Still working…

Like clockwork, our examination last week of Connecticut—one of the nation’s wealthiest states—turning itself into a debtor’s prison, coincided with news that the fiscal condition of Wisconsin keeps getting better and better.

Estimated revenues for the 2013-2015 biennium are likely to be $1.5 billion greater than previously estimated. That means the state should be able to balance its next two-year budget without great difficulty.  Keep that in mind early next year when you see the all-but-inevitable organized protests about heartless “budget cuts.”

The most important point to remember about those things is that they happen regardless of whether anything is being “cut” at all, and are as likely to occur in the face of a spending increase that isn’t quite as big as somebody wanted.

The immediate message is yet another illustration of the practical difference between governance by Democrats and Republicans, made all the more striking by the fact that Wisconsin, per capita, is a state of modest means compared with Connecticut.  Wisconsin balanced a budget that was deeper in the hole than Connecticut’s, without raising taxes; Connecticut can’t get itself in order even with tax increases.

There is, of course, the looming cloud of federal regulation about to roll over the entire U.S. economy. It could make Wisconsin’s revenue projections meaningless in a hurry.

That makes us doubly fortunate to have two years of documented comparisons between Wisconsin and Liberal-ruled states since Scott Walker took office, to show us what works, what doesn’t, and why. It’s the kind of knowledge that could come in handy one of these days—if anyone’s still listening.

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Brace for impact

Most of us can easily remember how life used to return to normal following an election. People got on with their lives, even if those lives were nudged subtly in one direction or another by the voters’ decisions.

Back then what you did outside the voting booth, the other 364 days of the year, determined the kind of life you led. That was before voting became an occupation in its own right; before half of us allowed ourselves to imagine all you really had to do was make sure people who would give you things got into office.

But this is now. And for about half the population, the post-election return to normalcy means thinking about how soon there will be another election—or as elections are properly understood nowadays, how soon there will be another chance to vote for more free stuff.

This kind of thing only works temporarily, but trust us, “permanent” is not in the vocabulary of those who yearn to deceive and be deceived.  In fact, they’re yearning for the next election right now.

The clock is already ticking on the spring 2013 and fall 2014 elections in Wisconsin, and as the linked Washington Post story indicates, the Obamites have a chillingly thorough data-mining operation to keep track of their friends (and enemies) and activate their voters.

One member of the state Supreme Court and one man in the governor’s office constitute the firewall between Wisconsin remaining an outpost of sanity and being rendered another victim of leftist plunder.

Take the Post story as fair warning that a machine-like operation to remove Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack and Scott Walker is already well underway. Don’t keep it to yourself.

Things accumulate…

Material suitable for these columns tends to pile up, but it’s not always bad when things don’t get our immediate attention. For instance, a couple of weeks ago we noted a Wall Street Journal headline saying, “U.S. Redraws World Oil Map.” A few things have happened since then.

Actually, the International Energy Agency (IEA), a policy-shop of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, did the redrawing. It predicted a shale-oil boom would help the U.S. surpass Saudi Arabia within eight years as the biggest oil producer.

The Journal reporters, who really should have asked someone else, concluded that the IEA reassessment “shows how different President Barack Obama’s second term will be from his first on energy policy.”

We’re not so sure, unless by “different” they mean “worse.” Even before the Journal story saw print, the administration announced a plan to close off 1.6 million acres of land previously authorized for shale oil drilling.

Soon after the Journal story appeared, others reported potential bipartisan interest in a carbon tax to address climate change.

Simultaneously, the Environmental Protection Agency is cooking up rules to sabotage hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, the one thing that’s kept energy prices in check.

If we obsess about energy and climate issues, it’s because they involve Liberals using one hoax to sell another, to assert ideological control over every corner of the economy. If you think its sluggish now, try subjecting it to the whim of windmills. Drilling restrictions and carbon taxes and malicious fracking rules are intended solely to make worthwhile energy sources so expensive the worthless ones seem price-competitive.

There is no energy problem in America today that is not a creation of government, and there is no economic activity that doesn’t involve energy.

Great Recession 2.0

Well, this didn’t take long.

There were those of us who thought the U.S. economy would take off like a rocket, just as soon as the voters expelled Barack Obama from office, and we expected that to happen.

Of course, when you think that way, you also have to be prepared for the economy to do what it logically would do if your expectations were mistaken.

Less than 24 hours after the horrible election results were known, the waves of layoff notices began rolling across the country, suggesting official (lowball) unemployment rates will soon reach double digits.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Welch Allyn – laying off 10% of its workforce
  • Stryker – 1170 layoffs
  • Boston Scientific – up to 1400 layoffs
  • Medtronic – up to 1500 layoffs
  • Smith & Nephew – 770 layoffs
  • Abbott Labs – 700 layoffs
  • Covidien – 595 layoffs
  • Kinetic Concepts – 427 layoffs
  • St. Jude Medical – 300 layoffs
  • Hill Rom – 200 layoffs

Some of our readers might be too young to pick up the message of the “Mourning in America” headline we used last week, which also appears in the Freedom Works posting linked above.

