Anything would be better than what we have; or not!
By Jack E. Lohman
Our politicians have ruined our economy by spending good taxes on bad policy. Who would complain about taxation if there wasn’t do much waste and special interest giveaways?
A recent Institute for Wisconsin’s Future newsletter noted that “Due to state budget shortfalls, assistant district attorneys across the state may receive pink slips.” That’s not good news for the state.
California is looking to furlough tens of thousands of non-violent criminals because they can no longer afford to house them. Criminals are being put on the street because taxes were used to satisfy special interest giveaways instead.
Wisconsin is no better off. We are spending billions on road building (the Zoo, Oconomowoc and Airport Interchanges, I94 Milwaukee to Chicago, Hoan Bridge, and others), but we are withholding funds needed by localities to strengthen schools and fire and police coverage.
Is it any wonder that the Tea Partiers are marching?
They don’t like our political system, but they don’t really know why. Some are D’s and others R’s, but frightfully, some are fringe wackos. Let’s hope the former oust the latter and we move on to fix the system.
The Partiers haven’t been told by their leaders (extremists Dick Armey, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck) what the real problem is, and if or when they find out they’ll be even madder than they are today. And I hope they will be, as I support their ire. Their leaders are scary.
They are being misled. Conservatives promise that tax cuts will lead to more jobs, but that’s wishful thinking. Remember George Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 and 2003? Where are the jobs they were supposed to create? Yea, I know, in China and India.
Obama’s election promised change, but the election in Massachusetts sent the needed message: he isn’t cutting it. Whether he has finally smartened up only time will tell. He says he’d rather be a good one-term president than a bad two-term president, but he may get a mixture: a bad one termer. And he’s got a good start already.
- The recent Supreme Court decision didn’t help, and Obama’s failure to reform congress has made it worse. Robert Reich rightfully suggests “adequate public financing for presidential and congressional candidates who refuse private funding, more constraints on lobbyists, tighter rules for who must register as a lobbyist, fuller disclosure, and tougher rules on the revolving door between public service and private gain.”
- But we also need reforms on corporations. Let shareholders decide what political expenditures are made, if any at all. Also give them a binding vote on CEO and executive pay and bonuses, rather than defaulting to a conflicted “compensation consultant” hired by the CEO-friendly board. Let them also appoint and vote on the board of directors using the IRV voting system. If shareholders are to own the company, let them control it.
- We must also pay politicians depending on the degree to which they balance the budget while keeping the “tax per citizen” to a minimum. That is, how well are they running the state/country? Double their wages if they do a good job, halve them if they don’t.
While the politicians should be ashamed of their corruption, the voters and taxpayers should be absolutely irate. Only a 100% turnover in November will fix it. Vote the incumbents out in the primary so you can stick to your favored party.
— Having owned stock in a company that was driven into the ground by exorbitant executive salaries and poor management, and having absolutely no say in its operation, I am indeed sympathetic to shareholders.
— On Reagan/Bush: “To cover tax cuts we stopped maintaining the infrastructure and started borrowing. To satisfy their hatred of government we increasingly stripped away rule of law, regulation, and belief in one-person-one-vote. We are seeing the consequences of all of that coming back to roost now.”
— So Paul Ryan proposes a flat tax and vouchers for Medicare? Who’s paying this guy? Will congress switch to a voucher plan?
— Tax cuts? Yea, for small businesses only. Eliminate them!