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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

The three-latte trickle down theory

County Government, Taxes


The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors passed a budget today that will continue to provide some basic and essential services for the people who need help the most.

It will also raise county taxes.

Scott Walker will veto the budget to keep his no-tax-increase pledge. And the supervisors will override most, if not all, of those vetoes.

For that act of necessity, perhaps even decency, they’ll take a lot of heat from the one-idea folks, the no-tax-increase folks.

For no-tax-increasers, the belief that government should be starved to death is much more compelling than the cost to people of losing the things that taxes pay for: decent schools, social security, national defense.

Okay. They still want the national defense. They just don’t want to pay for it anytime this generation.

The county tax increase for this budget could mean about $12—or three lattes at Starbucks--on a $300,000 home. The one-idea folks believe their lives will be better when they have the money for those three lattes in their pockets. It’s a weird idea, but this is a free country, and they are entitled to it.

Personally, I would not yell about keeping my latte pocket change if it means sacrificing  public transportation that takes people to work and attracts business to a city, if it means clogging up the court system with unprocessed criminals.  I want the public transportation for myself, without criminals on board.

I suspect Walker will not be entirely displeased by the overrides. He's a decent man, and I don’t think he really wants the paratransit riders to suffer any more than he wants the Give Me My Latte Money or Give Me Death crowd to suffer.

This way, he gets to keep the purity of his no-tax rhetoric without doing as much harm. This way, well, you just can’t blame him. . . for anything.

Now, what about finding better ways to stimulate the economy than what trickles down from those three lattes?

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