Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
33

Is the Wisconsin Budget Like Obama's Health Care Reform? Well, Kinda!

"Now maybe the Liberals know how the Conservatives felt last year when the Democrat Congress rammed Obamacare through (without even reading it)."

That comment, by "JamVee" on a Reuters story about last Saturday's near-100,000-strong protest crowd in Madison, perfectly sums up what has become the predominant arguing position of pro-Walker conservatives. This "shoe on the other foot" defense of Governor Scott Walker's budget bill stinks of revenge, not reason. But while there are many more solid reasons that the two bills are different, there really are ways in which the two pieces of legislation are the same—and, in one sense, they're exactly the same.

Let's dorm-room brainstorm the similarities between health care reform and Wisconsin's budget repair:

• Both bills were signed despite (legitimate) polling data showing a majority of Americans opposed the legislation.

• Both bills were signed with a pen labeled "Elections Have Consequences," the kind of "water is wet" dystopian buffoonery that will soon give way to "Recall Elections Have Consequences," and, inevitably, "Consequences Have Consequences."

• Both bills will see court challenges, and in both instances those challenges will be dismissed as the last-ditch effort of "sore losers."

• Both bills ostensibly address honest problems with the American economy, though neither one honestly addresses those problems.

• Both bills are works of political patronage and their respective passages were more about building the foundations of future fund-raising than about solving the average American's problems.

And, most importantly, the core details of both bills were drowned out by campaigns of passionate resistance and misinformation. (No, Walker's bill does not sell puppies for $1 to medical research.) Sure, the Tea Party-oriented people were pretty damn quiet when George Bush was in the global strip club making it rain with our children's financial future, but then, the currently incensed public employee unions weren't so incensed when their brothers and sisters in private unions were being snuffed out one after one. One International Brotherhood of Electric Workers member I spoke to at the Capitol, on the day the bill passed, put is like this: "They may not have been there for us, but we're here for them."

What JamVee's argument speaks to is not the bills themselves but to the perceived legislative process in an era of political sport. The content of the bills is beside the point, and the only thing that matters is "We won. They lost." And why not? Because the only legitimate way in which President Obama's heath care reform bill and Governor Walker's budget repair bill are similar is that, in the end, both are huge paydays for corporations. Both the health care reform bill and Wisconsin's budget bill serve one main purpose, to grind everyday Americans together like rocks, until the gold inside can be extracted.

It's noteworthy that Walker himself has been quietly goosing this throwback to the heath care outrages as a way to energize his base. On March 14, Governor Walker put the jumper cables on the @scottwalker Twitter account, not used since Dec. 27, to warn his thousands of followers "Obama pol org is active in WI. We need ur help. Sign up @ www.scottwalker.org 2 vol or donate now. Pass it on." (Since the inauguration, Walker has used @GovWalker for all communication). It's a lazy spin move Walker has used before. During the primary election, his mailers were less directly related to his challenger than to Nancy Pelosi.

Much has been made of Walker busting up the unions as both a personal vendetta and a way to choke the Democratic party. But the true goal of dismantling the unions is removing the roadblock to privatization. Much like the CEO of Twitter, Walker and Republican leaders are asking themselves: Here we have something a lot of people use. How the hell can it be monetized?

Removing union strength, capping property taxes and defunding schools while upping support for charter schools, privately-supplied online education and the voucher system (all of which Walker's first three months of legislation has done) creates an environment where an untapped resource (education) can be capitalized. A philosophical side benefit of privatized education for Walker is the elimination of sex education. Walker has long opposed anything beyond abstinence-only sex ed, including treatment of teens with STDs.

(Sidenote: One of the heretofore unexamined reasons Walker's recall might stumble is his vicious anti-abortion stance, including opposing it even in instances where it would save the life of the mother. Wisconsin currently has a standing law outlawing abortion that is just waiting for the feds to allow it to be constitutional.)

