Monday, April 22, 2024

Forget the gas tax.  Let’s repeal the income tax in Wisconsin 


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With the Wisconsin gubernatorial race currently underway, there are a plethora of issues on people’s minds.  Critical race theory, school choice, inflation, gas prices, election integrity, and crime are the main issues driving everyone’s campaign. With just under a month to go in this primary, Rebecca Kleefisch and Tim Michels are the two clear front runners and its looking to be a tight race.  We have seen ad after ad from the Michels campaign highlighting his strengths as a businessman and touting his endorsement from President Trump.  Then, you have Rebecca Kleefisch highlighting her credentials as the #2 to the most conservative governor in WI history, Scott Walker. Objectively, both candidates are overwhelmingly qualified to become the next governor of WI in spite of some negativity that comes with any competitive campaign.  As conservatives and Republicans, frankly, we have come a long way when the biggest issue separating the two candidates right now is a 30 cent per gallon gas tax.  That said, while the gas tax is something that is on everyone’s minds at the moment (especially with the price of gas), what if this whole argument misses a much larger point all together?  What if this argument is completely off base and we are missing a huge opportunity?  In short, see meme below 🙂

“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit if justice is no virtue.” -Barry Goldwater.

Allow me to explain why leftists are so successful.  The left views every issue is good vs evil.  They are very empassioned in their delivery of the position that they hold. They believe in the outcome they are pursuing so much that they will take it as far as they can and without compromise.  This allows for more room for negotiation on their position if they are willing to make some concessions.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: what the hell does this have ANYTHING to do with abolishing the income tax?  Well, to many on the left, and even in the middle, this is an “extreme” position to take.  However, lets challenge that narrative with some basic logic.

  1. Most people don’t like paying taxes.

Thank you captain obvious, but aside from the true believers in “taxation is the price we pay to live in a civilized society” most people would not pay income taxes if they didn’t have to.  Thats why we need to switch the conversation from tax “cuts” to “eliminating taxes.”  When we talk about eliminating the income tax, that affects everyone and not just the rich.  The media is unable to spin eliminating a tax and turning it into a “tax cut for the rich.”  It’s an easy retort.  No one should have to pay income taxes while having to pay property taxes, sales taxes and all other taxes while trying to put food on the table. Abolishing the income tax affects the poor and middle class  the most when it is no longer deducted from their paycheck.

  • Most people don’t like it when someone else pays less taxes than they do especially if the other guy is rich

When it was discovered that Mitt Romney paid only 15% in taxes, it further solidified Obama’s smear campaign against him.  It’s hard for your average blue collar worker to relate to a millionaire who pays less taxes than they do.  However, that same millionaire could come out and say that “no one should have money stolen from their paychecks that the government refuses to use responsibly.”  That’s a message that Blue collar voters can relate to.  While he didn’t advocate for repealing the income tax, Donald Trump proved that you can be a billionaire that pays harly any income taxes and still appeal to the blue collar voter.  Nevermind the gas tax: Imagine telling wisconsin construction and factory workers and those hurt most by the Biden economy/inflation that the state income tax will no longer be taken from their check.  Our local economies would explode with new jobs and investment from other states.

  • Abolishing the income tax would create an unprecedented magnet for new business in Wisconsin and create thousands of jobs

Allow me to state another obvious, but again, if this was so “obvious,” it would be done already.  All we have to do is look to Florida and Texas and the obvious is right there. Texas constantly leads the nation with economic growth due to their friendly business climate, but also the certainty of no additional income taxes.  It’s no wonder why Texas Averages 120 new people a day to Austin alone.  New York, one of the highest taxed states, is seeing a massive exodus with Florida being the largest recipient than any other state.

  • It would force state and local governments to tighten their belt and seriously look at spending cuts.

Reducing the size of Government should be the goal of all conservatives.  What better way of doing that than to limit its resources and make sure they take care of their essential roles and nothing more.  People seem to forget that, aside from taking our money, they use that money for things that government should not be doing in the first place.  Texas has a part time legislature that only meets once a year.  That is merely one example of a state that thrives because its government simply doesn’t have time to interfere in the marketplace.  If the politicians simply aren’t there, they can’t do much to disrupt their lives.  I believe that we should look to states like Texas as a model for less government and empowering individuals to do more for themselves when they are left alone.

It would also localize funding for schools and local governments, similar to Florida and Texas, and with Universal school choice on the ballot, wasted dollars in failing schools will be no more – rather than some localities subsidizing other localities who overspend OR don’t need the money in the first place from the state.

  • Even if full repeal doesn’t occur, pursuing repeal allows for room to negotiate and lower taxes as much as possible

Think back to the Barry Goldwater quote about pursuing liberty vs moderation.  We acknowledged that the left will go as far as they possibly can with an issue and come out successful in the end.  Even with Roe vs Wade overturned, New York now has abortion legal until birth and other states in the northeast and west coast will likely follow.  The ultimate goal must always be to keep as much money as possible in the people’s pockets in the same way that the left needs abortion to be legal for as long as possible.  It gives us more room to negotiate for a level of taxation that is better than what we have – even if we can’t get full repeal right now.  Maybe Wisconsinites aren’t comfortable with 0% at this time, but perhaps they are comfortable with the proposed flat tax put forth by the maciver institute.  Even the state of ILLINOIS has a flat tax and if they can do it, why can’t Wisconsin?  Let’s start at ZERO and work fromthere…Remember, its not the government’s money in the first place.  Its our money and when the government taxes more than what is absolutely necessary, it’s theft.  If Tim Michels and Rebecca Kleefisch want to put forth a bold agenda, they need to embrace substantial tax reform in WI that will make us the most competitive state in the midwest.


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