It’s an ironic reference to Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign theme that introduced the most memorable, and truthful, of his TV ads, celebrating our recovery from a deep recession: “Its morning in America. People are making plans again…”

That last line still applies, in a sad sort of way. People most certainly are making plans: The layoff notices that are just beginning are a big part of it. People are trying to plan how they’ll reduce their exposure to the vengeful idiocies now bearing down on anyone who tries to build useful things through private initiative.

They’re trying to plan how they’ll survive the onslaught of a government obsessed with tearing down Reagan’s America, the country that prospered by valuing honest rewards for honest work, the spirit of enterprise, and personal responsibility.

Our response to the coming economic debacle will show once and for all if that’s who we still are.

The place to be

The sole reward to Wisconsin Democrats for taking over the state Senate by recall last spring turns out to have been the privilege of moving their furniture from one set of Capitol offices to another, only to move it back again before January.

Amid the gloom of last week’s mortifying failure to win the White House and a Senate majority that could have saved us from Obamacare, there’s consolation in the stewardship of Wisconsin state government being once again fully entrusted to Republicans.

There’s been puzzlement that the same voters who retained an overwhelming Republican majority in the Assembly and restored a Republican state Senate would also choose the extraterrestrial leftist Tammy Baldwin over Tommy Thompson and buy into a second Obama term.

The answer is that the same voters didn’t do that. A red/blue map of Wisconsin reveals sharp geographical divisions exactly like those seen across the country. Despite red state/blue state characterizations, the reality is of red counties and blue ones, here and nationwide.

Pending recounts, Assembly Democrats could be outnumbered 60-39, because Senator-elect Baldwin taking 69 percent in Dane County and 66 in Milwaukee doesn’t affect most legislative districts. But in a statewide race, there’s danger that the will of most voters in most counties may be undone by the leftist legions congregating in Dane, Milwaukee, and counties surrounding Madison where state employees have moved to escape the tax Hell and increasing crime of the capital city.

The reform-minded conservative governor and legislature have a chance to lead by example with job-creating, pro-growth policies. They’ll be swimming against the statist tide flowing from Washington, and the detestable media will eagerly blame every increase in unemployment on them, not the real culprits.

But at least in this state, they still have the opportunity to try.

Full Court press

The Left’s never-ending battle to circumvent elected legislatures and rule from the bench enters a new round this coming spring, with another state Supreme Court seat on the ballot. Justice Patience Roggensack is up for re-election to a ten-year term. And because she’s been solid and rational, committed to applying the law rather than making it up, she has a bulls-eye on her back.

This past week brought trial balloons from more than one potential opponent. The one who’s of greatest immediate interest is a judge named Maryann Sumi. You may have heard of her. She holds the distinction of being the first Dane County judge to strike down the Act 10 collective bargaining reforms—the ones that prevented massive teacher layoffs and actually helped allow more teachers to be hired in some districts and are therefore hated by the teacher unions, and no, we don’t get it either.

Within two weeks the state Supreme Court overruled Sumi, finding that she had usurped the authority of the legislature. Roggensack was part of the majority that voted to overturn Sumi’s decision. Hmmmm…

So once again, the slender, 4-3 conservative majority on Wisconsin’s highest court is going to be at risk. And every significant reform adopted in the past two years will be threatened.

Spring elections are normally low-turnout affairs. Last year’s Prosser-Kloppenburg contest was a huge exception, staged against the backdrop of mass demonstrations and the occupation of the Capitol building. The very same people who were behind all that may expect to pull off an ambush in the spring of 2013.

Don’t be surprised if the government unions try to make this look like a low-profile, low-interest election, and don’t be fooled. They’ll be lurking in the weeds.

Now for the Good News

For nearly two years, liberal thugs have subjected Wisconsin to angry protests, lawsuits and perpetual elections. Yet after spending tens of millions of dollars in special interest money to defeat Governor Walker, his legislative allies and their reform agenda, they have exactly nothing to show for it.

Wisconsin Conservatives on the other hand, have significant cause for celebration.

In January 2011, the GOP held majorities of 19-14 in the state senate and 60-39 in the state assembly.  Special and recall elections in 2011 and 2012 cost the GOP a net of one seat in the assembly and 3 in the senate.  Last night conservatives flipped the state senate and grew our majority in the state assembly.  The final score for the GOP is 18-15 in the state senate and 60-39 in the assembly.

That means Governor Walker and the legislature have a mandate to pass pro-growth policies, like iron mining legislation, tax cuts, regulatory relief, and education reform.
Thanks to your support, once again Wisconsin Club for Growth played a pivitol role in last nights results. In the last three weeks alone, the Club aired over $1,500,000 in network televison ads in Green Bay to educate voters on the records of Senator Jessica King and Senator Dave Hanson. King cast the deciding vote to kill the mine in Northern Wisconsin and the 3,000 jobs that came with it. When you put politics ahead of creating good paying jobs for Wisconsin families, you should be prepared to lose your own.

The re-election of President Barrack Obama has conservatives across the country shaking their heads in disbelief.  But Wisconsin conservatives have reason to celebrate and a lot of work to do.