Over the week I have been working on a new home!

 www.fox-head.blogspot.com

 It has the name I want and the feel I want.  So I will be moving all of my blogging there.

I am enjoying the great weather today.  Here are some quick headlines.

 

 Warrant alleges Milwaukee alderman used extortion McGee jailed on $100,000 bail 

This could be huge if they connect money extorted by the Rapid Response Team to money received by Mc Gee. 

Trying to cut legislative fat Group gives Obey list of people willing to scrutinize pork

 Giving power back to the voters, what a novel concept.

 Time for Midwest to play ball AirTran directors elected; meeting between airlines planned

 Air Tran Three, Midwest Zero, Air Tran still has a minority on the board of directors.  So we may not see much of a change, yet.  Everything is up in the air now and we have a whole new game to work with.   I like Midwest’s way of doing business, but a merger would mean an instant national carrier.  That may be good for Milwaukee too.  Especially if Air Tran were to keep flights out of Mitchell.  All we can do is wait and see.

Federal deficit running 1/3 lower this year, Revenue stream outpaces spending

 This is good to see and is a testament to how cutting taxes really has the effect of increasing revenues.  Companies make money, they produce goods, employ people, and in turn these folks go out and spend their hard earned money on products thus increasing the market and the cycle begins anew. 

The increase in revenue due to increased productivity and low employment, combined with lower spending by the government shows that controlling spending also helps everyone.  I just do not understand why democrats and liberals cannot get it through their thick skulls that cutting taxes and reducing spending actually helps the revenue stream and does not hurt it.

 

Making the tax cuts permanent would be a good thing in the long run, it does not change the fact that if needs change congress could change taxes in the future.  Of course, the democrats don’t get that either.

 

Democratic critics, however, contend that Bush’s spending blueprint was based on unrealistic assumptions and left out major spending items such as the full costs of the Iraq war. They also argue that the current improvement in the deficit will be only temporary as the 78 million baby boomers retire, pushing spending on Social Security and Medicare up in coming years.

 

 If the issues of Social Security and Medicare are such a problem with the tax cuts, then present a viable plan to fix the issue and lets discuss it.  To throw that argument out as a critique of the tax cuts, shows that there really has not been a solution sought by the Democrats.

Voters to decide $119 million question

West Bend cut school referendum down from more than $140 million

  Hey, West Bend it’s time to get out the K-Y.  Your school board, like others failed to allocate resources properly and now want to stick you with the bill.   Again, I have to point to New Berlin, who managed to build two new schools without a referendum.  They did it by using sound fiscal policy.  When is government going to learn to live within their means?

 I did enjoy all the excuses the board members handed out.

  Ever notice they never admit to overspending?

Giuliani   27.3%

Thompson 16.2%

McCain   15.8%

Romney   10.3%

 McCain has dropped into third and Romney hasn’t moved at all.  These are taken from an average of all the polls available.

Iowa Woman Named Butts Charged With Theft of Court’s Toilet Paper

I just couldn’t resist!

Bush Heads to Capitol Hill to Address Immigration Stalemate

A bit of irony here is this is the anniversary of the Regan speech that called out Gorbachov to “tear down this wall.”  The continuous pushing of a bill that will do nothing to address the problem with illegal immigration taints a legacy to a great president.  We are now arguing over a different wall.

Scott Stanzel, another White House spokesman, said Bush “will talk about the fact that immigration reform is too important to let this opportunity pass, and this is the best opportunity that we have had in decades to reform the broken immigration system.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., told CNN Tuesday that Bush “needs to help us write a better bill and not push a bill that so many of us cannot support.”

Many conservatives oppose this bill because it smells of the promises that were made so many years ago that literally did nothing to stop illegal immigration.  It is worse than ever.  Now, instead of dealing with the problem one step at a time and looking at each issue individually, we are again looking at a bill that will do nothing.

It’s unclear, though, how much influence Bush has among Republicans on immigration, given that it has sparked a backlash among some of the party’s core supporters, who see it as amnesty for people who sneaked into the country.

Somewhat, but it is more along the lines of not really addressing the problem which is to close the borders.

Said Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., a key sponsor of the bill: “I think the president understands that really is our last best hope. We have a system that cannot identify whether they (immigrants) are legally employed or not.” solved …

“Unfortunately, neither the previous administration nor this administration nor the Congress has done a good job of enforcing the border,” Kyl told CNN Tuesday. “The key is employee verification … and the system today we have is broken. It’s a joke. It cannot be enforced.”

