I have the good fortune of owning homes in both Wisconsin and Florida. I am not rich, but comfortable enough to retire early and live off of my investments. I earned everything I have, starting out flat broke when I graduated from college.
One of the advantages of living in two states is that I can compare the costs and benefits of both.
Consider this: My home in Florida is valued about the same as my home in Waupaca. However, my real estate taxes are three times higher in Wisconsin. Further, Florida has no income tax, while Wisconsin taxes income at 6.27 percent for most, and even more for higher income earners. Sales taxes are about the same. Adding it all up, my total taxes in Florida are about $6,000 and my total taxes in Wisconsin are about $16,000. This is ridiculous and it illustrates how the cost of government in Wisconsin is way out of control.
It astounds me that taxpayers are not completely behind Gov. Scott Walker’s attempts to reduce the cost of state government. His reforms are way overdue. His opponents try to position him as being for the rich and against the middle class. In reality his battle is for all taxpayers (regardless of income) and against excessive government worker fringe benefits. These costs flow to our income and real estate taxes. After astronomical increases in property taxes since 2001, my taxes have finally leveled off in the past two years. I attribute this 100 percent to Walker’s reforms. I challenge any taxpayer to look back at their tax history and see for themselves.
I have read numerous commentaries in this paper, principally by George Lorenz, which criticize Republicans for their efforts to rein in the cost of government. I am not a fan of Republicans, either, but in my view, their faults are in being willing to cave in to demands for more spending, when spending is already out of control. There was a time when I would vacillate between voting for Democrats and Republicans, but in the past 20 years, the Democrats have become far too socialistic.
Excessive government syphons money that would otherwise grow the economy. If you want to see a vibrant economy in the future, support any candidate who vows to reduce the size and scope of government at every level. Frankly I don’t care if that candidate is a Republican or Democrat. Lately, however, only Republicans seem interested.
My last comment is regarding Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act. I buy my health insurance privately and had been paying $380 per month. This year, I have to move to a plan that is compliant with Obamacare. The premium is now $900 per month. The Democrats promised that this plan would reduce premiums. What it really does is increase premiums but provide subsidies for those at lower income levels. It also moves millions more onto Medicaid, which most doctors won’t even accept. If this plan were sold honestly, it would never have passed. I consider Obamacare to be fraud perpetrated by the Democrats and I think Americans should hold them accountable for this.