Don’t be fooled

You’ve seen some favorable polling. You’ve seen a remarkable display of support for Governor Walker in a primary that was virtually uncontested. You’ve seen a 23 percent drop-off in Democrat primary voters, compared with the number of recall signatures filed.

It would be easy to assume the recall election is over with and Walker has it in the bag. And that easy assumption is the one possible way you could give Wisconsin Democrats and the national Left a gift they don’t deserve.

They’ve done everything they can to turn out their voters, and that’s a lot. Because their accomplices on the Dane County bench have blocked photo ID, we can only guess at the extent of fraud. So there’s just one thing left for them to do: Convince YOU not to vote and they were working at that this past Sunday on television and in a story in Saturday’s Los Angeles Times titled, “Democrats, losing ground in Wisconsin, play down recall election.”

Spin would appear to be the only reason for the Times story: Spin an impending defeat into a meaningless exercise with no effect on the November elections.

But there’s another reason, far more subtle and far more important: Spread the lie that there’s no urgent need for Conservative voters to turn out next Tuesday. It’s the Democrats’ key to an upset, and the psychological effect on the November elections should give you the absolute, shivering creeps.

National Democrats will say next Tuesday means nothing, setting up the ambush. Meanwhile, their minions in Wisconsin will pull every trick in the book, looking for a win by hard work, outright theft or a combination of the two.

Don’t be fooled into leaving things to chance, only to wake up next Wednesday to a disaster you could have helped prevent.

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They hate it because it’s working

In the closing days of the recall campaign, the clenched-fist people have settled on a theme. It’s been around for months but now it shows up everywhere: “Reclaim Wisconsin.”

It’s the most—really the only—interesting thing they’ve said. Interesting because it begs the question: reclaim Wisconsin on whose behalf, and to what purpose?

Evidently to put a stop Governor Walker’s reforms that have saved taxpayers over a billion dollars.

A Wisconsin Reporter story highlights a new study from the Beacon Hill Institute that analyzed the results of reforms contained in Governor Walker’s (Act 10) budget repair bill.

It provides yet more indisputable evidence that the Walker reforms are working. They’ve saved Wisconsin taxpayers more than a billion dollars, avoided thousands of layoffs in both the public and private sectors, and in many cases created the opportunity for enhanced efforts in public education.

So to get back to that question about reclaiming Wisconsin on whose behalf and to what purpose, the answer is to restore the unwarranted free ride on retirement savings and health care benefits for those who would gobble up the tax savings, continue the status quo in education, and let the layoffs happen.

For the record, we thought Wisconsin had been reclaimed by its honest citizens and taxpayers in November 2010 when they threw Democrats out of the governor’s office and terminated their control of both legislative houses. And again in 2011, when they rejected a left-wing Supreme Court candidate and voted to retain Republican control of the state senate.

The only “reclaiming” going on now is the attempt to reverse those decisions by the voters and hand power to people whose chosen symbol is a clenched fist. Just try reclaiming anything from them.

Trying it their way, VIII

It’s been some time since we’ve looked at states that are taking a different approach than Wisconsin—let’s say a non-Walker approach—to the fiscal problems plaguing overgrown governments at all levels these days.

The Wall Street Journal calls our attention back to Maryland, one of our favorite examples because its governor is taking an approach much like what we’d expect to see here if Tom Barrett winds up in the governor’s office.

It’s not just Barrett. Call it the Democrat playbook on growing government by running an economy into the ground. Maryland’s Governor O’Malley is deep into the game of raising taxes to feed the spending machine, and naturally the taxes are never enough.

Going after “the rich” didn’t work when O’Malley tried it in 2007—Marylanders reporting million-dollar incomes simply faded away, many fleeing the state.

So now he’s going after the middle class, who, considering a proposed 8.95 percent income tax rate can also benefit by leaving. As the Journal reported:

“A family of four earning $250,000 a year will be able to save money by moving to Washington, D.C., arguably the most liberal city in America. The same family can save $6,000 a year by relocating across the Potomac River to Virginia, where the top tax rate is 5.75%, according to the Tax Foundation. State Senator James Brochin, a Democrat who opposed the tax increase, says: ‘I won’t be at all surprised if we’re not back in two years with a new plan to raise taxes.’”

We’ve seen it their way and Walker’s way. Walker’s way works.

Epiphany!

“…the mayor can be tentative and slow to act. While building consensus is admirable – the opposite of the approach Walker often takes – the mayor can be risk-averse to a fault. One example: He has been slow to articulate a vision for economic development in the city and to develop a strategic economic plan for Milwaukee…”— Editorial endorsing Governor Scott Walker over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in the upcoming recall election,  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 19, 2012

In secular terms, an epiphany is defined as a sudden realization of something’s true meaning. We’d say the Journal Sentinel just demonstrated one. Because for all the speculation over what the recall is really about, it finally comes down to this: Do Wisconsin voters believe their state, and hence their personal situations, will improve if Scott Walker is replaced in the governor’s office by Mayor Tom Barrett?

