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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Scott McClellan: A John Dean Moment, Not A Democrat | Main | Lowering Wisconsin's Tax Ranking - An Instant Fix, Painless and Brainless »

May 30, 2008


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I really go between thinking Belling needs to get off the radio because of his right wing propaganda and then thinking he should stay on because he drives many conservatives into the progressive camp because of his no compromise ideological viewpoints. The Belling and ideologues propaganda starts from the point that there should be no regulation and no taxes, and maybe compromise slightly from there. A viewpoint the majority of Americans, while not liking taxes, don't agree with.

Russ Burkel

What Paul Soglin thinks of Mark Belling is of little interest. What is of interest is the business climate in Wisconsin. If it were excellent, or even good, business expansion would be much stronger than it is.

There is only one reason why Wisconsin is so low on the business climate list. Taxes and regulation. It's up to the voters. They have to elect business friendly politicians. That means politicians with goals to reduce taxes and reduce regulations to the level of the current top 5 states.


Something I've NEVER understood about talk radio (right wing and otherwise) is why it is perceived as being so influential. These hosts are entertainers, first and foremost. Their audiences are NOT a broad-based slice of the public at large. Nevertheless, the PERCEPTION (and perception is frequently reality) is that talk radio influences public policy and public opinion.

What is troubling to me is the fact that the push for ideological purity (on both ends of the spectrum) fails to develop sensible, long-term solutions. Or, for that matter, produce leaders with much character. For proof, look no further than the leadership in both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature and the "silence" within the state's business community regarding the WMC.

Today's information age is a wonderful thing in many respects, as I'm sure you'd agree. But, an unfortunate byproduct is the never-ending street brawls cheered on by folks behind the microphone who are driven by ratings and, sadly, the perceptions that have become reality.

Dan Sebald

"If it were excellent, or even good, business expansion would be much stronger than it is."

I'd say that is a false premise, Russ. Expansion can only go on for so long, right? Can't we reach a robust economy and stay right there? And I'd say that expansion isn't always a good thing. Consider the Bush economy. Is there any doubt that their policy was to open the flow of money supply via cheap credit rates, tax breaks, etc.? The result was a home-building frenzy, i.e., expansionism. It's a bad way to build an economy because it isn't self-sustaining. It burns out, and we are seeing that effect right now.

As for Wisconsin, there were Republicans cutting taxes for fifteen or twenty years. So why isn't the economy great (by your definition) right now? Certainly economic policy hasn't significantly changed under Doyle. (Note that states, unlike the federal government, are supposed to have balanced budgets.) Economic policy has an effect two, three years down the road, not immediately.

The low corporate taxes, the tax loopholes, the roads built for strip mall mega-stores have placed a big advantage in the chain stores and destroyed the locally-owned commerce.

There was a recent legislative change that was significant:

"The measure shut down the use of intricate tax techniques to avoid taxes by having one branch of a company pay rent to another branch of the same company."

Bad for national corporate chains, good for local business.

Ultimately, the price of oil plays a big part in the economy as well. One can't mention taxation and regulation and overlook the price of oil, because contrary to what stock analysts have told us during the tech meltdown of 2001, we are not "not dependent on oil like we were in the 1970s".

As for regulation, Russ, apparently you haven't read the stories about toys, toothpaste, and medicine from China.


Paul, We lovingly refer to him as Mark Bellowing, for both the his annoying voice level and his blowhard rants.

Guess what? I've met him in person on two different occasions (public domain, not private functions) and he's an even more arrogant D-head in person. Imagine that.

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