June 13, 2009
UPDATE: $1.31 is the increase in monthly cellular phone taxes in the Wisconsin budget.
If you are a family with four cellular phones the Wisconsin Democrats just increased your taxes by $62.88 per year on that one item. This is of course a regressive tax hitting the lowest wage earners the hardest. These taxes will be labeled under 911 fee and USF but are just pass troughs to the general fund.
While the democrats in the legislature were increasing your cellular phone taxes they also stole $20 million from Wisconsin taxpayers from a previous cellular tax that generated more money than was needed. That money was supposed to be returned to the taxpayers but the Democrats in the legislature and Governor Doyle decided that they were more entitled to your money than you were.
No new taxes Governor Doyle? I don't think so.
For the record, if you have a land line phone the Democrats and the Governor also increased the 911 fee on that line 59 cents per month. Businesses with multiple lines will pay that fee per line. Delivering 911 service does not cost any more, the additional tax goes straight to the state general fund.
If you own a business with 10 phone lines and 10 cellular phones your telephone taxes just went up $228 per year.
But there are no new taxes in the budget, the Governor said so.
I am writing tonight from the Assembly floor as we take up the Governor's budget. I wish I could say that this middle-of-the-night meeting is an aberration, but sadly this has become the norm during the past three months as we have worked on the Governor's budget. We are still hours away from finishing our work here in Madison. Republicans are in the middle of offering 130 amendments to try and make a very flawed document a little better.
We are here on a Friday night, in the middle of the night, because Democrats failed to bring the budget to the floor on Wednesday when it was scheduled and have instead spent the last two days behind closed doors cutting last minutes deals. The deals made were attempts to buy votes from those who said they could not or would not vote for this budget because it is so bad.
It appears that after all the wrangling, they will have the fifty votes to pass the budget. But not without hours of debate and the offer from Republicans to work in a bipartisan fashion to fix some of the worst parts of this budget. Below are examples of a few of the 130 fixes we offered tonight.
Offer More Money to Tech Colleges for Job Training Failed
Lower Levy Limits to Keep Property Taxes from Increasing Failed
Save School Choice Program From Dismantling Failed
Delete Earmarks Failed
Restore Welfare Reforms Removed in this Budget Failed
Require Binding Referenda for Regional Transit Authorities Failed
Remove the Cell Phone Tax Failed
Remove the Gas Tax Failed
Eliminate the Auto Insurance Mandates that will Raise Premiums Failed
Eliminate Worst of Worst Felons from Getting out of Prison Early Failed
The final product tonight, when this passes hours from now, will result in the following horrible policies for Wisconsin:
Tax and Fee Increases of almost $5 Billion
While the Democrats have said this budget is responsible and doesn't raise taxes on the majority of Wisconsin citizens, nothing could be further from the truth. Prior to consideration of the budget, Democrats passed a "budget bailout bill" that raised taxes $1.2 billion to provide the revenue to fund the current budget bill. This budget now will raise taxes and fees by another $2.1 billion. It also includes a property tax increase of $1.48 billion. If you drive a car, buy gas, pay for electricity, pay for garbage service, own a cell phone or a land line, own a home, have a child in day care, or have a child in college, you can be sure that you will pay more.
Spending Increases of 6.3%
Even though we are in the worst recession in more than a decade, somehow this budget manages to spend $3.68 billion more - instead of cutting government. This budget is full of expansions such as a new Welfare program that undermines effective, bipartisan reforms, and millions of dollars in earmarks.
Pork Barrel Spending
The budget before us tonight contains almost 90 earmarks costing more than $37 million dollars. It's packed with pork projects such as $500,000 for projects like the Oshkosh Opera House and $40,000 for new recycling bins for a certain town in a Democrat district.
Paybacks to Campaign Contributors
Governor Doyle has been shameless in his rewards to those that have helped him get elected. Namely the unions and the trial lawyers. This budget is loaded with items we call non-fiscal policy. Only that name is deceiving, because while they may not have an immediate price tag in the budget, they will all have dramatic effects on costs of projects.
