Sirius Transparency: National Radio Tours on How Taxpayers Vote with Their Feet

By Travis H. Brown

It is the ultimate jobs prize for all competitive governors:  private sector investment.  America’s job creators tend to move where their work is most welcome.  Nothing is more welcome than not having a personal income tax applied to their workers, owners, and shareholders. The more you work, the more you stand to earn, expand, and re-invest.

During the past few months, our book tour team has had the privilege of sharing many American stories, thanks to the Internal Revenue Service data file and the United States Census Bureau.  Our experience shows precisely how more than 40 million Americans have moved locations in efforts to move up the economic ladder.


This week, we joined the Wilkow Report at the nexus of national radio: Sirius XM headquarters in New York City.  On one floor, Sirius is like a musical carnival.  There is one studio after another, Shade45 hip hop right down the hallway from Patriot channel.  The only thing more exciting than the 36-floor elevator ride (where you are certain to ride up with some worldly musicians) is the inner sanctum of broadcasting suites and audio rooms.

TravisWilkowSirius_2Radio reminds authors like me that our message is personal and local. Each week, we have spoken by radio to taxpayers who place faces and names behind our self-evident messages.  Within this studio, I recall the late-night truck driver moving through Montana, calling in to talk taxes. When I returned to this studio, I overheard just how incensed some taxpayers are to learn about how their money is spent in Washington, DC.

Every form of media outreach has its advantages and drawbacks. For the two-thirds of the world who are visual learners, nothing beats Internet television or studio television.  However, with most TV programs, time is often in short supply.

While our smartphone applications, web maps, and touchscreen television technologies are not accessible to a radio audience, radio like Sirius XM does offer some advantages.  First, radio across America can allow us to find many busy or passive audiences.  Second, oftentimes, joining a syndicated producer like the Wilkow Report on radio allows us to drill down on more examples.  For example, on this week’s program, we were able to detail how Californians choose Las Vegas over Phoenix when they pack their bags.  When a radio producer wants to talk about a home state, we can have a true dialogue rather than merely rapid-fire questions.

TravisWilkowSirius_1My experience with radio programs is that they are most interesting when they include multiple conversations.  Another late night show that I recently enjoyed was in Minneapolis.  When you can banter back and forth much like we talk amongst our closest friends, something special happens. Each of us feels more connected, more human, and even more relevant.

Our fast-paced world can sometimes make everything feel a bit too shallow.  A celebrity once pointed out that her regular appearances on a reality show helped reveal her full and true personality.  Authors and advocates who make the extra effort to visit America’s great radio outlets can do the same – siriusly.