It is already well known that Walker has proposed the sale of the state's power plants to private industry, guaranteeing some lucky (no-bid) investor nearly 40 facilities with a built-in population of monthly payments. Those facilities service Wisconsin's prisons, a population that won't be getting any smaller after Walker committed himself to ending one of the state's early release programs and upping funding to find all those dirty old men at one of the 20,000-plus IP addresses preying on "our children."

Walker proposes to break the University of Wisconsin-Madison off from the state system and more or less privatize it. Such privatization will cause tuition to soar. It's a transition many at California's UC-Berkeley, often cited in conversation as Madison's philosophical sibling, are already regretting. "Enhanced autonomy for this unique institution" is the call of a confederacy of front organizations like Badger Advocates which lead to out-of-state funders like the foundation of Harry Bradley, who, along with the Koch brothers' multimillionaire father Fred, was one of the founding members of the John Birch Society. (Yes, today's Koch brothers did not organically grow into their extreme right activism any more than Jaden Smith got the lead in Karate Kid from a casting call… or any more than the two Kochs pulled themselves up by any bootstraps. Wingtips have no straps.)

While the hullaballoo over the union measures was going on, the Wisconsin senate voted 18 to 0 on March 2 to confirm former one-term Republican state senator and treasurer of the state Republican Party, Cathy Stepp, as the head of the Department of Natural Resources. Appointing Stepp to oversee the DNR is a little like appointing Fox News head Roger Ailes to oversee National Public Radio. Stepp, a real estate developer and critic of the DNR before the appointment, once mocked the agency as being "pro garter snakes." She was given a basement-dwelling rating by the Sierra Club for her environmental action while a senator. Stepp does not have a college degree in anything related to natural resource management because she does not have a college degree. Stepp and Walker have said the DNR under Stepp will become more business-friendly and the agency has already moved to streamline processes for investors to find a way to monetize Wisconsin's natural resources.

Stepp's confirmation came a month and a half after Walker "reorganized" the Department of Commerce in a public-private "hybrid" called the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. The new Corporation will have no ability to regulate commerce and will have a 12 member board consisting of Walker and 11 of his appointees. Walker said the move meant that the state was "sending a very clear message that we're going to merge the public and private sector together, pushing for economic development" and that the new "sole focus" of the agency "will be on promoting commerce, not in regulating it, not on confusing it."

The uncreative pol looks at the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka "food stamps") and sees just poor people. Walker and his supporters looks at this group and see profit. Walker will move the administration for the program from the county to the state level, closing regional centers, where people could visit in person to get aid and ask questions, in exchange for a program run by a computer and phone center, because if there is one thing people having difficulty accessing food do have, it's high speed internet. (In all fairness, former Democratic Gov. Doyle pushed for this too.)

But that's just saving money. What about making money?

Walker will also move to privatize whatever part of the assistance program is not nailed down by the feds. While federal law mandates state employees determine medical assistance and food stamp program eligibility, it says nothing about administering those programs. Walker's plan makes room for over 1,200 private "vendors" to administer the programs. This privatization was also something the Doyle administration toyed with. How did that go? The Cap Times:

"The state is under a corrective action plan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture because of the wait times for servicing food stamp applications at the Enrollment Services Center… A recent state study also found the vendor run [i.e., privatized] center has a higher incidence of errors in handling applications… The Enrollment Services Center had an error rate of more than 3.2 percent, compared to 2.4 percent at the state-run Milwaukee County center, and 1.3 percent in the offices handled by the counties."

Essentially, what Walker is doing is peeing in the soup at the state-run restaurant to make its offerings so unpalatable that residents will rightly decide to go and eat at the private dive, paying extra for the privilege of getting urine-less broth.

