According to this article in the Janesville Gazette, local development honchos including Gov. Scott Walker's notorious "Divide and Conquer" group, Forward Janesville, claim that a higher local quality of life can only be achieved by continuous "investments" from both the private and public sectors.
In fact, they went so far as to say NOT obligating Janesville residents to higher taxes is so "dangerous to the long-term prosperity of the community" that they called it a "death spiral." Got that?
At this point, everyone should understand that when they say "public sector investment," they mean revenue raised through government collectivism and appropriated mostly through special interest requests. That's not a difficult concept to support or appreciate IF there is some economic justice involved, but it certainly doesn't seem like the strategy one would expect from pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps, tax-cutting small government types.
When Forward Janesville's business membership needs them some free stuff, they send a junket up to Madison government for some tax cuts and transferable tax credit legislation or pander Janesville's modest tax treasury for free land, forgivable loans, TIF surplus cash or forgivable cash "incentives" for their jobless business expansions. So on one hand, a lower tax burden makes their quality of life much better. Collectivism works really, really well for them when they're on the receiving end.
But, they also support local bureaucrats and political candidates whose primary idea of growth is built on lowering wages, slashing benefits and even limiting civil rights for the general wage earning population. Forward Janesville agents actually referred to those worker wages and protections as burdens on economic development. Point is, when you're cutting taxes for yourself while promoting a steady beatdown of earnings on those offsetting the shift you're benefiting from, what wage-earning taxpayer would want those dystopian burdens in their future?
And, speaking of dystopia. Most if not all the politicians Forward Janesville supports are also small government confederate types like Scott Walker and Paul Ryan whose ideological foundation, at least in the rhetoric they spew, is built on their own personally distorted variant of an Atlas Shrugged collectivist-free society. So how do they reconcile any of this? Well, they simply don't.
But here they are, doing their Ayn-Rand-Social-Security impersonation, not just asking more for themselves like they always do, but asking the very people they beat down economically, politically and legislatively to step up their "obligations" as taxpayers - to improve their quality of life.
“There's a real risk to the community as the demographic shifts start to dominate local elections and politics,” he said. “If this becomes a community that is dead set against spending public money on community improvements like the various things that have been proposed in the plan, we are going to have a hard time facilitating the growth of local companies and attracting new companies to the area.
“Then you get into what some have described as the death spiral: Don't spend money, don't obligate the taxpayers to any more costs, just fix the potholes and call it a day.
Most bizarre, the folks at small-government-tax-cut-for-themselves Forward Janesville seem very afraid that an older fixed-income "not Forward Janesville" demographic might actually begin demanding tax cuts and smaller government for themselves - that they call it a death spiral. I gotta' admit, the irony is delicious.
If only the folks at FJ would practice what their chosen politicians preach, they would say that street potholes are not potholes at all. But instead are Ayn Rand's beauty marks.