Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Category: Politics – Wisconsin

Permanent State of Emergency

In a press release about a law that allows people to drive an unregistered vehicle during a state of emergency, Senator Marklein shares this fact with us:

Since 2019, there have been 19 State of Emergency declarations by the Governor that have applied to at least some part of the state under Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 323. These declarations have covered more than 710 of the last 982 days, or more than 72% of the time. In addition, there have been countless local emergency declarations.

These State of Emergency declarations have ranged from closing state office buildings due to cold weather, to preparing an emergency management response due to elevated wildfire conditions, to COVID-19 related measures. While some of these declarations are only necessary for a few days, under state law, emergency declarations last 60 days, unless revoked by the Governor via an executive order or by the legislature by joint resolution

It is remarkable how easy, and how often, our government officials suspend inconvenient rules by issuing a state of emergency. Why do we bother with a representative government and all of the apparatus of making and enforcing laws if they are suspended at the drop of a hat whenever the governor finds them onerous?

The legislature should take a hard look at revising the parameters of what is, and what is not, an emergency and who gets to decide.

“This is not a gun grab”

If you have to say it...

State Rep. Deb Andraca (D-Whitefish Bay) said 19 other states have extreme risk protection order laws, and passing similar legislation could save lives in Wisconsin.

 

“This is not a gun grab,” State Rep. Andraca said. “This is a bill that respects our Second Amendment rights with provisions, such as criminal penalties for those who bring false charges. Only a judge can issue an order based on clear and convincing evidence of a threat. The order is temporary, can be challenged or terminated with full due process.”

Mandela Barnes might be a perfect socialist

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News this week.

We learned last week that the Democrat front-runner for U.S. Senate and current lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes, did not pay any income taxes and received health care coverage from the taxpayers via BadgerCare in the same year he purchased two condos and ran for public office. It is a pattern of behavior that has become all too familiar in Barnes’ short political career.

 

In 2018, Barnes ran for lieutenant governor. Despite the booming economy, he decided to forgo earning a living to devote his time to politicking, so he did not pay any income taxes that year. Lacking any declared source of income, he was also on BadgerCare that year. BadgerCare is Wisconsin’s Medicaid program that is meant to provide taxpayer-funded health care coverage for low-income Wisconsinites. I doubt that the taxpayers thought that the intent of BadgerCare was to pay for the healthcare of fulltime political campaigners, but that is what they did.

 

What is interesting about that year is that Barnes also purchased two condos within a single year. After all, the economy and the housing market were doing well, so surely Barnes thought that either he needed two homes, or it was a good investment. Barnes has claimed that he used inherited money for the real estate purchases (some enterprising investigating reporter should verify the source of the money). This indicates that while Barnes forewent earning an income that year, he was not without means. Yet, despite having means, he chose to consume taxpayer dollars for his health care. He could have applied for an individual health insurance policy through Obamacare, but that would have meant spending some of his own money on premiums. Why should he buy only one condo and pay for his own health insurance when there are plenty of chumps out there to pay for his health care? This has been Barnes’ pattern throughout his political life. As he proudly touts his “progressive” credentials, he burnishes his socialist credentials by using every opportunity to avoid paying his own way and to spend other people’s money. Such purloining is at the heart of socialism.

 

In 2019, the public learned that Barnes had not paid the property taxes on his condo. According to city of Milwaukee records, Barnes had two delinquent property tax bills in June. The property taxes were due by the end of January and Barnes still had not paid them by the middle of summer. When confronted with the delinquency, Barnes dismissed the news as “ridiculous” and claimed that the “check is in the mail” — the refrain of deadbeats since the advent of regular mail service.

 

Barnes’ reluctance to pay his fair share of the tax burden is understandable. Many property owners grit their teeth when the property tax bill comes due every year. But such frustration with the high cost of government is not a valid reason to withhold payment, and socialists like Barnes want government to cost even more. When caught, Barnes paid the bill. There is no telling how long that check would have taken in the mail had it not hit the news.