The privatization of food stamps makes for good walking-around money, but pensions are where Bahama vacation home money is. Despite the overwhelming evidence of the health of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) pension (in 2010 the Pew Center rated Wisconsin a "solid performer," one of only four states with pensions funded at over 95 percent), Walker's bill quietly directs state agencies to examine the benefits of shifting the current WRS system to a 401k-like free market system. It has been pointed out that there are laws protecting plans like the WRS from tinkering. Of course, Walker's bill has already addressed similar roadblocks with state Medicaid programs by granting himself and the joint finance committee unprecedented powers to enact legislation superseding existing laws (essentially blazing a path to lawmaking minus the legislative process). Liberal crybabies at One Wisconsin Now described the move as "turning the governor's office into the state's largest lobbyist waiting room." Meanwhile, this switch to a 401k-style system for Wisconsin's pension was shrugged off as "one of those fiscal inevitabilities" by the head of the Madison-based Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, Todd Berry.

(Reader Note: Todd Berry has been an abominable media slut during the Wisconsin debate, with hardly any reporter questioning the motives of the "non-partisan" Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, despite the organization's hate for an apostrophe and fact that its board of directors is made up of well known Republican supporters, including Gov. Tommy Thompson’s former administration secretary, Mark Bugher. Despite that every media institution from left to right unhinges its jaw and writes "non-partisan" before repeating the latest end times-sounding statistic from Todd Berry, the current WTA board of directors has donated over $385,000 to political candidates, $358,000 of which went to Republicans. Calling that bipartisan is a little like calling yourself bisexual because you once saw somebody of the same sex naked in the shower.

It's a shame because the WTA has been around since the 1930s and was, for many decades, a respectable organization of concerned, if jackass, tightwads—in 1958, for example, the WTA came out against the use of tax dollars at Wisconsin vocational schools for those seeking not strictly-vocational skills like home economics. But that has all fallen apart as it became a water carrier not for individual Wisconsin taxpayers, but for corporate taxpayers. The WTA routinely cites how abominable the state is for taxes, while ignoring the absence of all the fees (not "taxes") paid in other states. In reality, Wisconsin was ranked in the middle of all American for tax burden in 2010, a year before Walker took office. That the WTA's opinions are reported as "nonpartisan" today is one of the top five exhibits of journalism failure in the state. Tragically, even PolitiFact has used Berry as a source without questioning WTA's motives.)

While it might seem that the current battle in Wisconsin is just an extension of a now three-decades long piffle between liberals and conservatives, it's more than that. Current Wisconsin events, even if many of the players don't realize it, is a core fight over what America is. It's the latest battle in a protracted fight in maybe the most important ideological state in America's post-Revolution political history. It's the fight for the "Wisconsin Idea," which in part called for the states "laboratory of democracy" to create "well-constructed legislation aimed at benefiting the greatest number of people." One of the primary movers of the Wisconsin Idea was state icon and progressive architect "Fighting" Bob La Follette. La Follette was the politician kids dream about being before they meet their first lobbyist with a wad of cash. As governor, he backed a workers' comp program, women's suffrage and a minimum wage. If you are a wage earner today in America, you owe Bob La Follette. As Wisconsin governor he "repaired" the state budget deficit with a moderate tax on corporations.

For all Walker's hate of government and taxes, his only job since he was 26 has been in government and his father was a baptist preacher in Delavan and likely paid few taxes, income, property or otherwise. The interesting thing is that Walker is just a proxy for a century-long state battle. The John Birch society, co-founded by the father of the Koch brothers, who bequeathed the wealth to his sons who used it to underwrite Governor Walker's administration, is headquartered in Grand Chute, 100 miles from Madison. The Heritage Foundation, that gave Walker the ideological speaking points, was founded by Racine, WI native and UW-Madison (and Milwaukee Sentinel alum), Paul Weyrich. Eric O'Keefe, who founded the Koch-funded intelligence arm of the Tea Party, the Sam Adams Alliance, and launched the CIA black ops-like free-market local candidate training program American Majority, lives in Spring Green, WI.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin's secretary of state has announced that he will not honor Walker's request to publish the new union-destroying bill until the last possible day, March 25. And who is the secretary of state? He is Doug La Follette, the great-grandnephew of Bob La Follette.

