October 12, 2011

Economic Growth Forum Co-Opted By The Left

On Monday I attended an event sponsored by the Racine County Economic Development Council and Racine County Executive Jim Ladwig. 
The County Executive wants to make this a yearly occasion to discuss economic development in the region.   Panelists included Congressman Paul Ryan, Assemblymen Robin Vos, Cory Mason, David Craig and Bob Turner, Racine Mayor John Dickert , State Senator Van Wangaard plus a representative from the Racine County  Workforce Development Center (Apologies, I did not catch her name)
Approaching the Racine Marriot there was the usual group of a couple of dozen protesters that follow Congressman Paul Ryan wherever he goes.    According to the Journal Times most of those were postal workers off for Columbus Day and the usual rabble from Wisconsin Jobs Now.  (Always time to protest; not enough time to go find a job).
At the outset of the meeting Mr. Ladwig made a plea to the crowd to please avoid politics and for the crowd to stick to issues regarding Racine County economic development.
After a few remarks from Congressman Ryan the forum was opened to a Q&A session with two microphones covering the Racine Marriot ballroom.
And then started a parade of left-wing rabble rousers that completely ignored the plea from Mr. Ladwig to not go political.  Sitting right next to the microphones the leftists hogged the forum and used up all the allotted time for questions.  Left-wing advocate after left-wing advocate launched into long-winded speeches attacking the conservatives in the room and calling for more class warfare and increased taxes on business.  The event moderator had to repeatedly stop the speakers and ask if they had a question.  They would say they did and keep right on with their prepared remarks ignoring the requests to ask their question.
Business leaders who came to try to exchange ideas were shut out by a well-organized ambush of a well-meaning event by people who held them in contempt.
Congressman Ryan and Assemblyman Vos repeatedly called for a restructuring of business taxes which the liberals in the room did not want to hear.  Both men made the point that numerous businesses pay no business taxes legally due to government incentives and loopholes.  US Federal Business tax rates are already the highest in the world at 35% and Democrats want that raised to 50.4% according to Mr. Ryan.
Ryan called for the elimination of all loopholes and incentives saying it was time government stopped deciding the winners and losers and that we should move to a fairer and more globally competitive corporate tax rate at about 15%.
Of course the liberals in the room could not comprehend that Vos and Ryan were calling for an increase in corporate tax receipts to the government.  15% of a billion dollars in profit is more than 0% of a billion dollars at 35% after tax dodges are applied.  But then the left does not comprehend that sometimes when the rate is less it encourages participation in the economy and creates economic growth and a happy bi-product of job creation. 
There was one decidedly non-political speaker.  The Manager of Racine’s Regency Mall, Curt Pruitt, announced a career fair on Thursday October 27th from 1-5 pm.  He didn’t actually ask a question but spoke to retail growth in the area.  You can learn more about that event at this link. 
John F. Kennedy once said, “"It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now ... Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus."  Nov. 20, 1962
What Kennedy did not add was that an expanding economy would also create jobs which the American People desperately need. 
The Obama “jobs” plan that was voted down last night in a bi-partisan manner doesn’t create jobs.  It funds some short-time work and raises taxes without fixing the fundamental problems we have now including a new crush of regulations on business sent down from the Obama administration.
The left continues to push class-warfare while we have leaders like Jim Ladwig, Robin Vos and Paul Ryan that are trying to fundamentally get things moving again.  I wish today’s left would look back on free-market leaders like John F Kennedy instead of the all good comes from government approach of Barack Obama.
Ladwig promises to do this event again but with a different format.  My guess is questions will be submitted in advance and screened which would filter out the attempts to turn a non-political event political again next year.

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