Where Free Marketers Meet and Take Action in Southeastern Wisconsin

Don’t Forget to Vote Tomorrow, April 7!

04.06.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

Tomorrow’s election will have far-reaching impacts on important issues in Wisconsin, with the administration of justice and the future of the state’s education system among them.  CYP members have had the opportunity to meet a number of candidates who are running for office tomorrow, but if you didn’t get a chance to meet someone or haven’t had the opportunity to read up on candidates, information is available in the right sidebar on this page. To find your polling place or check on the status of your voter registration, you can use the Wisconsin Voter Public Access site. 

Tomorrow’s races are important to the people of Wisconsin and can also serve as an important first step in catalyzing support for midterm national elections and the battle to take back the governor’s mansion in 2010. Let your voice be heard.

Let’s read the entire voucher report

04.04.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

Recently, the long-awaited report of the longitudinal study of MPS and voucher school students was released.  http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/41868652.html 

What is getting the most attention is one result of the study that says students do about as well academically as voucher students over the course of one year.  Never mind that the reason for it may well be another (albeit far less reported on) result from the same report:  that those MPS students who live near more choice schools do better than their MPS peers who do not.    That is to say, that where there is choice available, MPS students do better.  If the choice schools are teaching the voucher students better and making MPS teach students better, then you might expect to see similar outcomes.  It may be that competition improves everyone.

In fact, this echoes some of the early research of the voucher program–that MPS schools in the vicinity of other opportunities improve themselves.  The report reads: 


Using an individual fixed-effects model with a novel measure of systemic effects, we find that students in

Milwaukee fare better academically when they have more free private options through the voucher program. It appears that Milwaukee public schools are more attentive to the academic needs of students when those students have more opportunities to leave those schools. This finding is robust across several different specifications of the model.  http://www.uark.edu/ua/der/SCDP/Milwaukee_Eval/Report_11.pdf



That kind of seems important, especially when MPS is chaulk full of different projects that have never been known to increase academic achievement (or at least were never proven to do so).

So how’s that new style of diplomacy working out?

04.04.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized


North Korea, in breach of numerous treaties and agreements just launched a missile through Japanese airspace, proving once again that the regime is rotten (spending money on a space program while people are undernourished) and provocative. Apparently, they weren’t really interested in talking through their issues with any U.S. president, be it Obama or Bush.
Thinking that putting an emphasis on talking to our enemies is, I think, a little ego-centric on our part. We’re not enemies with the North Korean government because we can’t emphathize with their situation or because we don’t understand it or because it’s something that we’ve done.
We do understand the situation and North Korea’s actions have little to do with any sort of U.S. diplomacy or lack of diplomacy. We understand enough that North Korea’s government wants to stay in power–that means fighting off internal and external threats by showing that the regime is militarily potent, and frankly, crazy enough to kill thousands of people if it were attacked. Make no mistake that the timing was important internally, too–the missile launch was undoubtedly a way to show any potential opposition leaders (if such a thing exists in North Korea) that the military is powerful and loyal to the Dear Leader. Let’s not kid ourselves that just a little bit of talking will bring about peace. We’re just at odds with these people and whatever the U.S. reaction is, will probably only have a marginal effect on the situation.

A Plan They Just Don’t Like

04.02.2009 · Posted in News

Democrats have been complaining since President Obama’s election that Republicans are the party of “no” and offer no real solutions.  This is simply not the case and underscores a very scary political approach.  It’s not that Republicans are not offering solutions.  It’s that Democrats simply don’t like what they hear and therefore choose not to engage in a political discussion.

Conservative leaders, like our very own Scott Walker and Paul Ryan, have been advocating for a different fiscal course.  As members of the minority party, these conservative leaders are obviously not going to have the same type of platform from which to speak.  Just today Congressman Ryan released the Republican’s aternative proposed budget.  Their plan would do many things, including simplifying the tax structure and reforming Medicare, Medicade and Social Security.

However, instead of actually debating the issues, I’m certain the left’s response is simply going to be ridicule for presenting “Bush” policies.  The reason there will not be substantive debate is because with a grasp on political power in D.C. and throughout many parts of the country, see Wisconsin, Democrats are using a technique wherein any opposition is unrealistic and a call for failure. 

By calling for a different approach, conservatives are not hoping that the left’s policies fail.  They already have!  Increasing the welfare state while declaring war on investors, entrepreneurs and manufacturers is a policy for disaster.  Far from hoping for failure, conservatives are attempting to avert disaster.  And I hope that leaders like Ryan and Walker remain engaged in the debate, even if the Democrats aren’t willing to listen.

