Less than a month to go

RightWisconsin:

According to the latest Marquette University Law School Poll results, we have a dead heat in the race for governor while little has changed in the race for U.S. Senate.

Governor Scott Walker and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers are nearly tied in the latest Marquette Poll. Walker leads in the current poll 47 percent to 46 percent among likely voters, with just five percent supporting Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson.

That’s a shift in Walker’s favor over the poll results in September which showed Evers leading Walker 49 percent to 44 percent.

The biggest shift was among independents who now support Evers 46 percent to 40 percent. That’s down from the poll in September which showed Evers with a 20 percent lead among independents.

The poll had other numbers showing a shift in Walker’s direction compared to September’s results. Walker’s approval rating among likely voters is 48 percent while his disapproval rating is 47 percent. That’s an improvement over September when 46 percent approved of Walker and 51 percent disapproved.

Evers had a favorable rating of 41 percent compared to 38 percent unfavorable among likely voters. The poll found 20 percent of likely voters had no opinion of Evers. In September, Evers had a favorable rating of 40 percent but an unfavorable rating of only 29 percent, suggesting Walker’s campaign is being successful in defining Evers with undecided voters.

The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percent for likely voters.

Among registered voters, 54 percent of Wisconsin registered voters see the state as headed in the right direction while 40 percent think the state is off on the wrong track. That’s also a shift in Walker’s favor from September when 50 percent of registered voters said Wisconsin was headed in the right direction and 47 percent said Wisconsin was on the wrong track.

The margin of error for registered voters sampled is +/-3.6 percent.

While Walker received some good news from the latest poll results, state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) are in about the same place as they were a month ago. Among likely voters, Baldwin leads 53 percent to 43 percent. In September, likely voters favored Baldwin 53 percent to 42 percent.

Baldwin is doing better than Vukmir in the favorable/unfavorable comparison, too. Baldwin is looked at favorably by 49 percent of likely voters while 42 percent have an unfavorable impression of her. For Vukmir, 30 percent of likely voters have a favorable impression while 43 percent have an unfavorable impression. …

The latest Marquette poll was conducted before the U.S. Senate debate Monday night so it is unknown yet whether the debate will have any effect on the race.

Among likely voters, incumbent Attorney General Brad Schimel (R-WI) continues to lead his Democratic opponent Josh Kaul 47 percent to 43 percent. In September, Schimel led 48 percent to 41 percent, so only a little change in that race. Kaul continues to be an unknown candidate in the race with 81 percent of likely voters having no opinion of him. On the other hand, 32 percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Schimel while 22 percent of likely voters have an unfavorable opinion. Still, 46 percent do not have an opinion of Schimel, suggesting the race could be influenced by the races at the top of the ticket. Schimel leads with independent voters 45 percent to Kaul’s 38 percent.

President Donald Trump’s approval rating improved from September. In the latest poll results, Trump has a 46 percent approval rating with 51 percent disapproving of him. In September, his approval was 42 percent while 54 percent disapproved.

Republicans also saw a favorable shift in voter enthusiasm. Democrats still lead in voter enthusiasm with 76 percent saying they are very enthusiastic about voting in November. That’s almost unchanged from September when 75 percent said they were very enthusiastic about voting. However, Republicans who say they are very enthusiastic about voting went up from 64 percent in September to 70 percent in October.

The latest poll of 1000 registered voters was conducted between October 3 to October 7, 2018. The partisan makeup of those polled, including independents who “lean” Republican or Democrat, is 47 percent Republican and 44 percent Democratic with 8 percent independents.

The last Marquette poll results before the midterm election is expected to be released around Halloween. Election day is November 6, 2018.

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An A for Act 10

James Wigderson:

When Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin legislature pushed through Act 10 in 2011, it was to address the state’s continuous budget problems when the Democrats were in control. Since then, Wisconsin taxpayers have saved over $5 billion.

However, a new study by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) shows that Act 10 may have had a positive impact on student performance as well. The peer-reviewed study, “Keeping Score: Act 10’s Impact on Student Achievement,” shows Act 10 led to improved math scores in Wisconsin’s schools while having no negative effect on the state’s graduation rates.

“Act 10 is arguably one of the most consequential pieces of legislation ever enacted in Wisconsin,” said WILL Research Director Will Flanders, an author of the study. “While opponents have tried to scapegoat the law as harmful to Wisconsin students, this study reveals that the innovation and staffing flexibility spurred by Act 10 has served students better than the previous system.”

In the study, Flanders and co-author Policy Analyst Collin Roth point out that Act 10 was more than just a budget bill in its impact. “It was nothing short of a revolution,” Flanders and Roth wrote.

“In fact, it served to fundamentally alter public education in Wisconsin by empowering decision makers to put the needs of students first,” the study’s authors wrote. “Superintendents were allowed to make staffing and budget decisions that best served students and schools. A marketplace emerged that rewarded quality teachers, replacing the antiquated system of seniority. Schools were also unshackled from the administrative handcuffs.”

