By Adam Jarchow
Make no mistake, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone. From families who have lost loved ones, to front-line workers providing patient care at hospitals to those in the retail, food and other service industries around the country. Our economy has been ravaged to its core and is continuing to struggle to regain its footing. Now, at a time when many businesses in Wisconsin and across our great country are working to come back and looking for the support to keep going, along comes Joe Biden whose solution is not to build back better but to tax back more.
The president has made a career out of demanding businesspeople, many who built their companies from the ground up, to pay more taxes, while he has reportedly used loopholes to pay less taxes. As part of yet another tax dodge and in the middle of a pandemic, the president now wants to fund his list of grandiose programs on the backs of hardworking businessmen and women. The problem, Mr. President, is that everyone is struggling, from big companies to small mom-and-pop stores. The on-again off-again health restrictions forcing businesses into compliance have created daily uncertainty and anxiety. And now, the president and government are poised to punish Wisconsin businesses further by forcing them to pay higher taxes to fund a multi-trillion dollar laundry list of pie-in-the-sky liberal ideas and programs.
Why on earth would you raise taxes on businesses, further burdening them and ultimately the livelihood of their employees? The president’s proposed plan will not only put companies at risk, but will also move our economy in the opposite direction it needs to go.
Remember how everything was roaring prior to the pandemic – new jobs were being created, jobs retained, companies growing and new ones moving here? It was pretty clear the tax cuts enacted by a Republican-controlled Congress and the Wisconsin legislature helped businesses to grow, expand and create new jobs. But rather than returning to what works or building upon it, President Biden now wants to try something new. What do we have to lose, right? Wrong. Biden wants to boost America’s corporate tax rate from 21% up to 28% to pay for a bloated wish list of new programs that are not at all prudent or fiscally sound. Even his Democratic colleagues in Congress are nervously balking at such a hike. We should not be taxing and spending our way out of COVID-19. There is a right and a wrong way to do this and, my friends, we are precariously close to veering sharply off a proven path to prosperity.
We’ve already spent billions on propping up our economy, but now there are those that think government should shoot for the moon on every imaginable idea possible and pay for it by raising taxes on corporate America. The truth is it doesn’t work and when you heavily tax employers those costs are passed onto consumers. Nothing is free. It’s basic economics. What does work are fiscally responsible, common sense reforms like the ones we passed in Wisconsin. Reforms that resulted in lower income and property taxes over the past decade, not to mention the a state budget surplus.
The stock market just dropped significantly, and investors have grown nervous about increased inflation and the danger of stagnating our economy similar to what happened prior to 2017 before GOP-passed tax cuts saved the day. Our companies and businesses are only now getting a leg up on the economic ladder as they emerged from the business paralysis of the pandemic. They need policies that respect their financial predicament with a measured approach and are geared toward helping them out, so they in turn can continue to employ workers and their families. The best jobs program is to cut taxes, not raise them.
Joe Biden’s tax plan will yank the ladder out from under Wisconsin and other U.S. businesses that make our economy great and have had enough of COVID-19. They don’t need yet another hurdle as they try to find their way back from this mess.
Adam Jarchow is a Wisconsin resident, Wisconsin State Representative from 2014 to 2018 and small business owner. He serves as president of Empower Wisconsin.