And in the current climate, all Wisconsinites, including Walker, must thank La Follette. During his first appearance in New York City, 99 years ago, La Follette began his national campaign to maximize the power of the populace. From La Follette's address to Carnegie Hall, January 1912, as reported by The New York Times:

"Propositions favored by the progressive are the initiative, the referendum, and the recall."

Abe Sauer can be reached at abesauer at gmail dot com.

33 Comments / Post A Comment

deepomega (#1,720)

This was excellent, thanks Abe. Putting private up against public performance is a huge deal, and the accepted-as-gospel claims about the abilities of the market to outperform the government aren't always true. Basically I always want to see more outcome-focused and evidence-based governance, and pieces like this move us a towards that goal.

And "revenge not reason" is basically 60% of politics. I wish I knew how to lower that number.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

We need Abes in 49 other states, pronto.

kpants (#719)

Well done, Abe.

coryballs (#4,647)

I came down here to sing Abe's praises, and found that I'll be joining a chorus. Fuck me, this is some good reporting.

jfruh (#713)

When you interviewed the nice (?) young pro-Walker lady a few weeks ago, her answer to you that most flabbergasted me was re: the public college she attended, where she basically said "Its expenses ought to be covered by tuition money." Leaving aside the fact that no private college's expenses are covered by tuition money, it sort of made me wonder: what do these people thing public universities are for? The whole point is that there's a decent tertiary education system that the average person can afford. If they're just going to be charging private-college tuition rates, what on earth is the purpose of their existence?

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

> what do these people

First, tell me what you think these people think OTHER PEOPLE are for.

Moff (#28)

Count me in, too. This was fantastic. One question:

…the current WTA board of directors has donated over $385,000 to political candidates, $358,000 of which went to Republicans.

Is that a typo (i.e., did all $385,000 actually go to Republicans), or is it just coincidence that the amounts share the same digits?

Abe Sauer (#148)

Those are rounded off from the hundreds, but not typos.

Moff (#28)

I figured they were rounded; the 385/358 thing just made me wonder. Thanks!

I beg to quibble with that last quote's logic and application beyond Wisconsin. California has in recent memory seen the recall seat a Republican (granted, barely) Governor, Proposition 8 pass in a referendum, and initiatives gave us our failed three strikes law. (Though in practical use, the terms proposition, initiative, and referendum seem to be used interchangeably. Semantic quibble for another day.)

These are tools which both sides seem capable and willing to wield when necessary. Filibuster comes to mind in this context too.

Abe Sauer (#148)

True. Referendums get a really bad name because the ones that get the most press are, of course, horrible social activism like Prop 8. But referendums can also be very positive meausres that put power in the hands of the voters. So, at the end of the day, the referendum process itself is not the problem, but the information delivery system. Sticking with an example from WI, last year Green bay voters approved a $17 million referendum to upgrade school computers and facilities.

If you have a media that is more interested in covering Charlie Sheen and a populace maybe more interested in watching him, with both chicken blaming the other for being the egg, it's possible that a referendum will be useless. But that's not the fault of the referendum any more than electing a madman means that a democracy isn't a good system.

And of course, the quote says nothing about referendums not having guidelines (constitutional or otherwise). Indeed, all state referendums that are influences with money from outside the state are doomed.

carpetblogger (#306)

Hate to quibble, but referenda are usually referred to the ballot by legislatures to be voted on by the people. Initiatives are put on the ballot by petition and are a form of direct democracy legal in only a handful of states. The terms shouldn't be used interchangeably.

Prop 8 was an initiative. A bond measure is typically a referendum

Abe Sauer (#148)

Excellent clarification.

djbsquared (#4,729)

As usual, an excellent piece.