The study contradicts the finding of a previous study by an opponent of Act 10. While that study claimed Act 10 had a negative impact upon student achievement, Flanders and Roth point out that the study did not control for student disability rates and did not include the state’s two largest school districts, Milwaukee and Madison.

The WILL study finds that the positive impact on schools was “consistent across small town, rural, and suburban school districts.”

“The effects are strongest in suburban and small town districts, and somewhat weaker in rural ones,” Flanders and Roth wrote. “However, we do not observe a positive relationship with Act 10 in urban school districts.”

One of the possible reasons for the lack of an impact for the urban school districts could be how they fought implementation of Act 10 and have not taken full advantage of the reforms offered.

This study follows previous research by WILL on Act 10 showing the possible benefits of the landmark legislation. A 2016 study by WILL showed Act 10 had no effect on student-teacher ratios or any significant effect on teacher experience. Earlier this year, a WILL report showed how school districts used merit pay to incentivize teachers.

The authors of the study hope that it debunks claims that Act 10 has had a detrimental effect on education in Wisconsin. Instead, by freeing school districts from the restraints of the pre-Act 10 era, students have actually done better in school districts that embraced Act 1o.

“In education debates, all sides claim to be acting in the best interests of kids,” said Roth. “What is clear from this data is: Wisconsin students benefitted from Act 10.”

As did taxpayers given the $5 billion savings by making public employees pay slightly more (but still less than in the private sector) for their benefits (that are still better than the private sector). If the urban school districts didn’t benefit from Act 10, maybe that means school districts the size of Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay and the like are too large and need to be broken up into smaller school districts.

Why the Founding Fathers distrusted democracy

Rohn Bishop:

Polls, both public and private, indicate that Governor Scott Walker, Senate Candidate Leah Vukmir, and many Republican legislative seats are in real danger this November. The body language from candidates and campaigns tells a similar story.

At Republican events, the crowd sizes are down (that maybe changing with outrage over Kavanaugh) and people stand there with a blank look, in total disbelief. “How can we be losing? I don’t believe it. Things are going so well.”

On TV, every other commercial is attacking Vukmir, with no response, so most Wisconsinites now believe that Vukmir, who’s a nurse, wants people with pre existing conditions to just go away and die.

Nationally things don’t look much better. The House looks lost, the Senate is in play, and the Liberal Establishment is on the verge of destroying a good and decent man in Brett Kavanaugh.

My question to my fellow Wisconsinites is, “What the hell are we doing?!”

Do we forget that in 2010 our state was running a $3.8 billion budget deficit? Democrats had just illegally raided the Transportation Fund, the Patients Compensation Fund, and massively cut state aid to public schools. Our unemployment rate was pushing 10 percent and we were a high-taxed state seen as anti-business.

In 2011, that changed!

Today, our unemployment rate is below 3 percent and has been for nearly a year. Wisconsin is now running budget surpluses and has for several years. Walker and the Republicans have cut income taxes, property taxes, and invested more money than ever before into our public schools. We’ve gotten Concealed Carry, Voter ID, defunded Planned Parenthood, and cancelled the foolish train from Milwaukee to Madison. They’ve repaid the Patients Compensation Fund, the Transportation Fund, and settled deadbeat Doyle’s reciprocity payment to Minnesota.

We just had a back-to-school sales tax holiday, a child tax credit, and the governor is proposing more tax credits for child care. This is welcome news as those of us with small kids know how expensive they are.

More people are working now than ever before and family supporting jobs are being created across our great state. From Komatsu Mining’s new $285 million facility in Milwaukee to the additions to Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac, and now Foxconn’s $10 billion investment making Wisconsin the capital of high-tech manufacturing, Wisconsin is Open for Business!

And speaking of Foxconn, the largest economic development project in the history of America, the company is investing in communities all across Wisconsin. From Racine to Eau Clare, from Wausau to Green Bay, not to mention their recent $100 million grant to the University of Wisconsin, Foxconn is investing in Wisconsin!

Wisconsin has never been doing better!

And Tony Evers?

He opposes all of it. He fought the governor in 2011 and 2012 as Walker cleaned up the mess he inherited. Evers went so far as to even sign and support the recall of Scott Walker. Evers opposed Act 10, opposed the tax cuts, opposed the child credits, opposes Concealed Carry, opposes your Second Amendment Rights, opposes Voter ID, and he’s opposed the deal to bring Foxconn to Wisconsin. Evers is proposing all sorts of new spending, without specifics to pay for it, which means only one thing: higher taxes!

So I ask you, fellow Wisconsinites, why are we on the verge of firing the leadership team that’s made Wisconsin a national leader in favor of electing the same tired old bureaucrats that screwed it all up?

Why are we willing to just defecate on all this good news?

I know many of you don’t like President Donald Trump and/or his style. I get it. I know many of you are angry government employees who can’t let Act 10 go. I kinda get that, too.

But you have to acknowledge Wisconsin is in a much better place than it was in 2010. Walker deserves your support, as do his Republican allies like Vukmir. Vukmir stood with Walker during the protests and recalls, and she’ll stand with Wisconsin in the US Senate.