New auto insurance mandates to reward trial lawyers could end up costing car owners up to $400 a year. Prevailing wage standards designed to reward labor unions could tack on increased costs of up to 40% on certain construction projects. Removal of limits placed on school districts to contain teacher pay and benefit costs could have a dire effect on our schools or increased property taxes.
Future Fiscal Ruin for Wisconsin
Federal stimulus money in these tough economic times should be used in responsible, targeted ways to get people back to work. One time money should not be used to fund ongoing programs like Medicaid and K12 education. But it is. Instead of making tough decisions and funding our priorities with existing dollars, this budget uses short-sighted tactics to fill holes with one-time money and punts the problem into the next biennium. In fact, because this budget does not immediately address the problem, Wisconsin will start the next budget process with an immediate deficit of $2.2 billion. Wisconsin's fiscal situation is in shambles now, but it's going to be even worse two years from now because there is no political will to actually shrink the size of government.
The budget now moves on to the state Senate where Democrats have promised to make changes to reinstate a provision that could make it much easier for people to sue and they may potentially increase the gas tax that passed out of the Assembly. I will keep you informed as the process moves forward in the hopes that we can get some common sense put back into this budget.
June 12, 2009
Eugene, you had better start worrying about your newspaper.
Just for you Eugene, I'll point out this article from The Business Journal:
Journal Sentinel circulation dips
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s weekday circulation slipped 6.7 percent and Sunday circulation declined 6 percent, according to new audited figures.
The Journal Sentinel’s average weekday circulation was 203,240 for the six months ending March 31, compared with 217,755 a year earlier, the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Schaumburg, Ill., said Monday. Sunday circulation was 361,355 for the latest period, compared with 384,537 in the same period of 2008.
The Milwaukee daily newspaper’s circulation decline was similar to daily newspapers nationwide, according to the Audit Bureau. Daily circulation declined by 7 percent, to 34.4 million, compared with the same period of 2008. Sunday circulation dipped 5.3 percent, to 42.1 million.
When making the challenging decision a few years ago not to seek re-election to the Senate, I did so with the confidence that the person who was to succeed me would advocate for the best interests of our citizens. I’ve respected the decision of the electorate who chose Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, and Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, to represent them in Madison. I’ve held my tongue regarding some of the votes they cast over the last few years—allowing others to do the criticizing. Having read the latest column from Lehman and Mason, however, I feel I must shine some light on the real numbers our state will be faced with if this current budget proposal passes.
Frankly, Lehman and Mason are co-authors of the worst budget in state history. Here are some inconvenient facts Lehman and Mason failed to mention in their recent column in The Journal Times.
They start by talking about all the tough “cuts” they made. Unlike in the real world, only in Madison is a cut defined as not getting as much of an increase as you’d hoped for. The cold-hard truth is that the Lehman-Mason state budget proposal spends billions more, about 7 percent more, than the last budget. The Lehman-Mason budget raids one pot here to fund another program there.
They borrow even more today and say we’ll worry about paying the bill — and the crushing interest — tomorrow.
Next, Lehman and Mason say their budget “protects Wisconsin workers and families from tax increases.” This is ridiculous. I challenge them to find one citizen in Racine County who doesn’t pay at least one of these taxes: gas, phone, hospital, electricity, garbage, capital gains and property. This budget raises ALL of those taxes. Between this budget and a “budget repair” bill that passed earlier this year, Lehman and Mason have voted for about $3 billion in new taxes. When families here at home are already stretched thin, these new tax hikes couldn’t be coming at a worse time.
Lehman and Mason wrap up their column talking about how their budget responsibly funds our state priorities. Clearly public safety is not one of theirs because that is one of the only places they actually made cuts! This budget tries to save a buck by releasing felons from prison and slashing funding for the Department of Justice. Under the terms of the new catch-and-release Corrections plan, hundreds if not thousands of offenders will be coming soon to a street corner near you sooner than a jury intended. Some of those offenders include: child molesters, stalkers, drunken drivers, meth dealers and identity thieves. Yet, they found enough money laying around to give $500,000 for an opera house in Oshkosh.