A Perfect Golf Analogy

04.01.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

I received this today from one of my golfing buddies.  I really think it places the administration’s economic approach in a fun context.  With Obama’s changes now in place, I guess I can get rid of my putter! (thanks Danno!)

Obama Forces Changes at USGA


THE USGA ANNOUNCES THE FOLLOWING MAJOR rule changes to the game of golf as dictated by President Obama:

 Golfers with handicaps:

-below 10 will have their green fees increased by 35%

-between 11 and 18 will see no increase in green fees

-above 18 will play for free and even get a check from the club/ course played

 The $ amount put in for bets will be as follows:

-for handicaps below 10 an additional $10

-between 11 and 18 no additional amount

-above 18 you will receive the total amount in the pot and you do not even have to play.

 The term “gimme putt” will be changed to “entitlement” and will be used as follows:

-handicaps below 10, no entitlements

-handicaps above 11 to 17, entitlements for putter length putts

-handicaps above 18, if on green, no need to ever putt, just pick it up.

 These entitlements are intended to bring about fairness in scoring so that the final scores of all players will be about the same.

 In addition, a Player will be limited to a max of one birdie and/ or six pars, any excess must be given to those fellow players who have not yet scored a birdie or par.

 Only after all players have received a birdie or par from the player making the birdie or par, can that player begin to count his score again.

 The current USGA handicap system will be used for the above purposes but the term ‘net score’ will be available only for scoring those players with handicaps 18 and above. This is intended to ‘redistribute’ the success of winning by making sure that in every competition the above 18 handicap players will post only ‘net score’ against every other player’s gross score.

These new Rules are intended to CHANGE the game of golf. Golf must be about Fairness Only. It should have nothing to do with Ability.

Yet another nominee understates her tax liability

03.31.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized


Health and Human Services nominee Katheleen Sebelius admitted that she underpaid her taxes by about $7,000 today.

I read through the mistakes that Gov. Sebelius made–they are serious and not technical requirements–the requirement that all charitable deductions be backed up by a written statement from the charity exists because too many people were falsifying deductions.

But, in all honesty, these errors are far from the clear disregard that Tim Geithner and Tom Daschle showed for our tax system. The lesson from Kathleen Sebelius’ experience with the tax system is probably the same lesson that we are all taking from the tax system as April 15th rolls around–we need to make the system less complex. We could save a large amount of transactional costs if politicians were willing to do the hard work of simplifying the tax code.

Politically, it far better to talk about yet another credit for college, even when there are at least 5 different tax advantages for education, instead of consolidating and simplifying them. Simplification would help people considering higher education, because they could actually estimate the amount of money they willl receive for education through tax incentives–which is the whole point of the education tax credits in the first place.

Judicial Elections

03.27.2009 · Posted in Campaign Updates

I think it is important to highlight the many contributions some CYP’s are making to the public discussion taking place throughout Wisconsin. 

As the spring elections draw near, more and more attention is being given to the matter of an elected judiciary.  Unfortunately, if you are looking for quality analysis, you might have to search for some time.  Many on the left do not support the idea of an elected judiciary because they are stinging from consecutive losses at the Supreme Court level.

If you are looking for a well-reasoned article, Kyle Maichle, a CYP Happy Hour attendee from the start, recently had an op-ed regarding judicial selection featured in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.  I encourage you to check it out.

Pre-Election Happy Hour

03.24.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

DATE:  Thursday, April 2
TIME:   5:30-7:30
LOCATION:  Karma (600 East Ogden Ave.)

Free CYP Social Hour. Bring your friends. We’ll briefly introduce conservative candidates standing for election on April 7th:

Rose Fernandez, State Schools Superintendent
Randy Koschnick, State Supreme Court
Dan Gabler, Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge
And please, remember to vote on April 7th.

We don’t pay for drinks, but there’s no cover or free to attend. Bring anyone who may be interested.

Transportation Debate

03.24.2009 · Posted in News

On Saturday, the JS published op-eds from County Executive Scott Walker and Mayor Barrett continuing the regional transit debate following the mayor’s recent actions to get federal money appropriated for fuel-efficient buses and a downtown streetcar system (for background, check out my post from last Thursday).

The mayor makes his case for why rail is necessary for Milwaukee’s future while Walker explains why bus rapid transit is quick and effective, and a better long-term choice for the region.