 

In the same vein, Barnes failed to pay a slew of parking tickets until he was forced to. It was only $108, but the fines went unpaid even as Barnes assumed the office of lieutenant governor. The unpaid parking tickets meant that Barnes could not register his car, so he did not drive.

 

Fortunately for him, as lieutenant governor, Barnes had access to a taxpayer-funded security detail that could chauffeur him around the state in the guise of “protecting” him. With all that full-time protection and being driven around in the taxpayers’ cars, Barnes did not feel much need to pay the fines and register his car.

 

Once again, the incredibly high cost of Barnes’ security detail — even on days when he did not have any public duties — and the unpaid fines came into public view. Once again, Barnes was dismissive of the allegations and claimed there was just some mix-up. And once again, he finally paid the bill.

 

Barnes’ thoughtless use of the taxpayers’ dollars, disregard for personal responsibilities, and entitled rudeness are not deviations from the norm. They are the norm. He has spent a career finding ways to spend other people’s money as he enriches himself. That is precisely what he will continue to do should Wisconsin’s voters be foolhardy enough to send him to the U.S. Senate on their behalf.

Evers Advances GOP Tax Idea

He is a petty, petty man. That fact being acknowledged… do it.

MADISON – Democratic Gov. Tony Evers offered a plan Wednesday to repeal a tax on businesses even though he vetoed legislation to do just that less than two months ago.

 

Republicans who control the Legislature called the move hypocritical. Evers said he was offering a better plan to end the state’s personal property tax than the one he vetoed, which he has said was drafted in a “haphazard” fashion.

 

“This legislation will continue our efforts to support businesses and families as they bounce back from the pandemic while ensuring our local governments have the aid they need to remain whole,” Evers said in a statement.

 

Republican Sen. Duey Stroebel of Saukville, a longtime backer of the effort to end the personal property tax, said the way Evers rolled out his plan “has all the hallmarks of political cover and not serious legislating.”

Wisconsin Reinstalls Statues Torn Down by Rioters

Isn’t it weird that it would take federal funds to do this? How is this an interest to anyone outside of Wisconsin? And how many other little things like this are we paying for all over the country when the local folks should just do it themselves?

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Workers have reinstalled two statues on the Wisconsin Capitol grounds that protesters damaged during a demonstration last year following George Floyd’s death.

 

Protesters in June broke off a leg and tore the head off a statue of abolitionist Hans Christian Heg. They also dented and broke a finger off the “Forward” statue.

 

The state received $60,000 in federal grants to cover restoration efforts. Workers from the state Department of Administration reinstalled both statues Tuesday morning.

 

They used a boom crane to lower Heg back onto his pedestal.

Mandela Barnes might be a perfect socialist

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a sample:

We learned last week that the Democrat front-runner for U.S. Senate and current lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes, did not pay any income taxes and received health care coverage from the taxpayers via BadgerCare in the same year he purchased two condos and ran for public office. It is a pattern of behavior that has become all too familiar in Barnes’ short political career.

 

[…]

 

This has been Barnes’ pattern throughout his political life. As he proudly touts his “progressive” credentials, he burnishes his socialist credentials by using every opportunity to avoid paying his own way and to spend other people’s money. Such purloining is at the heart of socialism.

 

In 2019, the public learned that Barnes had not paid the property taxes on his condo. According to city of Milwaukee records, Barnes had two delinquent property tax bills in June. The property taxes were due by the end of January and Barnes still had not paid them by the middle of summer. When confronted with the delinquency, Barnes dismissed the news as “ridiculous” and claimed that the “check is in the mail” — the refrain of deadbeats since the advent of regular mail service.

 

Barnes’ reluctance to pay his fair share of the tax burden is understandable. Many property owners grit their teeth when the property tax bill comes due every year. But such frustration with the high cost of government is not a valid reason to withhold payment, and socialists like Barnes want government to cost even more. 

 

[…]

 

Barnes’ thoughtless use of the taxpayers’ dollars, disregard for personal responsibilities, and entitled rudeness are not deviations from the norm. They are the norm. He has spent a career finding ways to spend other people’s money as he enriches himself. That is precisely what he will continue to do should Wisconsin’s voters be foolhardy enough to send him to the U.S. Senate on their behalf.

