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home : opinions : opinions May 28, 2016

8/8/2014 7:30:00 AM
Guest Editorial: Don't buy the liberal spin
By Andy Loduha
Chairman, Republican Party of Oneida County

I believe liberals think we can spend money we don't have. They really don't want to understand that the victims of our reckless spending today will be our children and grandchildren tomorrow.

As Ronald Reagan said "it's not that liberals are ignorant... they are just wrong about what they know."

This leads me to rebut Paul Knuth's guest editorial last week about Gov. Walker's electronic billboards and TV ads.

Knuth complains that some people "fell into Walker's health coverage gap" because Walker declined the Obama handout for Medicaid. Knuth ignores that we are staring down the barrel of a $17 trillion national debt and this Medicaid handout is more "borrowed money." Knuth doesn't mention that if Wisconsin accepted this expanded Medicaid handout, the federal government would only pay this Medicaid for three years. After that, Wisconsin taxpayers would be on the hook to pay these additional Medicaid costs "forever." Knuth says people removed from BadgerCare "couldn't access health care through the new marketplace," but he doesn't explain why. I thought the Affordable Healthcare Act was going to be the magic bullet that got everyone covered with health insurance. You know, the Obama promise that you can keep your health insurance, your doctor and your hospital if you want to. It was going to make health insurance so cheap that everyone could afford it. The truth is that Obamacare has been a nightmare from the start and that is why Medicaid recipients are in a fix. When the federal government dollar printing presses run out of ink, the states that accepted the expanded Medicaid handout will be scrambling to pay for it and that means "higher income taxes." The expanded Medicaid handout was more Obama "smoke and mirrors" but Knuth doesn't tell you that.

Knuth complains that "Walker is against any change in the minimum wage." I think it is more accurate to say that the governor does not favor raising the minimum wage to $10.10 in one shot, as Obama would do. Minimum wage jobs are intended to be part time jobs for students and steppingstones to higher paying careers. Liberals don't understand the basic law of "supply and demand." Employers must pay what a job is worth to attract the talent. Some jobs are worth $7 per hour, some $10 per hour, some $25 per hour and some jobs are worth more than that. If an employer offers a certain amount of money for a job and nobody shows up to work, he must offer more money, it is that simple. During high school I worked one of those minimum wage jobs cleaning toilets, which was all the incentive I needed to set my goals a little higher. I think Gov. Walker said it best when he said "we should not strive for minimum wage jobs, we should strive for maximum wage jobs."

Then there are the baseless claims from Knuth about WEDC council outsourcing jobs. If Knuth wants to comment on outsourced jobs, he should start with all the jobs outsourced by Mary Burke and her dad's bicycle company. Burke has done a great job of employing people, but most of them are living in China. As far as Wisconsin placing last in the Midwest for jobs growth, there are any number of reports that show we are, in fact, a leader in new jobs growth. Scott Walker has created more jobs in his first four years as governor, than Jim Doyle created in eight years as governor. And for the record, with the pathetic job Obama has done with our economy, it is a wonder that there has been any job creation at all. Who could have imagined in 2008 when Obama was elected, that the new normal for GDP growth in America would be 2 percent. Americans blame Obama's failed leadership for our lack of jobs. That is the reason Obama's poll ratings are at an all-time low.

There is also the old liberal argument by Knuth against a common sense voter ID law. Conservatives say let's put in place simple voter ID rules that insure the integrity of our elections before there is a problem. Liberals say we should wait until we have a problem with voter fraud and then fix it. The fact is that in 2012, there were precincts in Ohio that reported votes for Obama that exceeded 110 percent of the registered voters for those precincts. That tells me there is a problem that voter ID would help fix.

Knuth also complained that Wisconsin has "actually been borrowing money." Well, with record low interest rates doesn't it make good sense to refinance some of that old higher interest rate debt? The Wisconsin government has always had some debt on its books, and it will probably always have some debt on its books. The real problem started when Jim Doyle ended his second term with a $3.1 billion annual budget deficit and no plan for how that would get paid. The choices to eliminate the deficit were simple, either raise taxes or cut spending. Wisconsin elected Scott Walker on his promise to make tough choices and cut wasteful spending, in other words to live within our means. Knuth has confused the two issues of common sense borrowing and deficit spending. Borrowing money at low rates as Gov. Walker has done makes sense. Overspending and creating a budget deficit of $3.1 billion, as Jim Doyle did with the help of Mary Burke, does not make sense.

