Wal-Mart Allies Choose Higher Taxes Over Fair Share

Today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the amount of uninsured workers being forced onto state programs has risen 13% in the last year.  Here are a few specifics from the story:

A recent state Department of Health and Family Services analysis shows that at the 18 biggest employers of BadgerCare recipients, the total number of employees and their spouses and dependents enrolled in the program was 5,573 in March 2006, up from 4,923 in April 2005.

It should be no surprise that the employer topping this list is Wal-Mart Inc.  They came in first with 904 employees enrolled in BadgerCare, the state health care program for low-income families.  They have over twice as many as McDonald's Corp. which placed second.

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Second Guessing Conservative Tax Theory

Last week the conservative Wisconsin Taxpayer's Alliance released a report based on their interpretation of U.S. Census data.  According to their report, they almost seemed reluctant to admit that Wisconsin's tax burden has gone down for the last several years.  Even so the group ranks Wisconsin as the nation's sixth-highest in taxes for 2004.

Although there is research that demonstrates that this high tax reputation is more hype than fact, there is a different point to be made here.  So for the sake of argument, let's say that the WISTAX ratings are accurate.

Rounding out their list of states with the highest taxes: they rank Vermont in 5th place, then Hawaii, Maine, Wyoming, and the highest taxed state is New York.

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WI-Senate Update: GOP shakeout, Thompson out .

Big shakeout this week on the GOP side.

First, Dave Reddick quit the Republicans, and is now running as a Libertarian.

Another GOP candidate, mint farmer Marcus Gumz, my codefendant in a marathon Freedom of Assembly battle after I rented his farm for the Weedstock Festival in 2000, passed away Sunday. I'll be making the visitation Friday.

Tommy Thompson has finally announced he's definitely not running.

This leaves Atty. Robert Gerald Lorge unopposed for now. GOP insiders are begging the off-cycle State Senators to go thru the motions, not finding a taker. Even if they do, the populist Lorge could pull it out, as he did for the Secretary of State nomination over the handpicked candidate 4 years ago.

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Grover Norquist Wants to Drown Your State

Grover Norquist famously said that he wants "to get [government] down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." In fact, he's working hard right now to do that across the country including, quite likely, in your own home state.

Grover Norquist and the organization he leads -- Americans for Tax Reform -- are one of a small group of extremely well-funded radical rightwing groups attempting to put state spending in straitjackets. The straitjacket is known as TABOR -- the so-called "Taxpayers' Bill of Rights" -- and it is modeled on disastrous legislation passed and eventually suspended in Colorado. Check below the fold to find out more about Norquist's attempt to drown your state in the bathtub -- and what you can do to fight back.

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My call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq

I'm posting the speech that I gave on Saturday at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin convention in La Crosse.  This is where I stand:  it's time to bring our troops home from Iraq.  The war was a mistake to begin with, and it has wasted billions of dollars and thousands of lives.  

I'd be happy to discuss below.

As for me, I'm running for Congress in an open district here in Northeast Wisconsin.  We're best known for the Green Bay Packers and their green and gold, but, in political terms, this district is both red and blue.  It's is the swing area in a swing state, and this is the kind of district we need to carry to gain a majority in Congress.

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