The most frustrating aspect of the Senate campaign is that while Vukmir’s a nurse, it was Sen. Tammy Baldwin who ignored the opioid crisis at the Tomah VA. It is Baldwin who is complacent in the smear of Kavanaugh, and it is Baldwin whose far-left voting record means the Madison isthmus is well represented on Capitol Hill. But the rest of us? Not so much.

So Wisconsin, are we really going to reward the Democrats and their resist movement, the walk outs, protests, recalls, and slanders?

I say no!

A vote for Democrats Nov. 6 means that the wrong people will be in chsrge to do the eronh things come January.

From the party of “small” government

One reason why the Libertarian Party is likely to never gain a foothold in Wisconsin is that the poliitical culture of Wisconsin is extremely non-libertarian, with the party of big government currently in control over the party of bigger government.

Evidence comes from James Wigderson:

The state legislature could consider a bill that would require a liquor license for serving alcohol at many private events if the Tavern League and its allies in the legislature have their way. A draft billaimed at shutting down competition from agriculture event venues (AEV), often referred to as “wedding barns,” is being considered by the Legislative Council Study Committee on Alcohol Beverages Enforcement.

new memo released Tuesday afternoon from the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) warns that, just like a previous attempt by the Tavern League would have ended tailgating in Wisconsin, this bill could have some unintended consequences.

“The same folks who would’ve banned drinking beer while tailgating at Lambeau Field earlier this year are back at it again, only now their proposal would regulate drinking beer at private events like weddings and even at vacation homes and on pontoon boats,” said Lucas Vebber, deputy counsel for WILL. “Once again, this is an attempt by special interests in Madison to curtail freedom for Wisconsinites and use the heavy hand of government to shut down competition. What major policy problem this legislation solves continues to be a mystery to us.”

Under the current law, private events are not required to have liquor licenses provided that alcohol is not sold on the premises. This has allowed an emerging industry of alternative venues for private events, including on privately-owned farms that have rental space for weddings, corporate gatherings and other private events.

The Tavern League has sought to “level the playing field” by trying to force AEVs to get liquor licenses with all of the regulations that come with even though the wedding barn operators have no intention of operating bars that are open to the public. The requirement would not only be costly, forcing many of the AEVs to shut down, but in many communities the number of liquor licenses are extremely limited in availability because of a state law that enforces a quota on each municipality – a law also supported by the Tavern League.

The new proposed law could prohibit the legal consumption of alcohol at many private events and would require a license or permit for when people consume alcohol on rental property.

The Legislative Council Study Committee on Alcohol Beverages Enforcement studying the draft bill targeting AEVs is dominated by the Tavern League and its allies, including the chairman Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander), a supper club owner and a former president of the Tavern League. No owner of an AEV was allowed to serve on the committee.

The study committee has discussed a number of issues regarding AEVs, including many issues that have nothing to do with state alcohol policy, in order to justify state regulation of the wedding barns to limit competition for the Tavern League.

However, the draft bill being considered by the committee may do more than attack the wedding barn industry. The bill is very similar to the proposed legislation that would have had the unintended consequences of banning tailgating at major sporting events such as Packer and Brewers games. According to Vebber, the bill now carves out exemptions for those types of events.

But the legislation still has issues beyond its purpose to try to kill a part of the Wisconsin economy. It could affect everything from drinking outside major concerts to even banning drinking alcohol at deer hunting campsites.

“This is the most interesting [exemption] I think: vacation rental properties or any other temporary lodging that is used for overnight accommodations if the property is furnished with sufficient beds for all adult guests to sleep,” Vebber said. “They’re saying, you don’t have to get a permit for a vacation rental property but only if that property has enough beds for the adult guests to sleep? So, basically you can have people over at your rental property, but only if you have enough beds for everyone to sleep in.”

Vebber explained how this could be a problem.

“So if I go up north, and your family and my family go up north, and we rent two cabins right next to each other, and they’re both one bedroom cabins and the kids are going to sleep on the couch,” Vebber said. “I cannot have you and your wife over to my cabin for a dinner party and serve you a Miller Lite. It’s a vacation rental property, I don’t have a permit, and I don’t have enough beds for all of the adult guests.”

Vebber said the result may not have been the intention of the draft bill, but it’s what happens when you try to craft a bill to serve a special interest like the Tavern League.

The legislation could even affect Wisconsin’s deer hunting traditions by requiring owners of land that rent out to hunters to get alcohol licenses if the hunters decide they want to drink beer at their camp unless there are “sufficient beds” for every adult at the campsite.

“Rented hunting land may even fall under this requirement if you plan to stay overnight,” the WILL memo states. “So if this proposal passes, be careful cracking a beer at deer camp after a long day in the field.”

The WILL memo also asks about the enforcement of the proposed law.

“There is also the question of how the state would intend to enforce such requirements: will revenue agents be knocking on doors to count beds during your next dinner party?” the memo asked.

