Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's the recession (not combined reporting) stupid!

Jack Norman's Crossroads' column is a well documented repudiation of the Republican assertion that combined reporting is causing Wisconsin to lose jobs.

As Norman points out combined reporting is nothing more than legislation that closed a loophole used by profitable corporations to hid their profits and avoid Wisconsin taxes.

Norman writes that the worst recession since the Great Depression is causing Wisconsin to lose jobs.

One could add to the culprits the lack of an industrial policy, a commitment to "free trade"and China's policy of pegging the value of the renminbi against the value of the United States dollar.

It is worth the read.


Peter said...

The attacks on combined reporting are nothing more than the continued -- and false -- anti-tax demagoguery that pervades far too much of public discourse these days, and has for 30 years.

This is not a matter of "We need revenue to provide services." This is about whether or not we will work through our public, democratic institutions to ensure a just and fair society.

Yes, we need revenue to invest in our future. Yes, we need revenue to provide services and a higher social wage through education, healthcare, transportation, and social culture. But as importantly, we need to ensure a more just and fair distribution of income while preventing the continued aggregation of corporate power as well as that of the wealthy-and-already-powerful.

Contrary to many seemingly popular notions (seemingly popular because of the flogging they get in the halls of elite, establishment media), decent taxation on the wealthy and on corporations does not adversely impact economic growth and development. In fact, when managed well and instituted progressively, it combines to a vibrant and dynamic economy that is better for the vast majority of us -- the working people of Wisconsin, our nation, and the world.

It's time to move away from this knee-jerk anti-tax baloney and the false arguments spun by right-wing pundits. We need real, effective policies that work for the common good and an economy that works for working people.

Michael Rosen said...


You are absolutely right. Government makes strategic investments in research and development, education, infrastructure and transportation, for example, which the private sector won’t make, but that are prerequisite for economic growth. Taxes pay for these investments.

The United States experienced its fastest rates of growth when it had a much more progressive income and corporate tax structure during the 1940s, ‘50s and 60s. Marginal tax rates topped at at 91% in the 50s and were still at 68.8% as recently as 1980. Corporations paid 87 cents for every dollar of persoanl income tax in 1954.

Since adopting the supply side mantra that cutting high end taxes encourages work, savings, investment and growth, rates of growth have been comparatively anemic.

The last 8 years should be enough to convince even the most die hard ideologue of this folly. Despite the biggest tax cut in history, rates of growth were the lowest since the end of WWII, there was NO net job creation and inequality grew to heights we have not experienced since 1929.

If the proof is in the pudding, we eat it and it was nothing but empty calories.

Peter said...

Real quick, without comment or much more:

Progressive States Network's Revenue Options 2010 collections... Good policy ideas here and the right kind of political approach too -- fighting against the right-wing crackpottery and the fearful caution of the centrists-without-a-moral-center.