Monday, May 8, 2017

Kooyenga's Rube Goldberg 'plan' misses the ex-snowblower factor

Brookfield GOP State Rep. and rhetorically-taxing budget wonk Dale Kooyenga gushed about his one-stop-taxation-and-transportation-omnibus-Fix-Everything 'plan' to Sunday morning show host Mike Gousha.

Kooyenga pitched it also as a way to address Wisconsin's population decline, which he attributed not to college grads leaving for all that's offered in Atlanta or Chicago or metro areas on both coasts, but to retirees headed to known low-tax havens:

“I see people in my church who are great people, who are mentors, who are people that have businesses and have done well, and what they do is they go to Florida or Arizona,” he said. “We are losing people that not only contribute to our economics by staying and living in Wisconsin, but we’re also losing mentors.”
People I know who've moved south talk about the snow blowers they don't need anymore, not tax rates in Wisconsin that don't apply.

I remember this reality-check from a news story about the decision by Caterpillar to move operations to Tuscon from South Milwaukee:
Quality of life also was one of the factors used to evaluate all of the possible locations, according to Caterpillar. Tucson says it has 350 days of sunshine a year, and a mild winter..." 
I also remember when a friend stopped by the day he moved from Milwaukee to south Florida.

He tossed me his camel hair overcoat and said with a big smile on his face, "I won't need this sucker anymore."  

He didn't say:

'I'd stick around if only there were someday a flat 3.95% income tax and the gas tax were reduced by the elimination of the minimum markup but then a bump up through the application at the pump of the sales tax - - whew! - - plus or minus the wholesale bulk price I'd need to check through the Lundberg Index, give or take also inflation, world supply factors, weather and delivery roadblocks, pipeline breaks, refining problems, war in the Middle East, competition from electric vehicles, etc.'
So unless Kooyenga is also thinking about a dome over Wisconsin, let's dial back the idea that some tax shifts might stem population movement south, and maybe focus on college student debt relief that would make it easier for young people to live here right now and resist joining the brain drain after graduation to bigger cities and better weather:
'Brain Drain' Continues As More Young Graduates Leave Wisconsin
Stevens Point native Brian Novotny has been at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for six years. He calls Madison an “amazing” city, but he wants to leave the state after he graduates and use his master’s degree in kinesiology to coach sports or work in physical therapy.
“I don't like winter, so I'm hoping to move to California or North Carolina,” he said.
Update: By happenstance, a New York Times piece today shows how far off is Kooyenga: 
The Milken Institute, an economic think tank, suggests Provo-Orem. The institute’s rankings focus not on retirement but on the best American cities for “successful aging,” as the group puts it.
Milken’s exhaustive report evaluates 381 United States metropolitan areas using public data on 83 indicators, including general livability, health care, wellness, financial security, living arrangements, employment and educational opportunities. The report also breaks out separate results for younger seniors (ages 65 to 79) and older ones, recognizing that needs differ. Additionally, it separates the rankings into large and smaller metro areas.
Along with Provo-Orem, Milken’s rankings among large metro areas include Madison, Wis., and Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. The small metro list was topped by Iowa City; Manhattan, Kan.; and Ames, Iowa.


Anonymous said...

Can you still pay no income taxes if you live in Florida, as a resident, for 6 mos and 1 day and live in WI the rest of the time?

Anonymous said...

If Kooyenga thinks people will stay here with a 4% tax rate he must think they like an environment covered in cow crap while BIG Ag sucks all the water out of their neighbors wells and our lakes, streams and rivers. He must think that those at the top will reinvest their windfall and somehow grow our economy in spite of Walker and the Republicans cutting every one's take home pay to the point that that the only consumption occurring is at our top employers Walmart and Menards. Our schools are operating on 2008 aid levels and using referendums to find enough money to operate. Why would a graduate want to stay in a low wage, low opportunity, low benefit state. Why would anyone want to come here for the opportunity to max out at $12 per hour. Walker and the Republican can't get it through their collective heads that when you cut the take home pay of most of your citizens.....THEY HAVE LESS MONEY TO SPEND......guess what....THEY SPEND LESS and the local economy and the state economy goes no where. Businesses and companies aren't going to locate here when the people don't have enough money to buy what they produce!