Today’s politics, explained

David French:

There was a moment in Season 7 of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones that perfectly summed up the state of American politics in a time of negative polarization. Lord Petyr Baelish (better known as Littlefinger) is attempting to poison Sansa Stark against her sister. He approaches her and says, “Sometimes, when I try to understand a person’s motives, I play a little game. I assume the worst. What’s the worst reason they could possibly have for saying what they say and doing what they do? Then I ask myself: How well does that reason explain what they say and what they do?” …

I’d submit that we’re all living in Littlefinger’s world, and that we simply can’t understand the fury of either side of the political divide without understanding that this fury develops amidst a presumption of evil. And when there’s a presumption of evil, it’s virtually impossible to cleanse yourself of the stain of any allegation.

We see these presumptions at work in the Kavanaugh debate. On the GOP side, the presumption is what undergirds two of the three conservative positions that Ross Douthat outlined today in the popular New York Times podcast The Daily. Those three general positions are “It doesn’t matter,” “The allegations are serious, but not proven,” and “It’s all a smear.”

The “It doesn’t matter” argument has echoes of 2016 and depends largely on the assumption that the Left is so bad that it can’t be granted any victory, even if that means overlooking or disregarding evidence of sexual abuse. The “smear” argument depends on the contention that the Left writ large will “say anything” or “do anything” to win a political fight and preserve the right to kill children in the womb.

And, by the way, if you want to prove your thesis, there is no shortage of truly bad and truly evil actions — especially online — that can serve as evidence. Each terrible tweet (especially from a blue checkmark) is proof of the “the Right’s” or “the Left’s” true agenda. Each piece of shoddy journalism further proves the case against the media writ large.

Make no mistake, the presumptions of evil clouds the Left’s perceptions of Brett Kavanaugh as well. The first and most important is the widely held view that there is something inherently morally deficient about pro-life men. Democratic senator Mazie Hirono voiced an extreme version of this view when she said Kavanaugh’s position on “women’s reproductive choice” (among other things) affects her view as to whether Brett Kavanaugh was entitled to a presumption of innocence:

The presumption of evil is also behind the ongoing episode of CSI: Yearbook that’s now supplanted Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker story as the Brett Kavanaugh topic of the day. Does his high-school yearbook prove that he was just the sort of dudebro pig that Michelle Goldberg excoriates in the New York Times? Consider the assumptions laden within this paragraph:

Regardless of what happens to Kavanaugh, however, this scandal has given us an X-ray view of the rotten foundations of elite male power. Despite Donald Trump’s populist posturing, there are few people more obsessed with Ivy League credentials. Kavanaugh’s nomination shows how sick the cultures that produce those credentials — and thus our ruling class — can be.

If Kavanaugh is the poisonous fruit of the rotten tree, how much easier is it to believe the worst claims against him?

But wait: In his interview last night, Kavanaugh tried to flip the script. He worked hard to counter the image of himself as an out-of-control partying predator and instead disclosed that he was — surprise! — a virgin until many years after high school.

So, how does one filter that news through the presumption of evil? Easy, now he’s dangerously repressed. For example, here’s Vox’s Matthew Yglesias:

And here’s the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin, explaining Kavanaugh’s alleged misconduct through the prism of his professed chastity:

It’s the Littlefinger principle, all the way down. Why would we believe he assaulted a teenage girl? Well, his stance on reproductive freedom demonstrates his lack of respect for the liberty and autonomy of women. Oh, and besides, he belonged to that awful party culture. Or maybe he’s one of those sexually deprived incels.

In fact, the presumption of evil is part of the reason why many of Kavanaugh’s accusers are impatient with the very idea that the accusers bear any kind of burden of proof. If he’s bad anyway, then the mere “chance” that he committed an act of sexual assault or indecent exposure should be the nail in the coffin of his confirmation.

But lost in the think pieces, the furious tweets, and the partisan arguments is a truly rigorous examination of the evidence. A man has been accused of serious offenses. Can we carefully consider the claims? All the crass yearbook entries in the world don’t change the fact that not one named witness can yet place Kavanaugh at the location of either alleged crime. His presumed pro-life views are irrelevant to the fact that his second accuser allegedly told her classmates that she wasn’t sure Kavanaugh was the person who exposed himself.

Whether Kavanaugh is pro-life or pro-choice, a dudebro pig, a repressed nerd, or a “woke bae,” the standard should be the same. The Senate should hear serious claims, accusers should bear the burden of proof, and those claims should be decided on the evidence. Any other standard turns the Littlefinger principle into national policy: We will presume the worst, and God knows the worst people can’t be allowed to win.

The choice in November

Facebook Friend Gary Probst:

Mark Belling was saying what I’ve been saying about the polls showing Tony Evers ahead of Scott Walker. Are we so comfortable here in Wisconsin that we want some drama? We have THE strongest job growth of any state in the center of the nation. That’s even before the Foxconn hiring starts. So…..whassup Wisconsin? Want to go back to the pain of the Doyle days, with companies scrambling out of here, unemployment over 5%, taxes through the roof, bureaucrats expanding their dominions, businesses being treated like scum of the earth by state government and basically a sour, covetous and angry attitude toward everything?

This state has gone too far to go back to the old mess that Doyle had us in. Tommy Thompson’s reforms left him with a growing economy and a stabilized situation. Doyle made a mess of things. Now—-will history repeat itself??