Even when common sense prevails we still are stuck with a group that supports this legislation.  The message is simple CLOSE THE BORDERS!  Then we all can decide what is best for those who are here.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the minority leader, has said such a deal could allow the bill to go forward.“There are a substantial number of Republican senators who believe that this bill would be an improvement over the current situation, over the status quo,” McConnell said.

Sometimes the status quo is better than what the current bill is looking at doing.  Go back and do some real legislation that will deal with the problem.

There are times when the subject for a topic just falls in you lap, or in my case hits my windshield.  It started on Friday morning on my commute to work.  I am currently on assignment in Downtown Milwaukee, therefore, I take I-94 into Milwaukee each day.  I have found the by-pass to work better for my commute home.Friday morning a piece of road way struck my windshield.  It was kicked up by one of the cars in front of me.  It scared the heck out of me when it struck; I also found that there was a chip in the window when I inspected the hit later.  Since getting hit by rocks or debris is pretty common on the freeway, after inspecting the damage I quickly forgot about it.

Fast forward to Sunday, my wife asked me to pick up our daughter from a friends house.  She had a sleepover the night before.  On the way home from picking up my child I noticed a spot on the hood that I had not noticed before.  It kind of looked like a bird had good aim, so I made a mental not to look at the spot closer upon getting home.  When I did get home I discovered the spot was not what I thought it was but a chip/ding in the hood.  That piece of road had not only chipped my windshield it had also hit the hood and created a divot in the paint right down to the bare metal.  It looked almost like some one had taken the tip of a flat tip screwdriver and hit the hood with it.

I have learned over the years to purchase touch up paint.  I find that whenever I get out to wash the cars I find a very minor paint chip or two and I like to have the touch-up to keep things looking ok.  Besides, I’d rather have little paint boogers rather than metal showing which is a potential for rust.  I grabbed my paint and a wet rag to wipe the surface before I applied the paint and got to work.  The touch up looked pretty good, as long as I had the paint out, I figured I would check the rest of the hood for any nicks and scratches.

Twenty-two nicks later I was finished.  So what is my point to this?  Well as I was fixing my twenty-two nicks I got to thinking about what caused the nicks.  I also got to thinking about the people who maintain the roads we drive on.  I also got to thinking about the transportation budget and what Darth Doyle has done to it and what he wants to do to try to hide the problem.

As I was contemplating this, another story came to mind.  I have a friend who sells cars, at one point he was employed by Griffin Ford.  A key customer for Griffin was the employees of Payne and Dolan.  Payne and Dolan is a major contractor with the state for roadwork.  Anyway, the employees have a contest of sorts of who has the newest and most loaded F-150.  They buy so frequently from Griffin that they get a discount and the salesmen are told to help them make a great deal.  Not that there is anything wrong with a great deal.  But something popped into my head.  Either these guys are in debt to their eyeballs or they are being paid very well as they can afford to upgrade their vehicles frequently.

What does all of this say?  Well I am drawing a line here, we have a road that is roughly ten years old, debris is coming off of the road in chunks large enough to do damage.  We have a major road contractor that seems to be flush with cash, as they seem to be paying their employees well, or their employees are in major debt, so I believe to the former.  We have a transportation budget that is large, so large in fact that Darth Doyle felt it necessary to draw from it in order to balance a budget.

Now we have Darth looking to gouge us again at the gas pump with a tax that he claims will punish big oil for making too much money.  At best his scheme is a load of baloney, at worst we will end up paying that tax at the pump.  The goal of this farce is to return and add to the transportation budget.

What adds to this is the problem of the road builders themselves.  Either they have way too much work as it is, which I doubt, or they are charging way too much for the work.  What I also thought about was the materials used.   This came about, as the employees seemed to be well paid, so in order to maintain profit, the cost of materials has to be kept down.

So what of the road I was on.  I know it was repaved ten years ago, I know that with in a few years it looked and drove as badly as it did before the re-paving project was done.  Now I see that it is falling apart.  I did a comparison this morning.  I compared the 59 by pass to the I-94 freeway.  The 59 by-pass is paved with cement; it has been completed almost as long as the I-94 re-pavement project.  59 still looks great and drives great.  I-94 is falling apart.  Obviously, the cement used on 59 is superior to the black top used on I-94.  Cement holds up better with the freezing and thawing.

