Archive for ‘Spending’

May 10, 2010

Quote of the day 05-10-2010

by thoughtfulconservative

Raising progressive taxes is a better move than budget cuts. It gets money moving through the economy again, jump-starting the economic recovery that is the principal engine of state fiscal health.

via CSMonitor.com.

Wow

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December 15, 2009

Parties switch Medicare roles

by thoughtfulconservative

For decades, Republicans scraped and clawed to cut money from Medicare. But these days, they’re talking as if they created the popular health care program for seniors.

And Democrats — seeking to trim more than $450 billion from the safety net for seniors over the next 10 years to help finance a sweeping health reform bill — are having to swallow their old rants against cutting the program.

via Parties switch Medicare roles – – POLITICO.com.

This is nothing new, of course. Political parties have been switching sides for years. Republicans used to be the “progressive” party, then an isolationist party, then the anti-deficit party (well, unless we’re cutting taxes), then….well, you get the drift. Democrats likewise have switched sides with the Republicans.

Sometimes it takes years; at other times, simply months.

At this particular phase, we have Medicare. No one wants to lose the senior vote; they vote most regularly of all the demographics.

Hence the current posturing. Remember a few years back? Republicans wanted to make some changes to Social Security. Democrats said no and so did the seniors and it was dropped never to be heard of again.

If money can be trimmed, I don’t see a problem. But in this day and age of “Gotcha!” politics, the Democrats will yield and a chance for saving money (which Republicans are in favor of, if I remember right) will pass by again.

January 29, 2009

Wage increases for legislators – Part 2

by thoughtfulconservative

I’ve written before (OK, not on my blog or in a comment, but in e -mails to Kramer and Kanavas) what I think the Republican party should do on the pay raises for legislatures, but I guess that’s not going to happen.

(Thanks to Spring City Chronicle for the link; it was easier to go there than to go back and look for it from the online editions of the Freeman)

  • Mary Lazich – “I’ve returned raises in the past and after I gave them back I saw how the state squandered the money. I don’t want to let it go to waste. I’d rather give it to a charity.” So I’m helping Sen. Lazich be charitable. Great. I don’t suppose she claims it on her income tax. Nah.
  • Bill Kramer – “It’s my understanding that it was six years without a pay raise and I didn’t have anything to do with the voting on it. “But I still have to pay taxes on it. And I still have to spend time away from my business so I’ll need to put (the raise) into my business.” Yeah, well we’re all struggling, I guess.
  • You’ve hear this one, right? “A state law that says we must accept the raise.”

This from the Freeman,

    The Freeman contacted several departments within the Legislature and the state Department of Justice to verify that rule, though no one could confirm if there was such a requirement.[Emphsis mine]

Wigderson Library & Pub: I’ll see that and raise you a legislature

Perhaps even more disappointing than Kramer’s reaction was the mixed reaction from all legislative members of the Republican Party in Madison. It’s not like this pay raise was unexpected yet there was no strategy for dealing with the issue. Instead of being used to partisan advantage, the issue seems to have been rolled under the GOP tent like a live hand grenade. The reaction, sadly predictable, has been every man for himself.

And you would think legislators would at least acknowlege receipt of an e-mail, but maybe that’s asking too much.

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January 10, 2009

Taxes and spending

by thoughtfulconservative

The Chief, who I don’t think would mind being called left-of-center, reminds us of something all conservative should know.

[L]et’s make something perfectly clear: any program introduced by a legislator — no matter how well-meaning, how virtuous, how essential to the public good — costs money.

The Chief is pointing at Sen. Mary Lazich’s Silver Alert legislation, which she plans to submit and, frankly, rightly calls it hypocritical. Now perhaps the senator is looking at cutting spending elsewhere to make room for this expense, but with Wisconsin already looking at having a $5 billion deficit, it’s hard to see where this would come from.

But maybe she’s looking elsewhere. In another post Sen. Lazich wrote,

Congress is considering giving grants to states to start their own Silver Alert programs. Another bill to be introduced in Congress this month would make Silver Alert a federally-run program in every state. [Emphasis mine]

Even if a federal program, it will be paid with my taxes. Is a state tax increase bad and a federal increase good?

But as a Stateline.org article notes

Silver Alert has few opponents, although proposals in some states have been rejected because of budget concerns and worries that law enforcers already are overburdened. Some state policymakers also have cautioned that too many alerts could make the public less likely to respond. [Emphasis mine]

Popular, but concerns.

So how much will it cost? I guess we’ll have to wait for the state bureau to look at it.

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December 23, 2008

Quick Hits

by thoughtfulconservative

Emptying out my drafts folder:

Top 9 Good Habits For A Deep Recession – These are good habits when there’s no recession.

From the Pew Research Center, The Religious Makeup of Congress – a nice graphical representation of the religious beliefs of the Congress compared with the American public as a whole.

By the director of new media in Obama’s Minnesota campaign, Developing a New Media Strategy for Campaigns Large and Small. This, of course, would not contradict experienced hands as Wigderson and Fraley who tell me, depending on the campaign, that a candidate needs to go door-to-door, but would be in addition to that.

How Can Facebook Crack its Advertising Problem? One problem with Facebook–it appeals to older folks like me who aren’t enticed to click the ads.

Cory Leibman has resurrected Eye on Wisconsin. Cory is a “progressive,” but he’s also a thinker and I like to read thoughtful folks like myself. 🙂

Massachusetts has a new marijuana law.

It sounds simple, but David Capeless, president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, said the new policy presented a thicket of questions and complications.

There, now I feel better.

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December 19, 2008

Mayors’ infrastructure request full of pork

by thoughtfulconservative

Not surprising,

The U.S. Conference of Mayors went to Capitol Hill earlier this month with a report listing 11,391 infrastructure projects proposed by 427 cities. The mayors claimed the proposal would create 847,641 jobs in 2009 and 2010. [Emphasis mine]

Although one man’s pork may be another’s essential spending, some of these might be debatable. The requests include

plans for a polar bear exhibit, an anti-prostitution program, a water park ride, zoos, museums and aquatic centers, CNN has found.

The polar bear exhibit? It’s to increase attendance at the zoo which “will stimulate the economy in Providence.”

The water park ride? Parks are part of infrastructure.

A $1.5 million program to reduce prostitution in Dayton, Ohio?

“People make judgments about the safety of a community by the level of social disorder. Street-level prostitution is clearly a social disorder,” said Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl.

Museums? “There are plenty of museums that I think people would argue that are part of a fabric of a city,” [Miami, Florida, Mayor Manny] Diaz said.

Maybe Waukesha County Historical Museum should apply for some money so they can finally finish that Les Paul exhibit.

I’m sorry. When I think of infrastructure, I think of roads, bridges, cargo rail and, yes, even mass transit. [UPDATE: For example more  along the lines of Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett’s list.]