Democrats have been okay for this state. I won’t say that Tony Earl or Pat Lucey were catastrophes. I even worked on Tony’s campaign, during my younger and more uninformed days. However, neither were far left socialists.

Lucey signed into law the manufacturing and equipment property tax exemption. He is the last Democratic governor in Wisconsin history to have done anything positive for Wisconsin businesses. Under Earl Wisconsin was literally the last state in the nation to recover from the early 1980s recession, and the state’s business climate was so poor that the term “business climate” entered the political debate for the first time.

Evers is worse than Doyle. Evers is a teachers union puppet and a career bureaucrat who believes we all need to register our guns (first stage of confiscation), that we simply cannot spend enough money on teacher salaries and that we must raise taxes with impunity. Make sense?

This is Bernie Sanders lite!

It’s bad enough that I have to be represented by uber-leftist Tammy Baldwin in Washington. Do I have to watch this state go from a place I am extremely proud of—to a socialist nightmare?

Vote in November. Milwaukee already has early voting, giving the left a long-term recruitment period. Want Milwaukee governing this state? How are they doing? They successful?

Rally people. Don’t assume Walker wins by default. There is a real threat. Get out and support him and also vote for Leah to at least make Baldwin run for her money. God help us, if things go the wrong way.

We already know what happens if “things go the wrong way.” The last two years of Doyle’s administration featured complete control by Democrats in Madison, resulting in a $2 billion tax increase, every kind of budget deficit possible, and a crashed Wisconsin economy. Evers is already committing to multiple billion-dollar tax increases (ending $1 billion in property tax credits, allowing school districts to spend $1.75 billion more per year, repealing Act 10) merely to throw more money at his buddies in the teacher unions.

Terrible Tony Ever$ the Taxer

The MacIver Institute picks up on something you read here last week about Tony Evers’ plans to sharply increase your taxes:

Tony Evers wants more money for government – a lot more.

The secretary of the state Department of Public Instruction and Democrat candidate for governor proposes a big infusion of new revenue for everything from education to transportation.

How would Evers pay for it all? “There’s no definite plans at this time,” he said. He went on to insist, “Anything is on the table.”

Just how Evers plans to fund it all remains a bit murky, but one thing is certain: Somebody would have to pay for the candidate’s government expansion plans.

During his annual State of Education Address at the Capitol Thursday, the public education chief laid out his plan to increase education spending by $1.4 billion in the next biennial budget, which would follow Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s historic investment in K-12 education, which boosted spending by $639 million in the current two-year budget.

Afterward Evers took – and seemed reluctant to answer – a flurry of questions from Capitol reporters, including MacIver Institute’s Ola Lisowski. How would Evers pay for it all?

Yet to be determined, according to the candidate.

“There’s no definite plans at this time,” Evers said. He went on to insist, “Anything is on the table.”

Based on his public statements, anything could include a hefty gas tax. He’s open to 33 cents a gallon, but Evers shrugged off claims by Walker’s campaign that the Democrat would hike the state’s gas tax by as much as a buck a gallon.

The Walker campaign ad asserts Evers would raise various taxes. Evers again didn’t disabuse anyone of that notion during Thursday’s press gaggle.

Evers said he is considering a broad range of possible tax hikes, “shifts,” and “revenue enhancements” to pay for transportation.

Property taxpayers could be looking at higher bills for the first time in several years under Evers’ latest education budget proposal, which includes a 10 percent spending increase. That would be on top of the $636 million in additional ed spending Walker built into the state’s current two-year budget.

DPI documents, as well as the agency’s spokesman, maintain that property tax bills would not be impacted. Yet with all the increased spending and a crucial property tax control removed, that seems a stretch. Budget watchers say the loss of the state tax credit would be a big hit to homeowners in many communities, a loss that would not be offset by Evers’ funding formula ideas.

Evers said Walker’s priorities are “out of whack.”

The Republican governor on Friday remarked on how the times had changed.

“Last year when I made the largest actual dollar investment in state history he called it ‘pro-kid.’ Now he’s saying it’s out of whack,” Walker told MacIver News Service at an event in Milwaukee. “The fact is when he was running for superintendent he thought it was a pro-kid budget. When he’s running for governor he thinks it’s something different. This is just double talk from a politician.”

Evers did call Walker’s 2017-19 spending plan a “kid-friendly” budget at the time the Legislature was working through the document. He has since criticized the governor and the Republican-controlled Legislature for not spending enough on education. At more than $11.5 billion over two years, the 2017-19 K-12 budget represents the largest state education investment in actual dollars ever.

Evers has offered few details on where exactly he would find the additional $1.4 billion needed to fund the proposed spending increase. At Thursday’s press conference, he repeatedly denied the notion that taxes must necessarily go up.

While he insists his goal is to “keep taxes reasonable,” Evers is drawing from the old redistributionist handbook. In short, higher taxes for higher earners in the pursuit of lifting the tax burden off of Wisconsin’s middle class, Evers insists.

