February 22, 2019
Despite the week seemingly speeding past us, the government has been occupying their time with big projects, and with big projects come big price tags for taxpayers. A new $100+ million highway construction project is being considered for the State of Wisconsin. New reports detailing the ranking of taxes in every state–including Wisconsin–and providing estimates for Tony Evers’ proposed Medicaid Expansion program have been released.
The MacIver Institute has compiled some need-to-read articles from this past week, in case you missed it.
Tony Evers’ new Department of Transportation secretary Craig Thompson may sign a contract to start a new construction project on the 1-39/90 highway system in Wisconsin. The DOT awarded the project to a single bid contractor at a cost of $20 million over the budgeted amount for the project. Now, Craig Thompson must decide if he will sign the contract, despite it being over budget.
The Tax Foundation released data showing the amount of State and Local Income taxes collected per capita during Fiscal Year 2016. During Fiscal Year 2015, Wisconsin collected the 14th most taxes in the nation, amounting to $1,225 per capita. During Fiscal Year 2016, the state collected the 12th most state and local income taxes, collecting $1,297 per capita. On average across the country, the state and local taxes collected went up from $1,144 to $1,164.
The Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy (CROWE) and Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) released a report exploring the impact Medicaid expansion would have on the Wisconsin economy. While expansion would give $545 million in benefits to the state, it would raise healthcare costs $1.145 billion, leading to a net cost of $600 million to Wisconsin. The MacIver Institute found that a single-payer healthcare system in Wisconsin would cost taxpayers $30 billion in the first year.
The Wall Street Journal reports that businesses may be feeling the tension of trade wars and economic uncertainty, reducing their optimism. This has had the effect of causing a popular economic indicator on investment to fall for the fourth time in five months. This article is behind a paywall for the WSJ.
In an op-ed for The Hill, AEI researcher Desmond Lachman looks at the possible implications overseas if President Trump were to place tariffs on European and Japanese auto exports. Lachman argues more tariffs would most definitely plunge Germany into recession, as well as strengthen the U.S dollar, giving more incentive to import rather than export.