According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, Wisconsin remains one of the highest taxed states in the country, with an equally poor ranking for its business climate. During these uncertain economic times, government should not be looking for more ways to squeeze money from hardworking taxpayers.
The current economic downturn is really causing families to hurt. As the price of food, gasoline, and other of life's necessities become more and more expensive, they have to tighten their belts and prioritize their spending. So should government. The taxpayers should not have to subsidize politicians' profligacy.
When I first asked for your vote in 2006, I promised that I would not raise your taxes; and I kept that promise. This past legislative session saw Democrats in both the Assembly and Senate propose massive tax and spending increases -- from taxing the sick to taxing job creators and small businesses for government-run healthcare schemes.
Moreover, I supported such fundamental reforms as requiring a 2/3rds vote of the Legislature to raise taxes -- it should be as hard for government to raise taxes as it is for families to earn a paycheck.
Fundamentally, a job is better than any government welfare program, and that's why I worked to protect Waukesha's small businesses from burdensome and confiscatory taxes and regulations that hinder job creation. We need to continue to encourage investment in our local economies.
Too many seniors, families, and businesses are leaving Wisconsin, taking their experiences and dreams with them. Our tax code should enable seniors to stay in their homes, allow families to work and play in Wisconsin, and allow business to compete in a global economy and create good jobs.
The Competitive Marketplace Act (repeal of the minimum markup law)
I also introduced the Competitive Marketplace Act with Representative Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) and Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee), a bill that would repeal the antiquated minimum markup law that mandates price increases on nearly every consumer good.
The minimum markup law requires that gasoline retailers and wholesalers markup the price of gas by 9.18 percent, prohibits $4 prescription drug programs like those offered by large retailers, and even outlaws pre-Christmas "door-buster" sales.
I think the current law is ludicrous and we worked to craft legislation that would provide strong protections for small mom-and-pop retailers while encouraging competition and ensuring that customers have access to the best possible prices, like customers in other states have access to.
Repeal of the law would provide consumers with a much needed reprieve from ever-increasing prices on everything from prescription drugs to computers to the food we eat. This June we saw one of the sharpest increases in the Consumer Price Index and none of us need to be reminded how burdensome environmental regulations and taxes have driven up the price of gas.