas where Democrats have driven up state spending and, concomitantly, taxes, to a point where business is detrimentally impacted. This is a state spending issue entirely, and were the state to lower its taxes and spending, our ranking would most surely go up. Indeed, WMC itself pointed this out back on November 6:
* Property Taxes as % of Income -42 (4.14%)
* Top Personal Income Tax -40 (7.75%)
* State Gas Tax - 41 (how about the cost of tolls in lower ranked states?) .329
* State Diesel Tax -42 (.329)
* Workers Comp/$100 wages – 37
* Unemployment Tax (% of pay) - 33 (tie) 2.47
* Top Corp Cap Gain Tax - 33 (tie) 7.9%
* State Corp Income Tax – 32 (tie) 7.9%
* Electric Utility Costs - 31 (tie) (how about water costs?)
Several weeks ago in this column, WMC President Jim Haney recounted the slide that Wisconsin has taken in comparative analyses of the respective states’ business climates. Specifically, in late September, Forbes Magazine announced that Wisconsin ranked 48th out of the 50 states in its business climate rating — down from 43rd in the 2007 ranking. Calling for political climate change in Wisconsin, he challenged policy makers to focus on job creation rather than continuing to enact costly regulatory mandates and higher taxes on job creators. [...]The blame for Wisconsin's ranking here is not WMC -- it is Wisconsin's Democrats whose spending policies inevitably raise taxes and put the state in a worse fiscal position.
When we talk with WMC members, they consistently tell us that taxes and business regulations hamper their competitiveness and impede their ability to grow and create jobs. Ironically, increasing the business tax burden, as occurred earlier this year, almost invariably reduces government revenues. Conversely, a growing vibrant economy with more workers working at higher wages will increase state revenues. The Partnership for a Stronger Economy needs to focus on these two important areas — taxes and regulation — to improve the business climate and strengthen the long term prospects for our economy.
As our legislature continues their work, one lesson from page 19 of the study is crucial:
The relative governmental costs among the states will impact where people live and work, that is, where they seek opportunity. That most certainly is illustrated by where people are moving to and from among the states.
*As a disclaimer, I should state that I have some tenuous connections to Jim Haney, WMC's president, but these ties have in no way affected my position vis-a-vis state spending. I've been against it at every level.