Now the argument is, plain and simple, costs.  The two roads I am comparing are of different distances, so the cement could have been used on the shorter stretch and the black top on the longer stretch due to cost.  Or could it be?  I do know this, the bridges and roads built with cement certainly last longer.  In the case of the Marquette interchange it lasted fifty years.  So why would we not have used cement for the repaving project ten years ago?

One of the things I do recall was there was a plan to do this and then look at expanding the road in the future.  I recall this because at the time I thought; as long as they were doing the work anyway why not expand now.  I felt that the decisions made were more political than practical.  Now I hear that there are plans to work on the Mitchell interchange a head of the Zoo interchange.  Again a political move.

So, I concluded what most of us know, the transportation budget is rife with bloat.  We are overpaying for road repairs and expanding where we don’t need to expand.  Where the real work needs to be done it is delayed and ignored.  Which leads me to believe that there is corruption in the system.  We are the ones who are going to get to pay for it not only at the pump but also with repairs to our cars.

Here is another fine example of the problems we have with an over bloated, corrupt government system.  We really need to look for leadership that is going to cause change not just talk about it.  We need leadership that is going to look out for the voter and tell the special interests, like the road builders to stuff it.  Until that time I guess I will need to keep a bottle of touch up paint.

Budget advances with GOP pushing for lower taxes State Senate, Assembly expected to pass vastly different versions It’s good to see the Republican’s in the state senate at least trying for some sensibility.  Yet the Democratic side still wants to assure everything that is taxable will be taxed.

    ‘‘This is not a budget for the big oil companies or the big tobacco companies,’’ Doyle said in a statement after the budget passed, praising the committee’s work. ‘‘It is a budget for the middle class and provides real opportunity to our citizens.’’

  How can that be Darth?  The oil tax will be passed to us as will the cigarette tax, both of these taxes are regressive in nature.  The poor and the middle-class will pay for your spending again!     But Republicans on the budget committee decried the budget for its numerous tax increases impacting property owners, smokers, hospitals, oil companies, Internet users, and drivers, among others.

    ‘‘I would say as you walk out today, government wins and property tax payer loses,’’ said the committee’s co-chair, Rep. Kitty Rhoades, R-Hudson, prior to the committee finishing its proposal.

I do have a problem with the budget, it does not address spending which is the core of the problem.  In order for tax cuts to hold we need to also cut wasteful spending.

    Based on Huebsch’s promises, the budget that comes out of that chamber will basically continue current spending and not raise taxes to pay for any of the governor’s initiatives. And Senate Democrats may attempt to inject a universal health care package.

  The last thing we need is for the state to try to offer universal health care.  This is something that should be addressed by the federal government.  Besides, we need to avoid anymore government intervention in to our lives and allow the market to work.  HSA’s and high deductable/low premium insurance is the better way.  We will know what we are spending and work towards better pricing and better service.

I found this a bit amusing.

 Tax bite gets a little smaller

 Here we are sitting on the cusp of one of the biggest tax hikes in the history of the state.  The very tax hikes authored by our own Darth Doyle.  Yet the spending controls that were put into place by the prior administration, ala, Tommy Thompson is finally providing some tax relief.

 “The controls that have been put in place on the spending side have taken effect,” said George Lightbourn, referring to cuts in state income tax rates and imposition of spending controls on local governments and school districts in the late 1990s and early 21st century.Lightbourn served as secretary of administration for former Gov. Tommy G. Thompson and is now a senior fellow with the conservative Wisconsin Policy Research Institute in Thiensville.

Still we remain in the top 10 and the move was minimal about .05%.  We are still looking at major tax increases penned by Darth Doyle.

Wisconsin could drop out of the top 10 by reducing either individual income or property taxes, said Dale J. Knapp, research director for the Alliance. “Given the state of the budget and those types of things, I don’t see it happening. The way we would drop out of the top 10 is if we maintain the status quo and other states move past us,” he said.

We had an opportunity a few years ago to get into place a spending cap, called TABOR.  The Republicans failed, even though they had the power to do so.  Hence, we voted them out and Democrats in.  The results of the current spending controls show that it can work, obvously government has proven that they cannot help themselves and it is up to us the voters to remind them that we need spending control which in turn lowers our tax burden.

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