"Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15." -- Ronald Reagan.
Our last great president was honored on the centenary of his birth with statues and/or street namings in London, Budapest, Krakow, and Prague. Few have done more to promote political and individual freedom in the world. That is why we will see no Gorbachev monuments. Nor George McGovern or Jimmy Carter or Neville Chamberlain avenues. (Dead ends, maybe.)
Didn't read about the Reagan honors in the Progressive news media? Then enjoy the coverage of the blessed Peggy Noonan.
Do Wisconsin's beleaguered Capitol grounds need a Reagan statue? You know they do! Let's put our larger-than-life monument at the State Street entrance, facing the University of Wisconsin's flagship campus.
Reagan can cheerfully bid the perpetually pissed off Teaching Assistants union that "It's morning in America," thanks to the loudspeakers integrated into the statue. That recorded statement, in the Gipper's own voice, alternates on the quarter-hour with "Tear down this wall," "Evil Empire," "Trust but verify," "There you go again," and "I forgot to duck."
If you're wondering about the shocking white "aura" surrounding Reagan's statue at the Capitol in the photo above, it's caused by a small electrical current we're running through it. Just enough to keep the pigeons and, um, other pests off it. Also melts the snow.
At night it lights up from the inside like those outdoor plastic Santas. Quite a sight. I know Deb Archer at the Tourism Bureau will be excited.
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President Obama's war on workers
Our liberal acquaintances (for they ARE ...) keep talking about Governor Walker's "war on workers." By this they mean modest increases in pension and health insurance payments expected of government employees and curbs on their collective bargaining power. (They've always been prohibited from striking so how ever would they enforce their demands?)
The deep space radio dishes here at the Policy Research Center have yet to detect a single word about President Obama's war on workers. Walker, say what you will about him (and you have) has, at least, endeavored to avoid massive employee layoffs in a state that faced a $3.6 billion budgetary shortfall.
Yet, two years after TARP and auto company bailouts, a trillion-dollar stimulus, and record deficits, the nation's unemployment stands at 9.2%. That is Jimmy Carter territory, folks. (The Capital Times endorsed ol' Jimmy. Twice.)
Count workers who are underemployedand others who have given up looking for work and the rate stands at 16percent -- one of every six workers! As President Reagan might have said, Barack Obama fought unemployment and unemployment won.
No president since FDR, observes Megan McCardle in The Atlantic On-Line, has been re-elected with unemployment above 8%. To paraphrase Reagan, "Recession is when your neighbor loses his job; depression is when you lose your job; recovery is when Barack Obama loses his."
R.I.P. Progressivism, 1901-2011
I have been saying for a decade now that progressivism is spent fuel. It is a movement predicated on the rule of "experts" who shall dazzle the proletariat with the brilliance of their pure science.
A movement that began by regulating the railroads in the first decade of the last century reached its apex a decade later with the failed experiment of regulating adult use of alcohol (aka "Prohibition"). The Progressive Movement recently lost the battle to expropriate tax dollars to finance the election campaigns of unpopular candidates (its own). Its twitching corpse is trying to ban incandescent lightbulbs and determining where Boeing may build new factories and where it may not.
Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic, concludes, "the deepest recessions make conservatives of us all."
The case for stimulus is dead. ... President Obama's last chance to save the economy in 2011 is to do a spot-on impression of Sen. John McCain from 2009. That is to combine payroll tax breaks and corporate tax incentives, to go along with his extension of the entire Bush tax cuts. This doesn't look much like liberal economics. Then again, liberal economics had its moment in February 2009.
It's got to help Dan Kapanke and Sheila Harsdorf in their recall elections that right across the river is dysfunctional Minnesota, where the state government is in shutdown mode. Its Democrat(ic) governor wants to raise taxes in a state that still provides monthly cash grants for single adults and childless couples. Wisconsin got rid of that 16 years ago and no one has tried to bring it back.
How "appreciated" do the unemployed feel?
It now transpires that Madison's public schools will lose $6.7 million in state aid -- a 13% reduction that will create a $2.2 million budget hole.
"It Looks Like the School District Has a Budget Gap," School Board member Ed Hughes writes on his must-read blog. "Tell Us How to Fix It."
Ed, it would have been easier not to incur the budget gap in the first place. A little due diligence could have avoided that. Remember the rushed contract settlement on a Saturday last February?
Hughes, a thoughtful man who nonetheless takes the liberal angle, worriedly writes:
It's puzzling the extent to which folks seem to think that we can cut teachers' pay and load them up with new responsibilities and yet not expect that there will be any effect on their job performance.The world doesn't work that way. Teachers, like everyone, react to incentives.
How about this incentive: you get to keep your job!
Hughes argues that the increased pension contributions and the increased health care costs (the latter of which our school board did not fully advantage itself) are "one-time fixes." I understand his point, but it is equally true that the fixes are permanent. Consider that a one-time increase in one year, modest though it may be, becomes part of the base forever after.
Still, Madison's unionized teachers could do worse than to fire the divisive John Matthews and employ Ed Hughes to replace him. Ed is a much more effective advocate for the teachers. Wish he cared as much about the taxpayers. Tell the school board what to do by taking this survey.
I'll side with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida: America needs more taxpayers -- not more taxes.
Vote for the hockey puck
Did Don Rickles hack the WI State Journal's editorial page? "Elect local Latina to Legislature," urges Friday's lead editorial encouraging the election of one Bethany Ordaz. (Sorry, Vicky Selkowe wins the right to succeed Joe Parisi in the Assembly, it sez here. How DO I do it? I buy right and so can you!)
Yet the editorial itself fails note the relevance of Ordaz' ethnicity on a single state issue. This is a triumph of identity politics at its worst. This opens a Las Vegas lounge act's worth of possibilities. Can we expect the State Journal's headline endorsing Tammy Baldwin to read: "Vote for the lesbian"? Should the nod to Senator Risser command "Vote for the real old guy"?
How would Russ Feingold's endorsement read? If Dave Zien returns to politics we can vote for the cripple, too?
In keeping with today's RR theme, we are paging James Watt. Hey baldy!