|The Race for Global Warming
We’ve said before that the global warming issue was a race against time. Alarmists scrambling to dictate every detail of the economy and human behavior before nature exposes the nonsense and they’re laughed out of town.
The race is on right now in the Wisconsin Legislature, with a photo finish just a few weeks away. Wisconsin lawmakers are eager to exploit the exaggerated threat of global catastrophe with ideas like these:
- Surrender Wisconsin’s sovereignty to the California Air Resources Board by requiring the DNR to adopt vehicle emission standards identical to California’s.
- Adopt California’s energy-conservation standards, which dictate which television sets and portable video and audio devices can legally be sold.
- Jack up the price of gasoline with a low-carbon fuel standard. Only California has one now.
- Forbid idling a truck engine more than five minutes in any hour.
That’s some of the little stuff. Big-ticket items include proposals like mandating that 25 percent of electricity sales come from renewable sources by 2025. That's a mathematically laughable idea since unreliable renewables, without equivalent fossil-fueled backup, could easily shut down the grid.
State government just mumbles when asked about the cost of this madness. Others say it will hit $16 billion and chase another 43,000 jobs off to more grown-up states. The last line of defense is to contact legislators and let them know if they vote to pass this economic suicide pact, we’ll be laughing at them—on our way to vote for their opponents.
It's the Economy Stupid
It sure was busy in Madison last night, and that wasn’t all bad news for taxpayers.
First, Governor Doyle delivered his FINAL State of the State Address. After seven years of corruption, incompetence and fiscal mismanagement, this is truly cause for celebration.
Of course Doyle used the annual speech to gloss over the failures of his two terms in office and to promote his $16 billion global warming legislation. Doyle claims the legislation will create 15,000 new jobs over the next ten years, while the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute predicts a loss of 43,000 more Wisconsin jobs if the legislation is enacted.
In an effort to assuage manufacturers concerned that the new regulations will force them out business, Doyle offered up a $100 million revolving loan program to help them comply. How thoughtful of Governor Doyle to loan taxpayers their own money to help defray the costs of his California style law.
Democratic candidate for Governor Tom Barrett used the occasion of Doyle’s last State of the State address to hold a fundraiser with all of Doyle’s incompetent cabinet members. Even Eric Callisto, the Chair of the Public Service Commission appeared on Barrett’s behalf. Callisto's agency, which is supposed to refrain for political activity, provided Doyle with the phony jobs estimate for his global warming legislation.
The Republican candidates for Governor got a piece of the action as well. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker delivered what he called his “State of the Economy” speech in the Capitol Rotunda three hours before Doyle took the podium.
During his address, Walker noted that Wisconsin lost 163,000 good paying jobs last year and he called on Governor Doyle to repeal the combined reporting tax. The combined reporting tax has cost companies like Harley Davidson millions of dollars and forced the layoffs of hundreds of Wisconsin workers. Walker also called on Doyle and the legislature to put their global warming bill on ice, saying these actions were needed to keep more good paying jobs from leaving Wisconsin.
“By almost any measure, Wisconsin is no longer considered a good place to do business, and citizens across our great state are scared about the economy and their jobs, their homes and their families," said Walker. "Unless we take immediate and significant action to turn our economy around, Wisconsin will continue to lag near the bottom in rankings for job growth.”
Finally, in a written statement, Republican Mark Neumann blamed the poor state of Wisconsin’s economy on the fact that Jim Doyle is a career politician:
"There is no doubt that, as a career politician, Jim Doyle is painfully out of touch with the struggle being faced by working folks throughout Wisconsin. The Doyle record cannot be swept under the rug: it is a record of job losses, of historic tax and fee increases, of an economic climate that has devastated Main Streets across Wisconsin.”
However you slice it up, it’s still the economy, stupid. Now voters must decide who they trust to get Wisconsin’s economy working again.
Pay to Pay?
Everybody’s heard of “pay to play,” the practice of legislative kingpins linking the fate of bills—or even the threat of adverse proposals—with campaign contributions reaching the “right” people at the right time. It’s a felony of course, (Search under: State Senate; majority leaders; former; disgraced,) but at least it has its own sleazy logic going for it.
Now try “pay to pay,” as in the Wisconsin Department of Revenue requires taxpayers to cough up a fee for filing the necessary documents to—pay their taxes!
We are not making this up. A few days ago a reader sent us a note expressing irritation at the “BTR” (Business Tax Registration) fee levied by the Department of Revenue. He directed us to a department web page where we found the helpful explanation that any business “applying for any of the following tax types,” including a Wisconsin employer identification number, a seller’s permit, a use tax certificate, a consumer’s use tax certificate or a local exposition tax, “must obtain a Registration Certificate.”
The Registration Certificate costs $20 dollars and has to be “renewed” every two years, for an additional ten dollar fee.
Our reader said he can understand the state needing to collect the required information in order to administer its business taxes; he just objected to the “insult principle” involved in having to pay a fee for the privilege of paying taxes.
“So, you’re gonna abide by the law and fulfill your obligations under our voluntary compliance tax system, eh? Well, that’ll cost you twenty bucks, wise guy.”