But what Evers leaves out in his class warfare rhetoric is the number of small business owners that would be hit by higher income taxes. So-called “pass-through” businesses are taxed at the individual tax rate, not at the corporate rate.

“Again, small business people and small farmers in this state hardly make enough money to be considered wealthy and to be in any kind of a major tax bracket,” Evers told reporters Thursday. “We have to prioritize our taxation policies so that we benefit the small business owners and the people of Wisconsin that are hard-working and can barely just get by.”

If small businesses are a priority, higher income taxes on pass-throughs would seem a contradiction.

The Tax Foundation notes that these sole proprietorships, S corporations, and partnerships make up the vast majority of businesses in the United States and more than 60 percent of net business income. Pass-through businesses account for more than half of the private sector workforce.

Evers dismissed a question about the potential negative impact his tax ideas could have on small businesses, manufacturers and farmers. On the candidate’s “table” of revenue ideas is doing away with the manufacturing and agriculture tax credit. The credit offers a significant share of state income taxes for operators of factories and farms.

Democrats charge the tax credit, which delivered some $260 million in tax relief for critical Wisconsin industries in 2017, is nothing more than “corporate welfare.”

study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy found more than 42,000 jobs were created between 2013 and 2016 thanks to the Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit. More than 88 percent of tax credit recipients were small businesses, with incomes less than $1 million.

Scott Manley, senior vice president of Government Affairs for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, said raising taxes and eliminating job-creating tax credits is a “recipe for economic disaster and failure.”

“It would be difficult to design a better blueprint to ruin Wisconsin’s economy than what Tony Evers is proposing right now,” Manley said.

Neither Evers nor DPI is telling the truth about Evers’ plans to increase taxes. Eliminating the three property tax credits, which Evers proposes to do to pay for his increased K–12 school spending, would raise property taxes by $1 billion. Increasing the school revenue cap by $200 per student would result in a spending and therefore tax increase of $1.75 billion. Eliminating Act 10 would increase spending and therefore taxes by another $1 billion a year. That is $3.75 billion in tax increases in one single year, with another $1.78 billion from a $204-per-student increase in the second year of Evers’ 2019–21 budget from hell.

Evers’ 33-cents-per-gallon tax increase would push gas prices, now around $2.80 per gallon, over $3.10 per gallon, 25 cents more than the current national average. I’m sure Evers would push for a $1-per-gallon tax increase if he thought he could get away with it. Who cares about fixing roads if people can’t afford to drive on them? (Of course environmentalists, which control the Democratic Party like a malignant tumor controls a brain, would love to force people to drive less.)

If you want to have union thugs and spineless bureaucrats back in charge, feel free to vote Democratic or not vote Nov. 6. If you don’t want that to happen, you damn well better vote for Republicans.

 

A downgrade from “deplorables”

First, Tammy Bruce:

Watch out Trump supporters! Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden is on the trail and has downgraded you from “deplorables” to the “dregs of society.” It’s the September before an election, and like well-oiled machines, Democratic leadership crawls out of their basement, ready to instill fear, division and loathing into the American electorate. And they hate you even more than they did before.

One would think they would have learned that denigrating the American people is passe, but it’s all they have, and yet they still have to have you rubes, rednecks and deplorables for your vote. But their biggest insult is to their own base whom they believe are so unhinged and lacking of a moral compass, that casting their neighbors as something less than human will inspire them.

People keep insisting that the Democrats and media hate President Trump. Actually, they don’t. The political and media establishment have known him and liked him for decades. It’s you they loathe, and now Mr. Trump is our stand-in, taking the heat, lies and insults. Until the Democratic cup of hate overfloweth.

Let’s take Uncle Joe, shall we? A man who’s marketed as a happy-go-lucky nice guy; the man you can trust, because he’s … nice. For Barack Obama, Mr. Biden was the perfect choice for vice president as he would do as he was told. And he had as much contempt for the American people as Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton did. He fit right in.

It was at the annual Human Rights Foundation dinner where Mr. Biden decided to appeal to the attendees’ worst selves.

“Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden assailed President Trump’s supporters during a speech Saturday at the annual Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington, lamenting that ‘virulent people’ and the ‘dregs of society’ still had a friend in the White House,” The Washington Times reported.

” ‘They’re a small percentage of the American people, virulent people,’ he continued. ‘Some of them the dregs of society. And instead of using the full might of the executive branch to secure justice, dignity [and] safety for all, the president uses the White House as a literal, literal bully pulpit, callously exerting his power over those who have little or none.’”

So nice to see the Democrats are now relying on inspiring messages, lifting people up and focusing on how to improve the quality of people’s lives. Said no one ever.

When it comes to the Democrats, it’s clear we will never have our own Sally Field moment where we can genuinely exclaim, “You like me, right now, you like me!” Why? Because Democratic leadership doesn’t like us. Democratic leadership has clearly decided that insulting half of America is still a good idea.

Make no mistake, this pathetic effort to demonize the American people is a calculated, strategic choice. Mr. Biden’s comments are remarkably similar to Mrs. Clinton unleashing the insult strategy in September 2016. Her “deplorables” remark was astounding because it indicated her campaign had decided they couldn’t win undecideds over, so it was best to demonize them which they thought would excite their base. What does that tell you?

