Viewpoint: Let us have a blueprint for posterity
On Monday, March 24, the Governor signed a tax relief bill dubbed the “Blueprint for Prosperity.”
According to our state government at prosperity.wi.gov, the legislation will reduce property, income and state income withholding taxes. The typical homeowner will see a reduction of $101 on her next property tax bill. The typical family of four earning $40,000 will save about $58 in income taxes. Because of the change to income withholding taxes, that family will see about $58 more in their paychecks each month.
By the end of 2014, that typical family of four could have $522 more dollars in its pocket. Depending on your financial circumstances, $522 is a lot of money. It could pay a couple months of electric or gas bills; help fill a propane tank in time for next winter; put gas in your car so you can drive the miles it takes to work each day. It might pay your mortgage or rent for a month. Or maybe you could buy your children a few more clothes and put a little more food on the table.
This is a one-time deal. You will have to be willing to save that money or use it wisely. You will have to decide not to do what you are expected to do-spend it as soon as you get it.
My husband and I are a family of two earning less than $40,000 per year. I ran the calculator on the website to view our savings under the Governor’s plan. We are fortunate right now to own a home, so we’ll save about $84.28 in property taxes and about $49 in income taxes next year. And extra money in our pockets come the end of 2014 sounds pretty good.
I know, however, that short-sighted, consumer-driven legislation is not a blueprint for prosperity. Unlike what the website promises, “more freedom and more opportunity for all the people of Wisconsin,” I know this is not true. Odds-on this bill will bring us less of both.
The Preamble to Our United States Constitution speaks, in part, of promoting the general Welfare and securing the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity. The Merriam Webster Dictionary online defines “prosperity” as the state of being successful, usually by making allot of money. The dictionary defines “posterity” as the offspring of one progenitor to the furthest generation and as all future generations.
The Preamble does not speak of prosperity. It does not need to. When we practice the truths we hold self-evident as Americans, then we all prosper, most especially our posterity.
As much as I would like extra cash in my pocket, I choose posterity, future generations, over “prosperity”. I have never defined freedom or opportunity, or success, in terms of money. Money is not the essence of who we are as human beings. How we treat one another and what we leave for posterity is our measure.
We The People live by words in this country that are sacred. When, by design, our legislators reduce words to meaningless phrases, We lose our freedom and our opportunity. Only if we secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity will there be true prosperity in this country. For all.
Susan Sommer, Phelps