Over the weekend the Wisconsin State Journal ran a story about the search for a new head for the Department of Commerce. It addresses how the right choice for the job is particularly important right now, during a challenging economy. The story goes on to quote state Senator Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield) who trots out the right wing’s one trick pony on the economy, endless corporate tax cuts. We have seen how good that approach has worked nationally, but apparently old habits (and knee jerk reactions) die hard for the Brookfield Senator. OWN Executive Director Scot Ross was also quoted shortly after Kanavas saying that tax cuts shouldn’t be the first choice in creating a strong economy. He went on to say the following:
“The next commerce secretary needs to support spending on roads, schools, universities and municipal services because that infrastructure makes businesses want to stay and move here. Experience shows both in the state of Wisconsin and the rest of the country that tax cuts won’t buy loyalty from corporations.”
Most corporations rely on a decent infrastructure to carry out their normal operations (roads, educated workforce, safety ect) . Most of that infrastructure is provided as a result of taxpayer investment. Blindly cutting away at it or finding ways to keep corporations from paying their fair share is actually counter productive for everyone. There are countless areas where public investment has spurred both the development of new technology and entire industries. Hopefully the new Secretary of Commerce will be a person that approaches the economy from a fresh perspective. Hopefully they will be an advocate for bold and broad solutions rather than joining the overly simplistic “tax cut choir” headed by partisans like Kanavas.