Judge Throws Out Attempt to Oust Republican Board Member

Our government is breaking down.

A Dane County judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit from Attorney General Josh Kaul seeking to remove the head of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, which sets policy for the state Department of Natural Resources.

Kaul, who filed the lawsuit in mid-April, sought to have the board’s chair, Frederick Prehn, removed from the body after his term expired on May 1. Prehn has stayed on in the role — meaning Republican appointees maintain a 4-3 majority on the board — citing a little-known law that allows members to keep their seats on the board if the state Senate has not confirmed their replacements.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ nominee to replace Prehn, Sandra Dee Naas, has not yet received a hearing in the Legislature’s upper chamber — something that is commonplace among the governor’s nominees, including several Cabinet secretaries.

Prehn, a Wausau dentist who was appointed to the board by former Gov. Scott Walker in May 2015, could, in theory, remain on the board for years under the current strategy.

I love some bare knuckle politics as much as the next guy, but there is also supposed to be a regular churn of appointed members. The current administration is entitled to replace board members as a matter of course. This isn’t like the Biden Administration’s ouster of board members before their terms were up. This is normal order. The Senate has the prerogative to approve or deny the governor’s candidate, but to just sit on their hands is to disrupt normal order. This plays both ways.

Lawmakers Introduce Anti-Riot Bill

Meh. The problem with preventing/punishing riots doesn’t have anything to do with the laws. There are plenty of laws against destroying property, assaulting people, disrupting traffic, etc. The problem is that they happen in liberal cities where the politicians and local police lack the will to aggressively enforce those laws.

Remaining at a protest that turns violent or destructive could result in felony charges in Wisconsin under a proposal from Republican state lawmakers.

 

Sponsors say the plan is partly in response to last summer’s violence and destruction in Kenosha following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. It would create a definition of “riot” in state law and impose new penalties.

 

Under the bill, a riot would be defined as an unlawful assembly of three or more people that includes an act or threat of violence by at least one person that poses a risk or would result in personal injury or property damage, or an act that “substantially obstructs law enforcement or another governmental function.”

 

The proposal would make it a felony to participate in a riot that results in “substantial damage to property or personal injury,” with a minimum penalty of 45 days in jail and a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and up to three and a half years in prison. It would also make it a misdemeanor crime to attend or incite a riot or to block a thoroughfare while participating in a riot, with a minimum penalty of at least 30 days incarceration and a maximum penalty of up to a $10,000 fine and 9 months in jail.

What kind of chumps are we?

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News this week.

America is increasingly becoming a country where if you work hard, play by the rules, take care of your family, and live up to your responsibilities, you are a chump. Not only are you a chump, but you are held in contempt by those who want what you have.

 

Many of us grew up in an America where we were expected to build our own American Dreams. In our teens or early adulthood, we would enter the workforce in some low wage job to work our way up the ladder. Without any real skills or experience, entry level jobs were compensated accordingly. Those first jobs were grunt work, but they taught us responsibility, diligence, work ethic, and the value of a day’s work.
Now the thought of a crummy first job has become taboo. Some people expect their first jobs to be “family supporting” even when there isn’t any family to support. Convinced that they posses a personal dignity that wafts above the demands of menial labor, they sit home and sponge off others while waiting in their lobby of their own future.

 

Some of us chose the path of college to gain an education necessary for our chosen careers. We worked, scrimped, and chose a college within our means. Many of us also borrowed money with the full understanding that it was a debt we were incurring as an investment in our own futures and would pay the money back with the wages of that future.

 

Now we are being told that we must also pay off the bad investments in others’ futures too. When that neighbor kid took out massive loans to go to a college she could not afford to get a degree in something that had little market value, she made a bad investment. But instead of being responsible for her choice, she tells us that we must pay for her bad choice with a righteous entitlement that is only learned in our most esteemed universities.

