Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Editorial Idiocy

The Racine Journal Times editorial board is at it again. Their love affair with tax increases and Governor Tax and Fee increases, uh Doyle, is really out of control.

I’m publishing this here rather than at
RDW as this editorial no doubt will make its rounds in one form or another to every other paper in the state.

This thing needs to be addressed bit by bit.

Keep a perspective during budget debate

A $58 billion state budget remained mostly intact last week as it headed out of the state’s Joint Finance Committee and now goes to the Senate and Assembly.

There it will undoubtedly get serious makeovers from state Republicans who control the Assembly and state Democrats who control the Senate. Reconciling those disparate versions will be the difficult job of a conference committee — and then Gov. Jim Doyle will get one last whack at it with his veto pen.

An amazing work of fiction that will be as well, can you even imagine the horror story of this Frankenstein veto?

Given the split in the control of the state Capitol, there will undoubtedly be some major horse-trading on some tax and fee provisions that Doyle put into the state budget earlier this year to balance the budget.

Tax and fee provisions… Ok JT editors try this on for size. Tax and fee increases. Tax increase, there was that so hard?

Republicans have already lamented tax and fee increases and 23 Republicans in the Assembly, including state Rep. Robin Vos, R-Caledonia, have pledged to vote against “any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

Ah the Darth Vader of the Journal Times, Robin Vos. They can not write any article or editorial about holding the line on taxes or tax cuts without mentioning the man. This is how I know he is doing a great job.

That means you also look forward to the inevitable radio and television harangues exhorting you to call either your governor, senator or representative to “demand” that they do this or that to block one tax or another. Those messages will come from lobbying groups from affected industries and also political groups.

God forbid, citizen action and disdain against tax increases. Oh the humanity!

And indeed, there are some tax and fee increases in this budget – on everything from cigarettes, an motor vehicle registration to shovelnose sturgeon permits. And on oil companies and hospitals.


The cries will soon get shrill and you’ll hear talk about the “$1.75 billion” in new fees and taxes, no doubt combined with a lament that Wisconsin has become a tax hell.

Wisconsin is a tax hell and has been for years, wake up you idiotic editors (Randy Brandt I'm sure). Shall we ignore the talk about the "$1.75 billion"? Is there something dishonest about that? Implication is so tawdry isn't it?

Before things get too shrill, let’s put some perspective to this. One of the big increase items is the tax on cigarettes which would go rise by $1.25 per pack to $2.02. That tax boost has popular support according to several polls. It would raise $500 million over the two-year life of this budget.

Shrill? I don’t smoke, it is still wrong. How about we put a huge tax increase on news print? Then you would see some shrill!

Another big one is the tax on major oil companies which would be forbidden to be passed on to state motorists. That would generate more than $275 million over the two-year budget period.

The state has admitted they have no way of knowing about this tax being passed on, you are smart enough to know that. However, you are too liberal to admit that. Keep on spinning those Jimmie Doyle talking points…

And a third big one is the hospital tax. That would generate more than $418 million for the state, but it would generate millions of dollars in federal funding for hospitals. After the tax, state hospitals would still have a net increase in revenues of something like $284 million because of increased Medicaid payments.

Someone explain to me again how Doyle campaigned on the issue of lowering health care costs by adding additional taxes onto our health care… He didn’t? Are you sure?

Together those three tax increases account for more than 60 percent of the tax and fee increases in the state budget that is now advancing through the Legislature.

Good, in three easy steps we can get rid of 60% of this nonsense.

Now let’s add another component to this. According to a Wisconsin Taxpayer’s Alliance report last week, Wisconsin is falling, not rising, in the proportion of personal income which go to state and local taxes. In dropped two spots in the ranking of states last year, down to eighth place. And when you look at more expansive cost comparisons – adding in user fees like vehicle registration and university tuition, Wisconsin is not in the top ten states. In the broadest measure of all, comparing states by all money raised by state and local government (but not that coming from Washington), Wisconsin ranked 20th in the country – not even in the top third.

Two whole spots! That certainly was not due to anything we did, if other states raised taxes why in your twisted liberal minds do you think that makes our tax burden any less onerous?

We hope the budget sessions move ahead with solid deliberation and hard work – and without the invective and shrillness that have too often become associated with this process. Yes, there will be honest differences on taxation and the value of various programs and spending, and, yes, there must be compromises.

Shrill = anything conservatives say. Tell me Journal Times editors how many of these tax and fee increases have Joint Finance Committee Democrats been against, including your precious John Lehman? Come on you can say it... Zero.

We would urge that work be done with perspective and with civility.

Lock the conservatives in a closet.

Amazingly the Journal Times got through this whole editorial without mentioning the Proposed KRM rail line... Someone is getting fired over that one.

So to summarize their premise, keeping a perspective on the budget debate:
  • Tax & Fee provisions, good
  • Doyle, good.
  • Health care costs, too low.
  • Republicans, bad.
  • Vos, evil.
  • Smokers, evil.
  • Anyone in opposition, shrill.
  • Wisconsin, not a tax hell.
  • Tax on oil companies, will not come back on consumers.

I can some up this editorial in a much more concise way.

Journal Times Editors, idiots.

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