Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
President Obama, the champion of class warfare rhetoric*, has been chanting the mantra: tax the rich, as a solution to our deficit, poverty, and social class disparity for as long as I can remember. Obama also throws around the phrase fair share to justify tax rates that take more than half their income. And we really should call his attack what it is: tax the successful. Republicans and economists counter with how taxing the successful (rich ) will harm small businesses, who are the majority of job creators in America. Being a Conservative, I side with the Republicans, I view fairness as taxing all income at the same rate.
But one consequence of taxing the rich I have yet to hear anyone mention: who will be the consumers if they have less income once their taxes are paid? Who will be building a new home or hiring the local remodeler? Who will be purchasing that new car or new furniture? Who will be dining out every weekend? Or having their hair and nails done, stopping for a latte, or hiring the yard and cleaning help? Who will be able to afford vacationing in Wisconsin or at popular tourist attractions across America?
American tourism already seems down in the U.S., at least from what I have observed. Hearing a foreign language or accent at Yellowstone or Grand Canyon National Parks is the norm. Last fall, my sister and I observed that Disney World would really be hurting if it weren't for the Brazilians spending their dollars at the Kingdom of the Mouse. An American accent was in the minority at all locations.
But it isn't just the business owners' ledger that takes the hit when tourists cut back, its all the employees at these businesses that feel it too. If Disney, the largest employer in the U.S., the National Parks or even Wisconsin Dells, for that matter, experience a downturn, then area hotels don't need as many housekeepers. Restaurants cut hours or move employees to part time. Peripheral tourist attractions such as raft rides or water parks lose business.
If consumers cut back, because they don't have as much disposable income as they used to, the carpet, furniture, clothing, and tech. stores suffer a loss. That loss is passed on to the employees; the management cuts hours, sometimes pay, sometimes benefits, and often terminates employees.
Of course the truly wealthy will still do and buy these things or just move out of the country, but the $200,000 - $250,000 earners, who file their business taxes on their personal tax returns, will be hurting.
And if you think you aren't one of those upper 2% earners, so your paycheck will be untouched, think again: ObamaCare taxes are coming our way in 2013. More than likely the Payroll Tax Cut will expire, resulting in less take home pay.
So if all of us have less money in our pockets, who will be the purchasers? How will that effect your job?
Contact your Representatives and Senators
Find your U.S. Senators by last name
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (202) 224-5323
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (202) 224-5653
Find your U.S. House of Representatives member by state
House Representative James Sensenbrenner Washington D.C. (202) 225-5101, Brookfield (262) 784-1111
House Speaker Boehner phone line (513) 779-5400
Get in the Christmas spirit this Sunday evening with the Brookside choir and orchestra performance of The Light of the World The musical.will be a celebration of the greatest Christmas gift of all: God sending His Son to be Savior of the world and reconcile sinful man to God.
They call it the Fiscal Cliff. Falling off it is seen as disastrous to the U.S. economy and will cause us to fall back into recession. (Did we ever leave it?) If we do nothing to avert the cliff, we fall off on New Year's Eve.
But what is the Fiscal Cliff? Primarily, it is the end to the Bush Tax Cuts they band-aided back into law in December of 2010. It also includes expiration of the Payroll Tax Cut, which has little support from either side of the aisle. If you remember, it reduced the Social Security payroll deduction from 6.2% to 4.2% so workers would have a bit more take home pay. (Did you even notice?) However, it also reduced the amount of money flowing into the Social Security coffers--a bad idea for an entitlement already facing solvency issues. The $700 billion or so Doc Fix, military reductions, and some token spending cuts also part of the mix.
Our Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner wrote, Don't trade a cliff for an iceberg. In it he points out,
Currently, the US debt is on track to reach 187 percent of GDP by 2035. But unlike Greece, there is no "Germany" to bail us out. If our debt reaches this level, an international economic crisis would ensue.
The President and Congressional Democrats have called for a “balanced” approach to reducing the deficit.
But their approach has been anything but balanced. The President’s “offer” included $1.6 trillion dollars in taxes and $400 billion in spending cuts. That’s neither balanced nor helpful for our economy. When spending on entitlements is 62 percent of our budget, the President’s focus on tax increases is not going to cut it.
We can’t solve our debt problem without economic growth, and tax hikes could cost 710,000 jobs according to an independent Ernst &Young study.
It is not often a state gets a do-over, but it looks like Wisconsin will have another opportunity to woo Gogebic Taconite to open an iron mine--with its 700 good paying jobs--in Ashland County.
With Republicans gaining a healthier majority in the State Senate, passage of the Assembly's mining bill for streamlining of the mining approval process is likely. And with a passed mining bill, Gogebic Taconite says they are still interested in Wisconsin.
Because State Senate Republicans are no longer dependent on their weakest link, Sen. Dale Schultz, they should be able to pass the streamlined mining approval bill. Ironically, now that passage seems inevitable, Democrat Senator Tim Cullen now invokes Thomas Jefferson's appeal for "broad support for sweeping change"! In Sunday's paper, Cullen made his plea for not ramming through legislation with a slim majority.
Cullen's plea, however, seems very out of character with Democrats' actions, both in state and in Washington. After all, didn't Cullen join with the other Democrat State Senators when the 14 fled the state to deny the Senate Republicans from having a quorum during the Act 10 battle? And though he flirted with leaving the Democrat caucus in July, 3 days later he rejoined them with a promise of chairing 2 newly created committees--one being Mining.
As for Democrats in the U.S. Senate, didn't Harry Reid tweak and torture Senate rules to pass Obamacare on the slimmest of majorities? Hardly following Thomas Jefferson's appeal for broad support for sweeping change! Cullen stood with both Obama and Tammy Baldwin in the last election, so I guess that shows how much Cullen really values Thomas Jefferson's words of wisdom.
Since the introduction of iron mining would be a great boon for all of Wisconsin, I would like to think Democrats could put partisanship aside and do what is best for the state. Keep in mind the mining bill includes environmental protections, and iron mining is akin to quarrying, which goes on all over our state, it is not toxic strip mining. And the 700 jobs? Those are promised to be 95% union jobs, certainly a boon to economically challenged northern Wisconsin.
However, putting partisanship aside doesn't seem to be the direction state Democrats wish to move in: they just named Democrat Chris Larson as their Minority Leader. (Larson is a true liberal, believing that reducing government is reducing democracy!)
No doubt a passed mining bill will end up tangled in the Madison courts, just as our passed Voter ID and Act 10 have. But at least we should be able to jump the first hurdle of passing the mining legislation. The court battle will have to be overcome another day*.
*Note: Wisconsin has an extremely important State Supreme Court race coming up in April 2013, where we must reelect Justice Pat Roggensack.
Walker: With new bill, mining company will return
Best mining bill would have wide support
UPDATE: Sen. Tim Cullen rejoins Democratic Caucus
Democrats elected Chris Larson as state Senate leader
Sen Chris Larson Says, "Reducing Government" is Reducing Democracy"
Hurley residents decry 'devastating' collapse of Wisconsin mining bill
The importance of the upcoming WI Supreme Court race to Republicans
Wisconsin Justice Pat Roggensack
Thanksgiving recipe mainstays: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry raw relish, apple, pecan, and pumpkin pie
The following is a re-post of What's on your Thanksgiving menu? and recipes from a few years ago with a few additions. Recipe links are below.