 

As we began our families, many of us grew up in an America where we were expected to be responsible for them. We had to feed, clothe, house, and educate our children so that they would become responsible adults who could build their own futures and contribute to their communities. This often meant making personal compromises. We scaled our living expenses to live on one income so that one parent could stay home or worked overtime to afford help. We bought the store brand food, took “vacations” to the neighboring county, lived in modest homes, and became masters of the thrift stores.

 

Now we are being told that all those compromises we made in our own lives to care for our own families cannot be expected of others. Instead, we must pay to feed every kid in school whether their families can afford it or not. We must pay for child care for other people’s kids. We are not permitted to question the choices of parents who enjoy their steak dinners and vacations as they expect us to feed, clothe, and provide child care for their children. To ask such questions is deemed insensitive and inappropriate.

 

As we thought about getting older, many of us put money away to care for ourselves in our dotage. We have spent a lifetime pulling money out of our earnings to stash away with the hope of growing old. Again, we made compromises. We ate out less, bought cheaper houses, made that old couch last another year, and just lived with that dent in the car door instead of fixing it. A lifetime of little compromises is the price borne to afford an independent old age.

 

Now we are being told that if we have managed to save a nest egg for ourselves that we must share it with those who never made those compromises. Even now, the liberals in Washington and Madison are eyeing retirement funds as “wealth” to be taxed and taken for those who lived as if they would never grow old.

 

Now President Joe Biden is mandating vaccines, but only for Americans who are working and being responsible. If you are an illegal alien, are on the dole, work for Congress, are a refugee, or refuse to work, you do not have to get vaccinated. Only Americans who are gainfully employed are being forced to choose between getting vaccinated and pauperism. Irrespective of your opinion on federal vaccination mandates (I vehemently oppose them), only Americans who are being responsible, working, contributing members of society are feeling the heavy jack boots of Biden’s mandates.

 

So what kind of chumps are we? Why work hard, make personal compromises, and invest in a future that you will never be able to enjoy?

 

These questions are why socialism always fails. People are compassionate and want to help care for those in our society who are truly not able to care for themselves. When, however, people are forced to work harder to pay for those who are unwilling to care for themselves, they become chumps. And when the chump’s burden of paying for their lazy neighbor becomes too heavy and robs them of the rewards of their labor, then the chumps give up and look for some other chump to pay the bills. The cascade continues until there aren’t any more chumps left to pay.

Parents Push Back on SEL and CRT Curriculum in West Bend

I heard rumblings about the West Bend School Board’s meeting last night, but the video of parents sharing their views is incredibly compelling. Check out the Washington County Insider for more.

Quite a few parents asked the board to call an emergency meeting to remove the SEL and CRT curriculum from the West Bend School District.

 

“Stop teaching SEL in Badger and the high school and take emergency action to remove it now. You are causing harm to our children,” said parent Corine Freund. “It is not safe in our school. My son got beat up last week in your school district and I am tired of it.”

 

Nicole Casper has two children and already removed one from the district opting for homeschooling. “Why do you think it’s ok to continue teaching something parents don’t want,” she said. “Why is there such a pushback against parents who are concerned to have this stopped?”

 

Jamie Dutcher read from SEL curriculum that promoted a website for 13-and-14-year-old children. The website loveisrespect.org reminded students to “clear your history after visiting this website.”

 

“Sex can be a fun and gratifying activity for you and your partners to enjoy together. Five tips for your first time. … You can live chat your questions to us.”

 

Dutcher said she asked superintendent Jen Wimmer about the site and Wimmer told her the website was stricken from the curriculum.

What kind of chumps are we?

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

America is increasingly becoming a country where if you work hard, play by the rules, take care of your family, and live up to your responsibilities, you are a chump. Not only are you a chump, but you are held in contempt by those who want what you have.

 

[…]

 

Now President Joe Biden is mandating vaccines, but only for Americans who are working and being responsible. If you are an illegal alien, are on the dole, work for Congress, are a refugee, or refuse to work, you do not have to get vaccinated. Only Americans who are gainfully employed are being forced to choose between getting vaccinated and pauperism. Irrespective of your opinion on federal vaccination mandates (I vehemently oppose them), only Americans who are being responsible, working, contributing members of society are feeling the heavy jack boots of Biden’s mandates.

