Larry Kaufmann

​Larry Kaufmann started writing opinion columns for Isthmus in 2010. In his final column he reflects on his time in Madison and on writing for Isthmus. He says it’s been fulfilling to provide a free-market perspective to a skeptical audience. more

Nov 25, 2015 5:00 AM Opinion 5 Comments


David Michael Miller

​While campaigning for president, Scott Walker said he was not afraid to “go big and go bold.” Now that he’s back in Wisconsin, he should apply those efforts to Wisconsin’s sluggish economy. more

Oct 16, 2015 9:00 AM Opinion


David Michael Miller

Larry Kaufmann wonders whether higher ed has become more about coddling students than expanding their minds. more

Sep 4, 2015 10:00 AM Opinion

​Description: The Wisconsin Supreme Court decision on the John Doe investigation is also important in upholding the rule of law. more

Jul 31, 2015 7:30 AM Opinion

Proposals to repeal the prevailing wage and to build a new stadium for the Milwaukee Bucks share one thing: They would both benefit special interests. more

Jun 26, 2015 10:25 AM Opinion


Todd Hubler

When government pokes its nose into every nook and cranny of the body politic, money in politics is inevitable. more

May 14, 2015 9:15 AM Opinion


David Michael Miller

Uber, a company that barely existed at the time of Madison's last mayoral election, is central to the current race between Mayor Paul Soglin and Ald. Scott Resnick. more

Mar 19, 2015 12:00 AM Opinion 1 Comments

The appeal of the minimum wage is really very simple: Everyone likes higher wages. Wage increases mean more money in your pocket, which takes a load off your mind. Politicians' primal impulse is to give stuff to voters, and few gifts are more welcome than a mandated pay increase courtesy of your elected representative. more

Apr 24, 2014 2:00 PM Opinion

On Feb. 11, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch led a tax reform roundtable discussion in Madison. This discussion was not related to the tax reductions proposed in Gov. Scott Walker's most recent State of the State address, which would take place immediately to distribute most of the projected 2013-2015 state budget surplus back to taxpayers. The roundtable addressed long-term tax changes for Wisconsin, and any reform proposals would not be implemented before the 2015-2017 biennial budget. more

Feb 20, 2014 3:00 PM Opinion

"Your current health insurance is being canceled and you consider other available policies unaffordable." Is this a right-wing talking point, designed to gin up opposition to the health care reform widely known as Obamacare in an effort to see it fail? On the contrary, this quote comes from a recent document issued by Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. more

Dec 26, 2013 3:00 PM Opinion

Seven months ago, I wrote a piece for "Isthmus" that argued that Wisconsin water utilities are "shirking their responsibilities in order to become cash cows for fiscally strapped municipalities." In a nutshell, the problem is that some water utilities are transferring excessive revenue to the city governments that own them rather than using those funds to replace depreciated infrastructure. more

Oct 31, 2013 2:00 PM Opinion

Sometimes, the most important government reforms are the most boring. A good example is the "Right the Rules" initiative being spearheaded by Rep. Daniel LaMahieu (R-Cascade). Right the Rules is a comprehensive legislative review of Wisconsin's administrative code. more

Sep 5, 2013 2:00 PM Opinion

They don't have a candidate, but Democrats increasingly have a message for the 2014 gubernatorial race: Wisconsin is falling behind Minnesota, and it's Scott Walker's fault. Just minutes after learning of better economic news in Minnesota than Wisconsin in 2012, progressives took to their keyboards and began blaming "extremist" policies enacted in our state in the last two years, in prose so purple it could have been on a Vikings football jersey. more

Jul 11, 2013 2:00 PM Opinion

Not everything worth doing should be done by the federal government. That may be the understatement of the millennium, but it's the key to understanding why the current push for "common core" standards in education is a bad idea. more

May 16, 2013 2:00 PM Opinion

Years ago George Carlin did a comedy bit called "Water Sez," which included the lines "water says, who cares. Drink me, I don't give a *#$%!" Many water users feel the same way and only think about their water when it's time to pay the semiannual bill. That may be about to change, though, and not just because the Madison Water Utility will soon be invoicing you monthly. Water is taking a bigger bite out of household budgets at the same time that Wisconsin's water utilities are apparently shirking their responsibilities in order to become cash cows for fiscally strapped municipalities. more

Apr 4, 2013 2:00 PM Opinion

It's February, which for most of us means it's time once again to begin preparing tax forms. Other than perhaps a 24-hour rectal exam, there is no experience I dread more than this annual ritual. more

Feb 7, 2013 3:00 PM Opinion

One of the first items of business for Wisconsin's new Legislature will be a reconsideration of Assembly Bill 426, which reforms the state's regulation of iron mining. In the previous session, the bill passed the Assembly by a 59-36 margin but fell one vote shy in the Senate, when Republican Dale Schultz defected in an otherwise straight party-line vote. With an expanded 18-to-15 majority, the GOP can pass AB 426 without Schultz's vote, but hopefully a few Democrats will also support the interests of their blue-collar union constituents by voting in favor of this widely misunderstood bill. more

Jan 17, 2013 3:00 PM Opinion

"The New York Times" recently called 2012 "the year of the MOOC," the strangely compelling (and somewhat ironic) term for massive open online course. MOOCs are taking the world of higher education by storm, as millions have signed up for online, college-level instruction from online vendors like Udacity and Coursera. In a college town like Madison, MOOCs are a very big deal indeed. more

Dec 13, 2012 3:00 PM Opinion



The third debate between Wisconsin's U.S. Senate candidates, former Gov. Tommy Thompson and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, would best be described as a smackdown. The Friday night debate at Marquette University Law School had all the energy and theatrics of a WWE event but, unlike professional wrestling, the animosity between the protagonists was not staged. more

Oct 27, 2012 1:48 PM Opinion

Suppose you learn that your blood pressure is 140 over 90, or just on the verge of being too high. Rather than prescribe medicine immediately, your doctor asks you to buy a home blood-pressure monitor and test yourself a few times to see if things are improving. You do it, but discover that your blood pressure is getting worse over time, until one day when the test comes back at 120 over 80. more

Oct 11, 2012 2:00 PM Opinion