Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wisconsin Governor Walker Calls Illinois Businesses and Residents Idiots

Are people from Illinois idiots? I don’t think so. But Wisconsin’s new governor, Scott Walker, thinks so.

It all started a few weeks ago when Walker took office. He made the bold promise of adding 250,000 jobs in his first term. I admire the goal, but am concerned about the delivery. If the goal is not reached it almost guarantees he is a one-term governor.

It gets worse. Before his bold jobs claim he took the one action that would cost Wisconsin thousands of jobs. Governor Walker sent over $800 million to California as a gift. I understand California has greater economic issues than Wisconsin, but jeez. California will now get Wisconsin’s high-speed train. Will the governor include the California jobs created toward his promise?

Not only will Wisconsin lose the jobs building and operating the train, Wisconsin will also lose businesses. Several businesses that needed a better, faster, and more cost efficient transportation hub are now planning their departure from Madison, and to a significantly greater extent, Milwaukee. Governor Walker promised more jobs and all I see are jobs leaving.

Illinois has serious budget problems. To fill the gap, Illinois raised their top income tax bracket 66%. Governor Walker couldn’t contain himself. He brought back an old advertising champagne from years back called “Escape to Wisconsin.” He wanted all the folks from Illinois to know that they can escape to Wisconsin after the big tax increase in Illinois. Problem is Illinois’ top tax bracket went from 3% to 5%; Wisconsin’s top tax bracket is 7.75% and is assessed on lower income than Illinois’ top tax bracket. What Governor Walker wants the folks in Illinois to do is take another 50%+ tax hike over the 66% hike they already suffered. Really?

People in Illinois are not stupid. They know that 5% is less than 7.75%. Why doesn’t Governor Walker know this? Is he stupid? What Governor Walker really did was remind Wisconsin businesses that they can escape high taxes by leaving Wisconsin. Dumb, just dumb.

I know Walker has only been governor for a few weeks and that he did not create Madison’s budget mess. But jeez, Walker, you are not making things better.

I had high hopes our new governor would take the bull by the horns and solve some of Wisconsin’s budget problems. Now, after only two weeks, I would be glad if we just held steady.

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