 

So what kind of chumps are we? Why work hard, make personal compromises, and invest in a future that you will never be able to enjoy?

 

Tesla Opens Dealership on Tribal Land to Avoid Law

Coming to Wisconsin.

Electric car manufacturer Tesla opened up its first sales and service center in New Mexico this week thanks to a first-of-its-kind partnership with a tribal nation.

 

New Mexico has laws on the books that prohibit car makers from selling directly to customers without going through third-party dealerships. The law has prevented Tesla from establishing an official presence in the state over the years.

 

But now Tesla has found a way around that. The electric car maker partnered with the first nation of Nambé Pueblo to open its first facility inside a defunct casino on tribal land north of Santa Fe, where the state law does not apply.

 

The facility opened Thursday with tribal leaders and state lawmakers in attendance who praised the deal.

Memo to politicians: Cut taxes

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News last week.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau released two memos last week with very similar numbers about two separate items. The first was about tax collections. The second was about tax expenditures. They tell a story about government and governance in modern America.

 

The first memo was about how money from the Coronavirus Relief Fund is being allocated. As part of the first big coronavirus stimulus bill passed by Congress in March of 2020, the state of Wisconsin was allocated $1.99 billion from the CRF to be used to cover unbudgeted expenses related to the pandemic by government entities. The memo details how the CRF money is being spent on things like health care facilities, payments to hospitals, contact tracing, and other logical things that were directly impacted by the pandemic. The memo also details how the CRF money is being spent on things like movie theater grants, broadband expansion, corporate welfare to ethanol producers, higher education funding, and a nice $233 million bucket for “state agency reimbursements.”

 

The use of CRF money is a perfect example of government and governance operating poorly. The CRF was designed as a gigantic slush fund to take tax dollars from all Americans in the form of federal taxes to be paid by future taxpayers to give to state and local governments in the present. By law, the money must be spent by the end of this year or it must be returned to the federal treasury. That is why the money is being poured into pet projects like broadband expansion, state agencies, and government education systems. Whether they actually need the money or actually incurred pandemic- related expenses is immaterial. What is more important is that the state spend the money before the deadline.

 

One part of the CRF rules is telling. In order to facilitate “administrative convenience,” government school districts can spend up to $500 per pupil without being required to document the specific uses of the spending. The money will be arbitrarily “presumed to be eligible.” This amounts to $410 million in additional government spending that may or may not have anything to do with the pandemic.

 

The second memo that the LFB released had to do with a surplus in tax collections. When the Legislature wrote the budget in 2019 before the pandemic, they estimated that the state tax laws would collect about $17.6 billion in taxes for the general fund. The preliminary final estimate shows that the state actually collected $19.6 million in taxes. The state collected about $1.9 million more in taxes than they thought they would.

 

Bearing in mind that the original estimate did not take into account the pandemic, the surplus tax collections are astounding. In the 2020-2021 state budget, the Republicans in the Legislature fought off Governor Evers’ attempt to raise taxes and cut them instead. The result is what we generally see when government cuts taxes — tax collections go up.

 

The simple reason for this is because money is taxed when it moves. When people have more money in their pockets because taxes are lower, they do not bury it in the backyard. They use it. When they spend it or invest it, the money is taxed, thus resulting in higher collections. In particular, the greatest contributor to the tax surplus was higher corporate income tax collections. Corporations took their tax cuts, invested them back into their businesses, and grew taxable profits.

 

There is a point at which cutting taxes will result in lower tax collections because the economy is already flush with money, but all indications are that the state of Wisconsin could still enact large tax increases and still see tax collections increase. This is because Wisconsin’s tax burden is already much higher than it should be to balance tax collections with economic movement.