Given the identical choice 19 months ago, voters didn’t think Barrett was the right guy. Since then, the biggest relevant changes are, 1) the state’s books balance for the first time in about 13 years and 2) some government union members are mad at Walker for making them help pay for their own retirement and health care benefits.

Sounds to us like the way things are supposed to work, but read the endorsement editorial in its entirety.

There’s plenty to analyze, but if the newspaper that never misses a chance to cast doubt on the Walker administration agrees that it’s time to end the childishness, who are we to complain?

Job numbers

Flailing by Democrats hoping to run Governor Walker out of office on the strength of inaccurate job numbers suggests a couple of things: Nothing that is true would advance their cause, and…well, maybe that says it all.

On Thursday, Democratic operatives were trying to re-inflate the discredited claim that Wisconsin’s losing thousands of jobs every month.

On the slim chance that you’ve missed it, the numbers that persistently indicate job losses are based on surveys of about three percent of Wisconsin employers. Statewide numbers are then fleshed out by estimates, the word you use for “guesses” if you have a degree in statistics.

But an actual count of hiring activity by more than 96 percent of Wisconsin employers shows substantial employment growth—about 33,000 net new jobs since Walker took office.

It’s like global warming: You can believe what the computers predict based on numbers somebody fed into them, or you can believe what the actual record shows. Don’t try believing both; your brain will be insulted.

It seems obvious that a direct count of almost all employers would have the edge in credibility. But another excellent gauge of credibility is the reaction from Democrats. Democratic Party Supreme Genius Mike Tate went so far as to claim the administration committed a criminal act by releasing the numbers before the recall election.

Ever since the Reagan administration, when Republicans have an issue that looks like a game-ender, the Democrats’ fall-back position has been to allege criminality. Sometimes it worked.

But that was before the Democrats’ behavior became so outlandish that people started paying attention.

The French connection?

Maybe Green Bay’s birth as an outpost of New France (Jean Nicolet, 1634) explains it, but we were amazed last week to learn how deeply unions had penetrated Green Bay’s public employment—or more pointedly, how deeply public employment had penetrated Green Bay’s culture.

French government unions can pretty much shut down the country if they’re of a mind to. We’re wondering if Green Bay schools might have to close if the Teamsters Union gets crabby.

Green Bay school crossing guards are city employees, members of the Teamsters, and unhappy that the city may contract with a private security firm to reduce taxpayer costs.

We wondered if the position of crossing guard might be a common government job in Wisconsin. Evidently, yes. Five minutes’ searching found 19.8 positions, plus 1.7 supervisory slots, in the Madison Police Department’s organizational chart. A nearby village advertises an “employment opportunity” for a crossing guard, assuring that the successful applicant would be “making a difference in these young people’s lives…”

Heaven forbid anyone should think we don’t respect the service crossing guards provide in fair weather and foul. But we remember the folks with the safety patrol badges who were “making a difference” in our lives were 7th and 8th grade students from our own school. They weren’t in a union. They didn’t get paid.

Nowadays the idea of uncompensated 12- and 13-year old crossing guards would have the plaintiffs’ bar salivating uncontrollably, but the problem there is not 12-year olds willing to work for free. The problem—one of them—is that if your goal is expanding government, a good way to start is by squeezing out what used to be the honorable service of volunteers.

Next thing you know, school crosswalks are the Teamsters’ turf.

Wisconsin Adds 33,000 Jobs

A new report from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development says Wisconsin gained over 23,000 last year. When added to the more than 10,000 jobs created this year, the state has gained over 33,000 jobs since Governor Walker took office.

According to economists, the new numbers are far more accurate than the previously reported estimates that said the state lost thousands of jobs last year. The Associated Press reports:

…the new numbers based on a census of Wisconsin employers instead of a much smaller survey show a net gain of 23,300 jobs instead of a loss of 33,900 jobs.

University of Wisconsin-Madison economist Andrew Reschovsky says the data is more accurate. Wells Fargo Fund Management economist Brian Jacobsen agrees.

That Rechovsky could never been mistaken for a member of the vast right wing conspiracy is especially bad news for Tom Barrett. Barrett and his allies have been working overtime to discredit the new numbers before they were ever released. Rechovsky donated $400 to Barrett’s 2010 campaign for Governor.

Barrett got more bad news when Marquette University Law School released a new poll that shows Barrett trailing Governor Walker by 6 points. Earlier this week a Democratic poll had Barrett losing to Walker by 5 points and a poll sponsored by a manufacturing group showed Barrett trailing Walker by 9 points.

We caution readers not to take a Walker victory for granted. Still, what’s bad news for Tom Barrett is good news for Wisconsin.