Milwaukee’s dilemma is your dilemma

But the road builders thank you nonetheless!


By Jack E. Lohman

So Milwaukee wanted to raise property taxes because they have 1700 more students in their schools than expected and insufficient revenue? And other cities want to do the same?

Live with it. That’s the way the system is designed. The road builders need the money!

You know, for expanding I94 to four lanes to Chicago when three work just fine. Unnecessarily expanding the interchange in Oconomowoc at a cost of $25 million. Tearing down the Hoan bridge and building its replacement. Rebuilding Hwy 45 at Fond du Lac when a simple repaving would have sufficed. And doubling Hwy53 to Superior.

And oh, let’s rebuild the Zoo Interchange rather than divert the traffic with an extended Fond du Lac freeway!

Some road building is necessary, and indeed ours is the best. But this demonstrates the massive success of campaign contributions in our political system. While our students and parents give nothing to politicians, they get nothing in return.

Budget shortfalls; high taxes; aborted city improvements; deficit spending; they’re all the direct result of how we fund the political system. By special interests giving money to willing politicians.

Either fix the system or quit your bellyaching!

Yes, I’m as tired writing about this as you must be of reading it, but the problem will not go away by simply ignoring it. It is what it is, and to not battle it is to let the politicians and their cronies keep looting the treasury and our kid’s future.

We can no longer ignore it. This year we must hold the new politicians accountable.

Corrupt political systems have destroyed many countries, and ours is certainly not immune. Our continually re-electing the same politicians year after year is not a good sign.

Our problem is not just the road builders; they are simply the most visible and thus get the heat. Our first problem is the corruption of private campaign contributions, from both business and labor. All else is our economy; the end result of corruption.

And this from Thomas Friedman on the recent crash: “So many people were in on it: People who had no business buying a home, with nothing down and nothing to pay for two years; people who had no business pushing such mortgages, but made fortunes doing so; people who had no business bundling those loans into securities and selling them to third parties, as if they were AAA bonds, but made fortunes doing so; people who had no business rating those loans as AAA, but made fortunes doing so; and people who had no business buying those bonds and putting them on their balance sheets so they could earn a little better yield, but made fortunes doing so.”

BusinessWeek magazine also has an excellent article. The bankers and subprime lenders are back under new names, with FHA (taxpayer) guarantees. Where is regulation when you really need it? Better, where are our politicians when you need them?

3 Responses to Milwaukee’s dilemma is your dilemma

  1. I love it. The Big Three CEOs are now going to work for a dollar per year, but they haven’t told the whole story. They’ll instead get stock options in lieu of pay, and while they may be worth nothing if they go belly up, if they succeed they will pay the lower capital gains rate for their sacrifice. So the taxpayers get screwed again.

  2. And let me add one other comment: pay a CEO $50 million per year and he does not have to work for long term success of a company. In fact, long term gains are often sacrificed for short term wealth, because that’s the fastest way to put lots of cash in the pockets of the CEO. High pay can have a reverse motivation for the CEO. (I wish I had that problem!)

  3. KJohn says:

    $1 salary for a CEO will lead to many speculations from the common public. But it is the general tendency to see a man who gives up his benefits as a martyr or saint. In this scenario this decision will automatically build a trust in the public. There will always be some skeptics but in general people will believe that the CEO is doing his best to revive the company back. Reverse psychology always works on the general public.


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