 

The tax surpluses are an example of government and governance doing something well. The Republican tax cuts put money directly into the pockets of taxpayers and business owners without going through layers of government bureaucracy and expense. The result was that tax collections went up and the state could provide almost the same amount of relief as they received from federal taxpayers in the CRF.

 

The LFB’s two memos highlight how cutting taxes not only results in more taxes being collected, but they also render politicized and bureaucratic relief funds unnecessary by just letting taxpayers keep the money they earned.

 

The best government is the government that governs least.

Rebecca Kleefisch Announces Run for Governor

Here we go!

In an expected move, former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch on Thursday formally announced her gubernatorial bid for 2022.

 

The Republican and former TV news anchor, who spent eight years in office with former Gov. Scott Walker, is expected to face a contested GOP primary next fall, but Kleefisch made clear in an announcement video released Thursday that her sights are already set on unseating Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who is seeking a second term after defeating Walker in 2018.

“I am running because I have two kids who I want to choose Wisconsin to live their American dreams and one day raise families here,” Kleefisch said in a statement. “But that is only possible if we start putting the people first. We need safe communities, great education with real choice and real standards, and good-paying jobs.”

I like Kleefisch a lot. She’s smart, passionate, articulate, unapologetically conservative, and works hard. She’s everything that Evers isn’t.

Evers Accelerates Pardon Pipeline

Lovely set of priorities.

Evers announced 71 additional pardons Tuesday, bringing his total since taking office less than three years ago to 263. He’s on pace to issue more pardons in three years than the nearly 300 that former Gov. Jim Doyle did over eight years. Evers has already surpassed the 262 pardons issued by Govs. Tommy Thompson and Scott McCallum over the 16 years before Doyle took office.

Evers, a Democrat, revived the dormant pardons board and made issuing pardons a priority after former Republican Gov. Scott Walker didn’t issue a single one during his eight years in office before Evers defeated him in 2018.

 

[…]

 

Evers signed an executive order on Monday creating an expedited process for pardon applicants. Under the process, the pardon board chair may send an application directly to the governor without a hearing if the person committed a non-violent crime and sufficient time has passed since the conviction.

Also, application pardons can now be sought for multiple felony convictions. Previously, pardons would only be considered for the most recent felony and earlier ones would not be considered.

Madison Government School Scheme to Violate the Law

To many of your government schools are no longer interested in the views of parents, the community, or even the law. Many of them don’t seem very interested in actual education anymore either. They think that their higher purpose to program their ideology into the next generation takes priority over all other priorities.

As far as the Madison school district is concerned, parents have no business knowing if their children are experimenting with alternate gender/sexual identities – no matter what the courts say.

 

Last year, the district’s official policy was to lie to parents if their children came out as transgender at school. Parents sued, and the courts struck down the district’s policy.

 

[…]

 

Regardless of that straightforward language about not concealing information from parents, MMSD believes it has a workaround. It’s advising staff to simply not answer parents’ questions about their children coming out at school.

 

“If a parent asks a teacher a question about their child as to these matters, including information about the name and pronouns being used to address their child at school, the teacher CAN choose not to answer the question.  The District does NOT have a policy that a teacher must choose not to answer that question if a parent asks about their own child.  It is within the teacher’s discretion whether to answer the question or not,” according to guidance from the district’s general counsel.

 

MMSD Chief of Staff Dr. Richard McGregory sent that guidance to all staff on Aug. 30th. He did not respond to requests from MacIver News for comment.

 

Advising teachers to deliberately deceive parents, preventing parents from knowing about a child transitioning and denying them the basic right to have a role in that sensitive and life-changing decision is not the School District’s only example pushing sexualization and very adult discussions onto children.

Memo to politicians: Cut taxes

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

Bearing in mind that the original estimate did not take into account the pandemic, the surplus tax collections are astounding. In the 2020-2021 state budget, the Republicans in the Legislature fought off Governor Evers’ attempt to raise taxes and cut them instead. The result is what we generally see when government cuts taxes — tax collections go up.