I hope that one of these days everyone will see what is really happening, and we won't have to resort to corporate branded elementary schools and business friendly history books. Something tells me The Civil War (sponsored by Georgia Pacific) might not end the same way.

Or else, every 4 (or recalled 2) year cycle will never be spent moving us forward, and time will be taken merely undoing the work of those before us, regardless of who they were.

markg (#10,519)

The points made in this article show why Walker must be stopped, which the senate recalls will definitely do if they are successful. If not, then I hope by next November enough republican dupes will have woken up to what is going on to permit Walker's recall. I feel confident saying that any move on the pensions will trigger a round of protests that will equal or exceed what we've seen so far.

You fail to mention one critical difference between the bills. Obama campaigned on health care reform, and it was passed only after months of debate and negotiation. In contrast, Walker dropped the bomb (his words) of his so-called budget repair bill as a total surprise, and his legislative cohorts scheduled the final vote on it six days later. So Jamvee is full of shit because the process was not at all similar.

Mindpowered (#948)

Hi Abe,

Since I read http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-11/wisconsin-union-busting-drive-feeds-off-towns-that-are-shrinking.html

I've been curious how this fits into the equation. In Bob La Follet's time, the State (and most states) would have had a much more equal balance in income and power between urban and rural.

One line of thought, is that this current generations crop of extremists (tea party et al) represents the last generation of rural people able to seriously influence America before big cities dominate states and render the rump powerless.

Also witness "Mr Vilsack's argument comes down to the notion that the people of rural America feel that they have lost social status, and that subsidies amount to a form of just compensation for this injury"

from

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/03/patriotism_and_crop_subsidies

Right wing union busting, and agricultural subsidies. Take that liberal elitists.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Well, Vilsack's is the kind of pointless argument. But then, his job is to defend ag subsidies until it's time not to defend ag subsidies. It's not like he personally can get rid of them. Those subsidies have been supported by admins on both sides. Clinton was one of the worst offenders.

And I would caution against the idea that the tea party are "rural" people, and certainly not farmers. I've found the tea party to be suburban in the extreme.

FYI (#10,457)

Exhaustive article. The caption under the picture said "Who wins Wisconsin's Budget Battle?"When i read that I thought, I have an opinion on that. Then the article title said, "Is the Wisconsin Budget Like Obama Care? Well Kinda." Then I thought, I wonder what this is really about?

Then the article gets into abortion, home schooling, Bob Lafollette, patronage… Wow!

Turns out the article is a dissertation on the debate between liberals and conservatives.

Two points. First I'll answer the question posed under the picture. Who Wins the Budget Battle. Answer. The taxpayers of Wisconsin win. Government works for the citizens so this form of patronage is giving back to Wisconsin's taxpayers. Teachers and state employees taxes won't go up either. You'd be surprised to know that there are teachers that support this bill. Maybe you won't be.

My second comment pertains to what took place over the last two days in the City of Wauwatosa a community that is contiguous to Milwaukee. It's basically part of the city and is in Milwaukee County. Their school board was looking to ram through an extension to the existing contract with the teachers union. A few other communities had done the same thing anyone knew what was happening. This time the word got out. The school board was deluged with so many phone calls that the vote was canceled. Milwaukee county went 70/30 for Obama in 08' so it's not what you would call a Republican stronghold. Wisconsinites have had enough of being taxed into oblivion.

One additional comment about the protests in Madison. Like Governor Walker who said that, the people that protested had every right to do so, I also had no issue with people wanting to be heard it is their right as it's mine to protest when I feel I need to.

I was very disappointed however about the 7.5 million dollars worth of damage that was done. I struggle to see how painting a peace sign inside the Capital building has any relevance. The only connection I can come up with is that a lot of UW students took part and Madison is still trying to deal with the inferiority complex that it feels towards Berkley. It dates back to the sixties I guess that's the genesis of the peace sign.

