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Economist says now is not the time to raise taxes on business or rich

A leading economist says it's no time to raise business taxes.

That's what Barry Asmus of the National Center for Policy Analysis told 750 people in Madison at the annual Business Day sponsored by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group.

Asmus said the best way to restore the economy is to let people keep the fruits of their labors and that means not raising taxes on corporations or the rich.

Asmus said former President Ronald Reagan ended 50 years of economic doldrums when he lowered tax rates in the 1980s. And it resulted in what he called "the best 25 years in the history of the planet."

Asmus blames the current financial woes on banks that got too cozy with the Bush administration, and a Federal Reserve which kept interest rates too low for a couple years.

WMC vice president James Buchen cited several business growth measures to help the economy, and said it's not the time for higher taxes or expensive regulations.

Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Jim Doyle and Democratic legislative leaders proposed higher business taxes to help cover a $600 million shortfall in the current state budget.

That includes a change in corporate tax policy resulting in a 13 percent state income tax hike for multi-state firms that do business here.

Federal economic stimulus money would cover just more than two-thirds of the shortfall.