 

The simple reason for this is because money is taxed when it moves. When people have more money in their pockets because taxes are lower, they do not bury it in the backyard. They use it. When they spend it or invest it, the money is taxed, thus resulting in higher collections. In particular, the greatest contributor to the tax surplus was higher corporate income tax collections. Corporations took their tax cuts, invested them back into their businesses, and grew taxable profits.

There is a point at which cutting taxes will result in lower tax collections because the economy is already flush with money, but all indications are that the state of Wisconsin could still enact large tax increases and still see tax collections increase. This is because Wisconsin’s tax burden is already much higher than it should be to balance tax collections with economic movement.

 

The tax surpluses are an example of government and governance doing something well. The Republican tax cuts put money directly into the pockets of taxpayers and business owners without going through layers of government bureaucracy and expense. The result was that tax collections went up and the state could provide almost the same amount of relief as they received from federal taxpayers in the CRF.

 

The LFB’s two memos highlight how cutting taxes not only results in more taxes being collected, but they also render politicized and bureaucratic relief funds unnecessary by just letting taxpayers keep the money they earned.

 

The best government is the government that governs least.

Milwaukee Looks for Reasons to Spend Slush Fund Money

Again… slush fund. This money isn’t being spent on pandemic-related costs. It’s just a gigantic slush fund and they are making up reasons to spend it.

The push-and-pull over nearly $400 million in federal pandemic relief funds has begun in earnest in Milwaukee.

 

Community groups and their supporters packed together outside a Common Council meeting room Thursday morning to advocate for $200 million for affordable housing just before the finance committee inside heard from Mayor Tom Barrett and approved spending $13.7 million on issues considered urgent.

 

[…]

 

The events Thursday followed a vote of the Common Council a day earlier on a process for deciding how the first half of the funds will be spent. That process requires council members to submit requests for using the money by 5 p.m. on Oct. 1 and the compiled requests to be made public by Oct. 12.

Wisconsin Backs Down On Onerous Regulations for Swimply

Good. Government should get out of the way of innovation.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin regulators have backed down on demands that operators of a startup that allows private homeowners to rent their swimming pools by the hour said would kill their business.

 

Wisconsin regulators told Swimply in April that pools offered for rent would have to be treated the same as large, public swimming pools. That meant a pool’s owner would have to obtain a license and meet tougher construction requirements.

But on Friday, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection notified attorneys for Swimply that most pools offered for rent would not have to meet those higher standards.

 

Wisconsin was the first state to push back against Swimply, which started in 2018 with four pools in New Jersey but has taken off during the pandemic.

Hospitality Industry Decimated by Government Shutdowns

Notice how many liberal groups are using the pandemic to angle for their agendas – agendas that they had long before the pandemic? Never let an opportunity go to waste… it’s clear that America’s Left is using the pandemic and the fear of a resurgence to push America closer to full socialism.

A recent survey of Wisconsin businesses by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s largest business lobby, found that 72% of employers said the workforce shortage is the biggest public policy issue facing the state.

Nearly 80% of employers surveyed by WMC said they plan to increase the number of employees in the next six months, and will raise wages to do so. More than 25% of businesses said they plan to raise wages by more than 4% in 2021, and 70% said they plan to raise wages by at least 3%.

The COWS report argues that workers — particularly those in low-wage service jobs — need better wages, more predictable schedules and stronger benefits.

“Since the collapse, the question has been ‘when will we get back to normal?’” said COWS associate director Laura Dresser in a statement. “But ‘normal’ for low-wage workers has long been unsustainable, leaving too many families struggling to get by. Adding jobs is important, but ensuring strong job quality and supports for low-wage workers is equally important.”

The hospitality industry also took the largest hit at the national level, but Wisconsin outpaced the national rate. Hospitality employment decreased by 18.7% in Wisconsin from February 2020 to June 2021, compared to 12.9% nationally.

Other sectors that saw significant losses in Wisconsin include government, with a 6.9% decline, and natural resources and mining, with a loss of 7.7%. Industries that saw the smallest declines included information; professional and business services; trade, transportation and utilities; and manufacturing — all with declines of 1% or less.

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