Sorry, a third point.

I'll repeat something I wrote on this site during another discussion. this bill was not rammed through. Sixty hours of debate in the assembly is not ramming it through. It couldn't be discussed in the Senate as there were no democrat senators to discuss it with. This bill was so transparent that it made national news so anyone that pays any attention at all, where ever they lived, knew what was in the bill. Look at the discussion on this site. The bill didn't need to pass to find out what was in it.

The only payback "patronage" in the bill is to the taxpayers of Wisconsin.

Abe Sauer (#148)

"You'd be surprised to know that there are teachers that support this bill. Maybe you won't be." I won't. there are always some outliers in every situation. For example, there are those one or four teachers who have salary and benefits packages totaling over $100K. Yet, those are used as the prototypical examples by so many. I even talked with a guy who went to see Rep. Keith Ripp and said Ripp spouted off the $100K teacher stat as the norm, but when pressed could not produce evidence of that case. I imagine you probably can not produce evidence of more than one such teacher.

You mean the Milwaukee County of which Scott Walker was the executive and Wawatosa, the city in which he lives? Yeah, sounds really Walker-hostile. I think the takeaway from that story of yours should be that DESPITE being Walker's core hometown, the city was moved to sign extensions before the deadline. That is to say, what you're saying is that the very place that should most support Walker (and did reelect him) revolted against his new legislation?

"I was very disappointed however about the 7.5 million dollars worth of damage that was done"
http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/117409458.html

Goodbye. It was nice pretending to honestly debate this with you.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Too lazy to youtube it, but I loved the Daily Show montage of talking heads using the phrase "ram it down America's throat." It's almost as if they get off on the phrase!

FYI (#10,457)

Was your goodbye meant to say that your expecting me to be devastated by the JS article. I only scanned it and you can excoriate me again if you like but it seems as though the cost of renovation is as yet undetermined. Obviously I had not seen the article. That said it is a minor point in the entire debate.

To the larger point of lying. Since you don't know me, to assume that I was lying is quite a leap. Of all the points I have debated on this site in the last few days I have never once claimed o even thought that someone was maliciously lying to make their point. You seem to be an articulate spokesman for what you believe( I know it wasn't necessary for me to validate that point for you) so it seems odd that you'd resort to the "your a liar defense."

You needn't invite me back but if you world rather I not post here any longer I will certainly acquiesce to that request.

Sutton (#1,490)

This is the latest of many times I've seen a conservative offer never to post on a certain (arguably ideologically opposite) site again. What can it mean? Anyone ever noticed liberals doing this on conservative sites? Is it a clumsy attempt at a trap (i.e., obviously, taking someone up on such an offer would make one look like a coward and asshole, in addition to making the comments thread that much more boring). Or are conservative sites run in such a way that this is not in fact obvious to their readers?
Post on, FYI! You're not bothering anyone in the slightest, I'm sure. Also, I've read and reread Abe's response and I just cannot find where he accused you of lying. FYI, FYI, accusing you of not being willing to engage in honest debate means something a little different. Just FYI.

Meanwhile, Abe, I'm just wondering why, if healthcare reform is just a "huge payday … for corporations" (as opposed to "containing provisions that healthcare companies, a massive force with the ability to oppose legislation pretty effectively, sort of like to help coonvince them to go along") the healthcare lobby donated so much more money to the people who promised to repeal it in the last election? I mean, this just smacks a little of being the received liberal wisdom, rather than a carefully argued point. But I'm ready to be argued into believing it!

FYI (#10,457)

Thanks, A challenge! I just felt that this site preferred to hear people post that drank from the same kool-aid pitcher. Bring it.

I thought the discussion had devolved into just calling people a liar in lieu of an actual debate. In that case there's no point in furthering the discussion.

As far as Waukesha rising up in "protest" against it's school board being motivated because Governor Walker lives there- If that were true, if he indeed was able to effect voters by osmosis we could simply move a conservative into districts we wanted to change representation in.
!