Finally, Lehman and Mason don’t talk about how this budget was crafted almost entirely in secret. But then there are lots of parts of this budget that could have used more debate. New insurance mandates will raise auto insurance rates on the responsible family by at least $300 per year. They give drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens. Taxpayers will be subsidizing college tuition for illegal aliens at a time when many American families are struggling to pay for their own kids’ college. We’ll now be charging an American student from Ohio more money to attend college here than we would an illegal alien. How about insurance benefits for same-sex partners of state employees at a time when private sector employees are seeing cuts in their coverages and increases in their rates?
Read the rest and see comments at the Journal Times here.
June 11, 2009
First, I am not proposing any new taxes.
Second, we must make deep cuts to state government spending.
Third, we must preserve our essential services such as education and public safety.
Seriously, how can the man tell this lie time after time after time and get away with it?
First, I don't have enough fingers and toes to add up all the new taxes and fees. Just because you want to pretend they aren't there Governor does not mean that they are not, $3 billion worth of no new taxes. Jim Doyle must have graduated from RUSD to think that $3billion = 0.
Second, state spending is up 7%, how the hell is that a cut?
Third, please explain how public safety is served by releasing felons onto our streets. As to your bending over backwards for education, give me a freaking break, you are protecting the teachers union and trying to destroy school choice. Protect those who contributed to you while attacking disadvantaged youth, that's progressive all right.
There is not one word of truth in that statement, not one.
While I'm at it Guv, stop blaming the economy for your accounting tricks and stealing from other funds, now that you can not sustain those funding sources yet wish to keep spending that money you wish to blame someone else.
While you are at it, explain to the nice people how you you replace Obama's stimulus cash in the next budget? Once you build all your stupid trains how will we pay for the operating losses.
This is your fault Governor Doyle, yours and yours alone.
If you get the opportunity to catch the rerun later tonight, please do.
Mr. Long spoke lovingly about his son and how proud he was of him. Bill. O'Reilly commited to donate $50,000 in Andy's name to the Wounded Warrior Project.
2. Why dont car companies sell their own products direct rather than go through distributors? (trick question)
3. Do you really think Government Motors wont sell direct at some point?
4. If our Lord and Saviour wants us to be a healthier country, does this mean I can start smoking if I eat less and play more basketball?
5. Why cant we replace the term "czar" with the meaning: "Evil despots who answer to no one?"
Too wordy for the hyperventilating press? (and before any of you lefties get on my back about who started the whole czar thing, please name me #'s 2-20 of all the rightie presidents combined. Then you can talk.)
June 10, 2009
Talking tough but stepping gently, the Obama administration rejected direct intervention in corporate pay decisions Wednesday even as officials argued that excessive compensation in the private sector contributed to the nation's financial crisis..
It's followed by a "gentle" socialist thrust unlike anything the nation has seen:
Instead, the administration plans to seek legislation that would try to tame compensation at publicly traded companies through shareholder pressure and less management influence on pay decisions.
In place of this balderdash, we, the "shareholders" of America, should demand legislation to "tame the compensation" - the pay, the perks, the taxes, and the pork - going to Obama, Pelosi, Doyle, etc.
Good job Kyle!!!
Zehr points out that Public Schools do not have that requirement on them and given that, opponents should be able to argue that Choice schools should not have that burden placed upon them.
Let's be honest, this is just a dirty trick being played by Democrats to put so many expensive burdens on Choice schools that they will not be able to stay in the program.
Next time you hear a WEAC lackie or on of their paid zombies in the legislature say "it's all about the children", laugh in their face.
June 9, 2009
***UPDATE: Ok, since no one wants to venture a guess I will explain.
This is the environmental activist who will be in control of $20 BILLION of your dollars. You should probably be aware.
Some have tagged him as the “Great Lakes Czar.”
What should we expect for our $20 Billion?
Why, “this is a real testament to the passion and work that so many citizens are doing to put the Great Lakes on the map” – ‘cause I, for one, am tired of not seeing those ponds on maps and globes.
Rest assured, tho, they’re only on track to get $475 Million in the 2010 budget.
