Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch
EDITOR: I attended a recent town hall meeting by Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in Wausau. I understood the objective of the meeting was to discuss tax reform. In my opinion, that should not limit discussion to reducing taxes. I certainly may favor reducing taxes, but increasing some taxes, like the gasoline tax, should be part of the discussion.
It is understandable that members of the Gov. Scott Walker administration are going to attempt to sell his program. However, if we really want a discussion, let us look at all alternatives. Why look at best practices of other states, be they Republican- or Democratic-controlled?
I suggest we take advantage of studies that have already been done, including one by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. that concluded that Wisconsin lacks the innovation and technology to be competitive in the 21st century. We lack focus on high-growth sectors such as information technology, biotechnology and life sciences. We are not globally minded.
Former Gov. Thompson doubted that attempting to poach businesses from neighboring states was a winning strategy. He also suggested one cannot increase trade with crumbling roads and rails.
The future labor shortage might be helped if we could provide jobs for the young with comparable wages to other places. We may keep some retirees here if we didn't have legislation that encourages early retirement, as Act 10 did. We need to look at the services the aging population will require, like the growing health care field. It is hard to compete based on weather, but let us be innovative when looking at the future.
Can we please have some intelligent discussion on both spending and revenue instead of attempts to score political points?