WillMadison (#10,545)

Glad to see someone is following the privatization trail, which no one would have heard about except for the walkout.

Here is an excellent article from that perspective about WI and across the Midwest at Takimag. If people can Facebook it we get the word out before they sell off the rest of what belongs to the people:
http://takimag.com/article/no_accidents_in_wisconsin

Sutton (#1,490)

Oh god, sorry everyone, I really didn't mean to "challenge" him or her. FYI, someone could have several quite different reasons for typing something like "You're not bothering anyone in the slightest, I'm sure."

FYI (#10,457)

I guess I am too sensitive. Your absolutely right.

How about sticking to the issues instead of name calling and dare I say it false accusations. Everyone feigns shock that I'd rather debate on a somewhat higher plane.

As for the scoop on the power plants. That topic was raised and discussed on several radio stations, (not sure about the paper of record in Milwaukee as I find it's fare to hard to digest) at least six weeks ago.

By the authors reference to Moscow it seems she longs for the good old days, that seem to be returning to the good old USSR. One big happy collective. Democracy is hard. It's too bad the Russian people seem to have let it slip away. But I digress.

FYI (#10,457)

No revelations here. Plans to get the state out of the power plant business were discussed long before the governors bill was passed. The reasons for not being ties to taking the highest bid is to keep ownership in the state so it can more easily be regulated. I'm sure the people in Madison would rather have Madison gas and electric own their power source and Milwaukee residents have WE Energies. I'm sure the transactions should they occur will be highly scrutinized as they should be, I for one would rather not have say an Illinois company own the plants Then they'd be able to charge us to drive on their roads and gouge us for power or turn out the lights.

The author talks about a friend that was nearly denied the opportunity to relieve him or her self. I think we'd all agree that would be intolerable. She doesn't name the person, where they worked or when this situation occurred. I could just as easily state that a friend of mine approached a union protestor in Madison, commented on their sigh and received a blow to the face in return. Trust but verify.

the author quotes the privatization of some utilities in Indiana. It must be popular with "the people" as Governor Mitch Daniels easily won reelection.

I really can't believe that she wants to get into comparing the number of rich democrats to the number of rich republicans. Goldman Sachs contributed far more money to Obama than to McCain.

I fail to see how that relates to power plants in Wisconsin.

The mafia and Russian mobsters? Oh maybe she was referring to ex-Governor Doyle and the tribes running Indian gaming in Wisconsin.

It's all way over my head I guess.

Bottom line no revelations if you live in Wisconsin just old news.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Hey, have you ever heard of Ann Althouse? http://althouse.blogspot.com/

SeanP (#4,058)

I think I liked it better when he was going to leave. Althouse ought to be right up his alley, though.

AngelinaL (#9,601)

Bob Andersen cooperating with the Legal Action of Wisconsin, the organization that provides help to low income citizens of 39 counties with legal matters, states that the database will shine some light on the Wisconsin payday advance industry that has over 500 locations around the state and made $1.6 million of instant cash loans last year. The purpose of government when the economy is depressed is to provide jobs for people who are not being hired because the economy is not operating anywhere near full capacity. This is due to the shock imposed on the economy by Wall Street. If there were sufficient demand, firms would produce more and would hire these people who are perfectly willing and able to work but are without jobs because firms are not hiring because of lack of demand for their products. This calls for fiscal and monetary stimulus to create stronger demand.

Thanks Abe for sharing this read. And putting private up against public performance is a huge deal, and the accepted-as-gospel claims about the abilities of the market to outperform the government aren't always true. Cash loan

ronabner56 (#241,283)

If I remember correctly it was a referendum before. I know that because I saw this on my teleradiology clinic's TV. I don't understand what kind of bill is one that doesn't care about the opinion of the majority. Maybe it's some commie joke that I can't understand yet.

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