So….who’s going to keep track of all the jobs created by hunting down zebra mussels?
June 8, 2009
Private Long had just completed basic training and was volunteering at the recruiting station where his life was taken by an Islamic Terrorist. Private Long was scheduled to ship out to South Korea with his new unit today.
Tragically, Long's Mother was in the parking lot waiting to pick up Private Long after his shift and actually heard the gunshots.
President Obama did send the family a note expressing his condolences, however there were no representatives of the Obama administration at the funeral. The family was surprised that the administration ignored the funeral seeing as this was the first successful Islamic terrorist attack on US soil since 911.
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe did attend and speak before the service, the family was very appreciative of the Governor's words.
Memorials in memory of Private William Long are to be directed to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The following report is from ABC 7 in Little Rock.
Little Rock - Army Private William Long was to have been on his way to his first posting today when, instead, he was being eulogized in his hometown.Long, from Conway, was killed June 1 outside the Army-Navy Career Center in west Little Rock where he had volunteered to tell others about his military experience.
A Muslim convert once imprisoned in Yemen has pleaded not guilty to capital murder in Long's death. He allegedly told police he targeted Army personnel "because of what they had done to Muslims in the past."
About 200 people packed into the Harlan Park Baptist Church for the service.
Standing behind his son's open, flag-draped casket, Long's father, Daris Long, read a letter he'd planned to give to his son before his son deployed to South Korea.
Choking up at times, Long told his son to learn his skills quickly, as the chance remained that North Korea could invade South Korea. He placed the letter in the casket. Long was to have deployed on what turned out to be the day of his funeral.
Pastor John Harrington described Long as sharp and gifted, with an infectious smile. He told mourners that Long was a seeker and needed time to find himself. He said the Army was the right fit for the 23-year-old.
Long's father dressed in a blue blazer with military medals attached to a breast pocket. He wore an American flag tie and a red Marine Corps baseball cap.
By DINA CAPPIELLO, Associated Press Writer Dina Cappiello,
Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 16 mins ago
WASHINGTON – Low-income families will receive hundreds of dollars a year to help pay higher energy bills if Congress enacts the first-ever limits on the gases blamed for global warming, according to a new analysis.
But it is unclear just how much more those families will have to pay for energy.
A Congressional Budget Office analysis of the cost of global warming legislation working its way through the House estimates that low-income families could initially receive $161-$359 in credits or rebates, if the bill becomes law. That amount could rise to $282-$628 by 2019, depending on the family's size.
The money would come from the government auctioning off pollution permits to companies that release climate-altering gases. The amount of permits that will be sold will increase over time and they will become more expensive, generating $846 billion from 2010-2019, the analysis says.
Ok, I'm apparently too dumb to understand how redistributing the wealth will help curb global warming. One of you smart environmentalists will have to explain that one to the rest of us.
Let me just debunk one..."A minimal 75 cent surcharge for public saftey on phone lines will help ensure that we do not have to make deeper cuts to local services including public saftey"
This new tax on every cellular and land line phone was originally slated for first responders. It has since been changed to just flow into the general fund. This new tax is slated to raise $100,000,000.00, hardly a "minimal" amount of money.
The breadth of the lies in that document is amazing.
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I’ll try not to embarrass you Chris from Racine.
I don’t think it will ever warm up around here, and I blame Global Warming. Patrick.
A homeless person who is receiving government funded meals while taking a picture of the first lady using his $ 300 Black Berry cell phone...Priceless ALa
Peed my pants. Joey.
your lips would fuse together and your brain would drop out of your anus. Aaron.
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a Double Whopper Silent E
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Twitter Random Quotes
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my hair looks great tonight!!! Chris from Racine.
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Nah, no media bias.
UPDATE: 480%. The proposed increase in the Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Elimination permit fee charged to dairy farmers. Snuck in the middle of the night, this fee designated for water cleanliness is being raised from $250 to $1,200. A charge that will passed along to consumers.
Oh, and the increase is not going for water purity, it is being diverted into the Wisconsin's general fund.
Just another shady hidden tax increase from the Democrats on the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee.