Where Free Marketers Meet and Take Action in Southeastern Wisconsin

Our Side and Green Shoots

06.25.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

Yesterday, I had to explain to someone what a “green shoot” refers to:  it’s the first sign that a plant has begun to grow–a seedling.  Originally, people started using it in reference to the economy, referring to a recovery that frankly, cannot get here soon enough.

But more recently, I’ve started hearing “green shoots” in reference to the conservative side of the ledger (although most conservatives run as Republicans, I’m sensative to substituting the two, so I usually use “Our side”, to encompass AFB, CYP, Tosa Taxpayers Alliance, etc. etc.).

It’s early, but things are starting to come around and things are starting to get organized.  If you know your Wisconsin state politics, you know that a bunch of reasons, the outcome of elections in the State Senate and the Assembly will be very important and also very close (despite the losses of 2006 and 2008, Republicans are close to the majority in both). 

And today, we saw another “green shoot.”  Rep. Leah Vukmir, my representative, declared that she’d be running for State Senate in the 5th District against incumbent Sen. Jim Sullivan.  See    www.LeahVukmir.com for more information.

Leah was our speaker back when CYP was very small; in the spring, we’ll undoubtedly have her back.  But beyond being a good sign for Tosa, Brookfield, Elm Grove, West Allis, and parts of Milwaukee (who would benefit immensely from a Senator who doesn’t like to sit on the sidelines and talk about bike trails while taxing the heck out of anything that walks or crawls), this is a good sign for “our side”–people are starting to step up.

It’s going to take quite a bit of work for Leah to overcome Jim Sullivan’s incumbency.  I encourage you to get excited and give Leah some support.  Even just an email to say, “hey, good job and good luck” would be helpful as she starts her great adventure:  [email protected]

Barbara Boxer is a low-class rude jerk.

06.18.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrpFSfpXD50&feature=player_embedded

So Barbara Boxer was having a bad day and decided to take it out on a Brig. General.  “Call me “Senator” not “ma’am” because I’ve earned it.”

Did she copy that right out of “A Few Good Men”?   Wow, I’m impressed, very clever.  I repeat movie quotes when I’m at bars with my friends.  I understand “ma’am” is acceptable use in the military.  It’s fine to ask someone to call you something different, if you think it’s more respectful or you don’t like “ma’am” or “sir.”  No problem with that.

But taking a condescending/caustic tone to a subordinate means you just lack class.  Didn’t your mother raise you any better than that?

Russ Decker: comparing apples and oranges

06.18.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

The Senate Democrats now propose that capital gain will now be taxed at 100% in Wisconsin, instead of excluding 60% of capital gain from state income taxes.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/48253947.html

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau is saying it will raise a something like $315 million, but I don’t know anyone with any capital gains, so we’ll see.  It will hurt investment in the state because it raises the cost of capital–the same stuff I always say.

Anyway, Decker justified it by saying:

“Eliminating the capital gains exclusion is about tax fairness,” he said. “Why should someone who sells a painting, a second home or gold coins get a tax break while someone who earns their money by working all year does not?”

That’s accurate as far as the income tax is concerned.  However, if you sell a painting or gold coins, you will pay sales tax which is sort of odd if you think it’s an investment like Decker is thinking (the sales tax is kind of a mess in that no one really knows what it is theoretically supposed to tax).  You don’t pay sales tax on real property, but, really, what about the property taxes you’ve been paying on your second home?  So it’s not really the same, is it, when it comes to tax fairness?  It may not be the same, but it isn’t really a loophole.

No matter, because gold coins are not where the bulk of the $315 million is going to be coming from (well, may be if Obama doesn’t get his money printing machine under control).  The bulk will come from investments in corporations–buying and selling stock and mutual funds.  Decker probably doesn’t want to talk about that, because large numbers of voters sell stocks for a profit (although, again, not for a few years now).

And therein lies the rub–corporate profits were already taxed by the state at 7.9% (and the recycling surcharge) .  Profits are then  distributed out as dividends to be taxed again at 6.75% (and now probably 7.75%).  The one sop to an investor was that when he sold his investment, the investor could exclude a portion of the capital gain from tax.  Investors do not have it easy.

Decker makes an implicit argument that Wisconsin should tax capital and labor income similarly, but looks to a very narrow definition of “tax”.

July 15th Happy Hour: Zen on 7 at Hotel Metro

06.17.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

Want to know the good, the bad and the ugly about the new state budget? 

Come to CYP Happy Hour to find out from our Special Guest Rep. Scott Newcomer (33rd District)

Wed., July 15, 5:30-8:00

Place:  “Zen on 7″ on the 7th floor rooftop bar at Hotel Metro.

Meet up at one of Milwaukee’s coolest spots.  Hopefully the scenery can distract you from the terrible provisions in the state budget.  Scott Newcomer will briefly address the budget and getting involved in politics.

Special thanks to Heather Treptow for getting this great spot and to Jeff Schaefer for getting our speaker.

Russ Decker disagrees with Assembly, U.S. Constitution

06.16.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/48072932.html

The state budget has a tax on oil companies.  As proposed, the law prohibits oil companies from passing on the tax to consumers at the gas pump.  The problem is, and the Assembly rightly realized, is that such a law is unconstitutional.   They took out the part that prohibited the oil company from passing along the tax.

Now, Russ Decker thinks that he doesn’t have to follow the Constitution.  Well, when we’re refunding all of the tax collections from the new gas tax, I guess Decker will have to believe it when the state is refunding the tax to oil companies at 9% interest.  Is anyone even paying attention in the legislature any more? 

http://www.hamilton-consulting.com/updates/docs/foley_opinion-oil-tax.pdf

ABC/White House Broadcasting Corporation

06.16.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

Wow.  In contrast to many people, I actually think that most reports of media bias are bunk.  But I have seen a shift in the traditional media–they really have given up on trying to be fair to both sides of a debate.  The abomination that is reporting on Sarah Palin (like her or hate her, she and her children have been singled out) is a good case in point.

Apparently, according to Drudgereport.com, the Nightly News will look like the propaganda arm of the White House.  The press is free to do whatever they want–that’s the first amendment.  They can cuddle with the White House all they want.  But when they shouldn’t  wonder why conservatives–a plurality of voters–don’t watch their crummy quasi-news shows.

ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House.

The network plans a primetime special — ‘Prescription for America’ — originating from the East Room, exclude opposing voices on the debate.

School Choice Program Cut

06.13.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/47966021.html

In the secret budget negotiations (the Assembly Democrats have closed their caucus) where the state budget is being hashed out, the Democrats have decided that they’ve had enough of the school choice program.  They originally wanted to cut the number to 20,500, but they “compromised” at 21,500.

First, this is policy and does not belong in a budget that is only half-heartedly being debated anyway.  This way, goes the thinking, no one has to really be responsible, because they can say things like “Oh, well, it was the best deal we could get.”

But more importantly, people are choosing to send their children to these schools.  If you believe people can make decisions for themselves and their children, this is ridiculous–Democrats want to take the option away to make sure union-run schools have a monopoly on education.  This would at least be arguable if MPS was a decent school district, but it is pretty apparent that it is not.  The people who are howling over school choice should take a long look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves why 20,000 children are not coming to their schools and what they are going to do about it.

Tim Sheehy comes to CYP Thurs. night, sick day ordinance struck down next day

06.12.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

Coincidence?  I think not.  Behold the power of CYP! 

On Friday, June 12, 2009, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Thomas Cooper struck down the City of Milwaukee’s paid sick leave mandate, stating that the mandate was, “invalidly enacted and unconstitutional.”

MMAC President Tim Sheehy called the ruling, “A victory for the City of Milwaukee’s economic competitiveness and the workers who depend on a growing economy for their jobs.”

And now for the state budget (it appears we also fixed global warming, too).

www.mmac.org for more info.