We can only hope so, but one-party rule is not encouraging.
By Jack E. Lohman
We may dread the day we converted our government to 100% Republicans, though they could surprise us. But I’d feel better if the D’s had some blocking power that forced political debate, rather than any one party running roughshod over the taxpayers.
So far it doesn’t look good. It looks like payback time, not politically, but payback to the Fat Cats that have funded the Republican elections for years. Let’s hope the Tea Party is willing and able to dampen the corruption.
Do we need tax breaks for businesses?
Yes, but there is a better way. Since business tax breaks are funded by personal taxes anyway, let the taxpayers instead fund a universal healthcare system that benefits Wisconsin business! At the same time that we extend health care to 100% of our population we remove much (or all) of that burden from business costs, and allow them to spend that money on providing Wisconsin jobs instead. And better compete with foreign product built with lower labor and health costs.
And since taxpayers pay these costs anyway, in product prices and job losses, this provides benefit to all employers that use Wisconsin workers and will attract new companies and jobs to the state. And increase our tax base in the process.
No complicated tax codes or costly oversight is required.
Let’s not construe this to mean tax breaks for the rich so we can benefit from fake “trickle-down” economics. There must first be demand, thus only “trickle up” will work.
Are public sector unions a problem?
Probably. If you believe the rhetoric, they are draining higher wages and better health care and better retirement packages than the private sector that pays the bill. Clearly this should be studied and put to rest, but I’d prefer that an outside consultant be hired do this study. A government analyst will be fraught with charges of bias or political manipulation.
It appears that Gov. Scott Walker may want to privatize government and replace the workers with lower-paid employees, however.
Do we have too many state employees?
Probably. But cutting them by 50% and adding back an equal number of private contractors just shifts the burden. It does not reduce costs and likely even increases them. A good business consultant could help assess where we might have too many employees or even too many or inefficient agencies.
Do we need tort reform?
Yes, but not the kind we’ve been hearing about. These are not criminal trials. We need simply to eliminate the 12-man jury of idiots and install a three-judge panel of experts. Use all retired panel members (doctors and nurses for medical suits, engineers for non-medical) and run it by the Government Accountability Board, not by politicians.
But it appears that Walker wants to gut the tort system, replacing willful negligence with criminal intent, all to appease his corporate contributors and diss the attornies.
Do we need whistle-blower protections?
Absolutely, in both the public and private sector. An employee should not be required to either play crooked or leave their career when fraud is being carried out. With good protections employees will perform the costly oversight that otherwise would need to be funded by taxpayers.
Do we need privatization?
In some cases, perhaps, but the reverse could also be true. In North Dakota they have a state-owned bank, a public option, that keeps the private banks honest. And all with an unemployment rate of 3.8%. We need to also do this at the national level when the next bank failure takes place.