Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baldwin, Buchen, Berry, and Moore: Same Page?


Mark the date and preserve this post: Baldwin, Buchen, Berry, and Moore agree (more or less) on something. That is, that "tax breaks for hiring people" is kinda useless and stupid.

"If I'm a small business right now, I don't need a tax credit to hire people," said Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee). "What I need are customers. I need people to have money to spend."

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) said that while she's open to tax incentives, it can't be "the only strategy in a jobs bill." Meanwhile, even business associations say they don't expect to see much economic growth related to the job tax credits.

"I wouldn't hold my breath that it's going to solve the unemployment problem," says James Buchen, the chief lobbyist for the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. He argues for across the board decreases in the corporate income tax to make American products more competitive overseas.

Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, said the lesson to be learned from the stimulus is that you need to get money into people's hands one way or another, either through tax cuts or unemployment benefits. But the $15 billion being discussed by the Senate is simply too small to make a difference in a $14 trillion national economy.

"I suspect this is more about saying 'We're doing something' than saying 'We're doing something that will have a real impact,' " he said.

Next thing you know, they'll be a Simon & Garfunkel song.

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