In September 2016, The Guardian reported on Mrs. Clinton’s remarks at a fundraiser in New York featuring Barbra Streisand, “… Trump’s supporters belonged in ‘a basket of deplorables’ which she described as consisting of ‘the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.’ She went to note ‘some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.’ “

It’s not just Mr. Biden picking up that machete, it’s also echoed by Obama pal, former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. who lobbed the more familiar accusation of “racist” at people who support the president.

At the same dinner where Mr. Biden demonized tens of millions of Americans, Mr. Holder was fast and furious with his accusations.

” ‘This sort of thinking, this ‘Make America Great’ mindset is not only flawed, it’s rooted in fear,’ ” Mr. Holder said. He also “questioned to what period of American history the ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan was referring. ‘Certainly, it was not when people were enslaved. …’ ‘I’ll never call him the president,’ Mr. Holder said, noting the message would be directed to ‘the extremists who surround [Trump] and to those that support him…’ ” Fox News reported.

Earlier this month, in a tour consisting of rallies praising himself and attacking Mr. Trump, Mr. Obama also added to the Democratic narrative by declaring Americans who don’t pay allegiance to the liberal agenda are angry and suffering from mental illness.

Fox News reported this about his remarks, “I have to say this … Over the past few decades, the politics of division and resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party.”

As we approach the midterms, the Democrats are determined to punish you for being right in 2016 and to malign Mr. Trump for being successful. “Deplorable” is so 2016 and simply won’t do. We are now the dregs of society, a virus, racist, bullies, fearful, resentful and paranoid. These obscene attacks on the American people were rejected before, and the only way to reject them again is to take nothing for granted in November.

Wisconsin’s version of Biden in the verbal diarrhea department is Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Mandela Barnes, reported upon by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

During a candidate forum on Wednesday in Milwaukee, Barnes told the audience that the race hinges on persuading Wisconsinites who voted for former President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 but didn’t come to the polls in 2016 to vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who did not campaign in Wisconsin after the state’s presidential primary election. …

In making that point, Barnes said: “It’s not about the Obama-Trump voters. If they voted for Obama then they voted for Trump, and they’re still with him, they can — you can keep ’em.” …

That drew the ire of Republicans, who said Barnes was dismissing “millions of hard-working Wisconsinites” who voted for Trump in 2016.

“The outrageous remarks from the Evers campaign are insulting to millions of hard-working Wisconsinites and speak volumes about his priorities,” Republican Party of Wisconsin spokesman Alec Zimmerman said.

We already know Evers’ priorities — raise taxes, take away guns from legal gun owners, and force taxpayers to pay for unlimited abortions.

 

The $1 billion Tony Evers tax increase(s)

The last time Wisconsin had a Democratic governor, that governor increased taxes by $2 billion.

And that was after Gov. James Doyle reduced, by line-item veto, the 2009–11 budget approved by the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

Evers apparently has decided to channel his inner Doyle, as reported by the Wisconsin State Journal:

Wisconsin’s K-12 public schools would receive a nearly $1.7 billion increase in state funding over the current budget cycle under state Superintendent Tony Evers’ two-year budget proposal released Sunday.

Evers, the Democrat challenging Gov. Scott Walker in the Nov. 6 election, is calling for the state to fund two-thirds of the per-pupil cost to educate students, something that hasn’t happened since the 2004-05 school year, according to Department of Public Instruction spokesman Tom McCarthy.

(P.S. Who was the governor in the 2004–05 school year? Doyle.)

Evers’ request for $15.4 billion in state support for K-12 schools in 2019-21, up 12.3 percent from the $13.7 billion distributed to school districts in the 2017-19 cycle, is similar to what the Legislature agreed to more than two decades ago, [DPI spokesman Tom] McCarthy said.

“I think it’s been a long, long, long time coming,” McCarthy said. “You’re seeing it in referenda results around the state, people voting to raise their own taxes to support their schools. That should be a big wake-up for the state to say maybe it’s time for us to not only redesign how we fund our schools but also contribute enough money so local districts don’t have to pick up so much of the dime.”

So voters vote to increase their own taxes, and that’s a sign taxes need to be higher? Only in the diseased world of government is that the case. (And, by the way, why is someone from DPI speaking on behalf of the Evers campaign?)

Evers is calling for an increase in total aid of more than $2.6 billion over the current biennium. His proposal also calls for, starting in the second year, eliminating property tax credits that total about $1 billion per year and shifting it to general aid.

The move doesn’t necessarily mean property taxes will rise because Wisconsin has a “revenue limit” in place that effectively caps how much each school district can raise property taxes to fund operations.

Apparently the reporter can’t see through the Evers/DPI propaganda. Property tax credits go not to school districts, but to property taxpayers — the Lottery and Gaming Credit, which goes to homeowners on their principal residence; the First Dollar Credit; and the School Levy Tax Credit. So if Evers is shifting money from those credits, anyone who gets those credits (that is, homeowners) won’t get that money, which means their property taxes will increase.