And finally, there is the high-speed rail project between Madison and Milwaukee that Gov. Walker so wisely turned down. Paul Knuth said in his editorial that the federal government would have provided several hundred million dollars for this project but Knuth does not admit that would have only covered 70 percent of the cost. Wisconsin taxpayers would have paid the other 30 percent, hundreds of millions of dollars with higher income taxes or, you guessed it, borrowed money. The same borrowed money that Knuth complained about in the paragraph above. And Knuth never mentions the annual operating costs that would be borne by Wisconsin taxpayers for this "white elephant." There is little chance that traffic volume between Madison and Milwaukee could have paid the cost for this rail line. The trains would have run half empty, and the taxpayer would have picked up the tab. I don't know about you, but I don't really want to see my Northwoods tax dollars being used to support a high speed rail line between Madison and Milwaukee. I lived in Los Angeles for 15 years where they also built one of these high-speed rail lines. You never saw these high-speed rail cars full and they ran mostly empty. The high-speed rail line is just another example of wasteful liberal spending mentality. Another example of money borrowed today that will be paid by our children and grandchildren tomorrow. And for Knuth to praise Illinois for taking the high speed rail money makes no sense. Illinois has one of the highest deficits and highest state income tax rates in the country due to reckless spending. I don't think the Illinois model is one that Wisconsin should follow.

Gov. Walker was exactly what Wisconsin needed in 2010 when we elected him to his first term. He was exactly what Wisconsin needed when we elected him "for a second time in his first term" in the recall that wasted millions of taxpayer dollars. And Gov. Walker is exactly what Wisconsin needs as we move Wisconsin into the future for our children and grandchildren.

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Article comment by: Joe Thompson

Sorry Andrew Loduha, you must have me confused with someone else.

I am a fiscal conservative and expect those who represent me to be.

Instead, you claim that I "want to spend it all to day, and the heck with tomorrow," that I "could care less that we are sticking our kids with all this debt" and that I am selfish because of that, yet I am more concerned than you with the increased amount of debt service we have under Governor Walker (and Obama for that matter). I'm tired of the giveaways without return. I don't think about it from Republican or Democratic, I want it fixed. What does that say about you?

I'm tired of this ignorant us vs. them mentality where you cannot even look introspectively before throwing stone after stone. I am a United States citizen and a Wisconsin citizen and they are the places I love and hold allegiance to, not some shady political outfit doing nothing to make things better.

Your fantasy-land liberal strawman and your rhetoric/propaganda is tiring.

Liberals and conservatives are our neighbors, friends and each of them has their losers and crackpots, but for the most part both groups are good people.

Besides, I still don't see that you have presented any facts, only conjecture.

Posted: Saturday, August 30, 2014
Article comment by: Andrew Loduha

To Joe Thompson...Your comments only reinforce what I say. You and the liberals in government want to spend it all to day, and the heck with tomorrow. You could care less that we are sticking our kids with all this debt. That is very selfish thinking on your part.

To Wayne Toske.....your argument on the deficit gets weaker by the minute as our national debt grows by millions every second. The national debt stood at $10 trillion when Obama took office and it now stands at nearly $18 trillion, for an $8 trillion increase. Obama has exceeded Bush by at least $2 trillion. I agree with Brian Holmes when he asks, is this the Hope part or the Change part that Obama promised?

Note to liberals: MONEY DOES NOT GROW ON TREES. NATIONAL DEBT MUST EVENTURALLY BE REPAID OR WE GO BANKRUPT !! What part of that do you guys not understand??

Posted: Friday, August 22, 2014
Article comment by: Brian Holmes

Dear pundits:
Take a look at the U.S. Real-Time Debt Clock sometime -- $17,700,000,000,000 and counting, as they say. So I need to know, is this the hope part or the change part?

Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Article comment by: Joe Thompson

Actually, Mr Loduha, you got you rear end handed to you in these comments and in a future letter to the editor. And you have responded to neither with an actual response, which indicates you may not have facts to back up your claims, nor to refute what you claim to be wrong.