Evers’ proposal also raises the revenue limit by $200 per student in the first year and another $204 in the second year. Limits vary by district but on average are between $10,000 and $11,000 per student.

McCarthy called the overall proposal “property-tax neutral,” but said changes like those could cause districts with higher property wealth to see taxes go up while the opposite would play out in lower property wealth districts.

If the revenue limit increases, allowable spending increases — in this case, given the 872,436 public school students in this state, by nearly $1.75 billion in the 2019–20 school year and another $1.78 billion in the 2020–21 school year. Given that school districts routinely “tax to the max” — that is, spend and therefore tax as much as they’re allowed to by law, because they can — that means that Evers is proposing, to quote the late Carl Sagan, billions and billions in higher taxes in this already- and still-overtaxed state.

Remember as well that Evers wants to get rid of Act 10, which saved taxpayers $5 billion in the five years after it was enacted. If Act 10 goes away and public employee unions are able to mandate their own taxpayer-funded benefits, taxes go up more billions of dollars.

This is how Tony Evers is working together … to make Wisconsin once again number one in state and local taxes.

 

The soft-on-crime would-be governor

Dan O’Donnell:

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers claims that a new ad from Governor Walker’s campaign is dragging the race “into the gutter” with its suggestion that Evers’ desire to reduce Wisconsin’s prison population by half would release violent offenders onto the state’s streets.

“That’s a lie. I never said that,” Evers said. “We will not release violent criminals.”

Yes he will.  By logical necessity, he will.  Nothing about Walker’s ad is factually inaccurate.  If Evers is indeed serious about his desire to reduce Wisconsin’s prison population by half, then any move to do so would necessarily result in violent offenders being released.

Why? Because 67% of Wisconsin’s prisoners are violent offenders.  If Evers were to release 50% of the prison population, then a percentage of them would necessarily have committed violent crimes.

Evers did indeed say that he “absolutely” was in favor of a proposal to reduce Wisconsin’s prison population.

“The multi-racial interfaith organization MICAH launched a campaign launched a campaign to cut the state prison population by half, from 22,000 to 11,000,” moderator Mitch Teich asked during a Democratic primary debate in July.  “It now sits at 23,000. Do you support that original goal and how would you balance reducing the prison population and protecting public safety?”

“Absolutely,” Evers responded.  “And that’s a goal that’s worth accomplishing.”

Evers explained that this would entail ensuring that “those who haven’t committed violent crimes are put into diversion programs,” but this alone, MICAH notes, wouldn’t reduce the prison population by the amount that it wants.It openly advocates releasing inmates from the state prison system.On its website, the organization indicates that it is working “to pass the Second Chance.  This bipartisan legislation  would return most 17-year-olds to the juvenile justice system.”  Additionally, MICAH wants “to realize parole release for those eligible who can be released safely, and compassionate release for elderly and/or very ill prisoners who are no longer a danger to society.”Evers endorsed this “compassionate release” policy during the debate.

While he claims that none of his criminal justice policies would result in violent offenders being released, this seems to be a logical impossibility.  Reducing the prison population by 50% by relying solely on diversion programs and not early release would, by some estimates, take as long as a decade.

Evers’ primary opponent, Kelda Helen Roys, promised to do it in four years.  That wasn’t an arbitrary number; it would be the length of a full gubernatorial term.  She also said she would accomplish this by “granting more paroles”–quite literally letting inmates out of prison.

Would there be enough nonviolent ones to reduce the prison population by half in just four years?  Of course not.  Since two-thirds of the inmate pool from which parolees would be picked are violent, it logically follows that at least some of those would likely have committed violent offenses.

Moreover, since the current prison population indicates that two-thirds of felony offenses that result in prison sentences are violent, it may be presumed that roughly two-thirds of future felony offenses that result in prison sentences are violent.

If the goal is to reduce the future prison population by 50% and if 67% of offenders are violent, then it logically follows that a percentage of future offenders who would otherwise be sentenced to prison would instead receive diversion or probation under Evers’ plan.

If the goal is to reduce the prison population, then policies enacted in furtherance of this goal would be geared toward keeping people out of prison.  Would this include violent offenders?  If not, then how could releasing nonviolent inmates and refusing to sentence nonviolent defendants to prison result in such a steep drop in the prison population so quickly?

Evers, of course, has not been asked this and was instead allowed to stridently claim that he’s “not going to get into the gutter with Scott Walker,” but until Evers explains how exactly he would cut the prison population in half without releasing inmates who should not be released early, it may be logically presumed that his plan would do exactly that.

Apparently the superintendent of public instruction doesn’t know math.

Which brings up another question: Why should nonviolent offenders be let out of prison early? They committed crimes that resulted in victims as surely as the victim of a murder or a beating. How should someone who had money stolen from them feel — that their crime wasn’t serious enough in the opinion of (would-be) Governor Evers?

As it is there arguably should be more people in prison than there are now. In Grant County last week a man was arrested for 10th-offense drunk driving. Yes, our criminal justice system gave someone 10 opportunities to kill or harm someone with a several-thousand-pound weapon. Is that OK with Evers?

 

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