Posted: Friday, August 15, 2014
Article comment by: Angela Wolf

Patrick- Your points about high speed rail being "Without question, rail is the most efficient and cost effective means of moving people or freight." and "The operating costs of maintaining the line were extremely small compared to the costs of maintaining roadways." are probably right. BUT only if most or all of the people and freight from those roads DO actually transfer over and use the rail. If most people continue to use the roads and the state is on the hook to maintain both systems then it would not be very cost efficient at all.

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2014
Article comment by: Wayne Toske

President Bush added the most to the debt of any president, more than $6 trillion. This more than doubled the debt, which was $5.8 trillion on September 30, 2001 -- the end of FY 2001, which was President Clinton's last budget.

Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Article comment by: Bill Yahnke

Andrew Loduha acts like a child. I have never seen a comment he has made here where he doesn't resort to schoolyard taunts.

Oneida County GOP is WEAK.

Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Article comment by: Andrew Loduha

To Patrick Wontlox and Bill Romas: Your weak comments make my point exactly !!

Ronald Reagan was exactly right. It is not that liberals like you are are just wrong about what you know.

Your weak counter arguments to my editorial prove my point exactly. You guys really do believe we can spend money we don't have...and you don't care one bit that we are robbing from our children and grandchildren with the reckless spending that you and your liberal counterparts promote.

The national debt is now $60,000 for every man, woman and child in America. You guys don't want to pony up your $60,000, you just want to dump it on the kids tomorrow.

I suggest you spend more time talking to your liberal friends...they are the only ones who will buy what you are selling.

Posted: Friday, August 8, 2014
Article comment by: Patrick Wontlox

Several comments on a few of the points above.

To start, Ronald Reagan shouldn't be used to preface an editorial about prudent spending. When Reagan took office, the US was the world's leading creditor nation, when Reagan left office, the US was the world's leading debtor nation. While he was in office, massive debts were accumulated. Reagan created a lot of defense dependent jobs with borrowed money and funded a lot of illegal military actions around the world. In fact, his administration was responsible for being convicted of terrorism (aggression) by the World Court. Not to mention the concocted drug war.

If you think Obama has been bad for the economy, then take a look at the impact of ARRA on the stock market. The stock market completely turned around after ARRA passed...look for yourself. While the stock market isn't a reliable indicator of economic health, its upswing as a result from ARRA shouldn't be discounted.

Most of the job growth problems in the US economy are decades old and aren't specific to Republicans/Democrats. The stagnation in income and growth is what happens when investors control the state and decide they need higher profit margins and design legislation that allows them to relocate manufacturing operations abroad.

Regarding the high speed rail project: just because trains in LA (where the author lived) were half full/empty doesn't mean Wisconsin should have turned down the funds...that's a very weak argument. That's like saying we shouldn't build a road because they're not at capacity 100% of the time in some other state.

(It's worth noting that most of the roads in rural areas and especially the Northwoods are heavily subsidized with state and federal tax dollars. In fact, rural areas in general receive far more in tax dollars than they pay in, state and federal. This is largely because there is an economies of scale when it comes to providing infrastructure.)

Without question, rail is the most efficient and cost effective means of moving people or freight. The United States had a world class transit system before World World II that was dismantled by the automotive and petro industry in what can legitimately be called a "conspiracy."

If Walker was so opposed to high speed rail, then why did he ask for additional rail funds for the Chicago-Milwaukee connection after he turned down the federal money? The reason he turned down the money, I suspect, was because the financiers of his administration were not rail advocates not to mention that public transit is associated with Democrats and low-income people.

The operating costs of maintaining the line were extremely small compared to the costs of maintaining roadways. In addition, the line would have been extended to Minneapolis in the future. The Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison-Minneapolis corridor is probably the busiest transportation corridor in the entire Midwest so investing in efficient transportation means that reduces the reliance on the automobile, traffic, and the need for more road spending would have been a bright idea.

Posted: Friday, August 8, 2014
Article comment by: Bill Romas

"I think Gov. Walker said it best when he said "we should not strive for minimum wage jobs, we should strive for maximum wage jobs."

Too bad he hasn't created helped to create (whatever that means) maximum wage jobs.

You are Walker are both selling buckets of slop and calling them water. Thankfully it is easy enough to see through your nonsense.

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