If states are really the laboratories of democracy, then apparently Wisconsin is the place where all the mad scientists go to cook up the latest abomination of science with which to terrify the populace. And one case in point is the way that the Democratic party in Wisconsin has decided to run with the novel platform of explicitly offering to raise other people’s taxes in order to maintain certain Democratic cronies’ current-but-threatened standard of living.
I simply cannot come up with a sarcastic comment worthy of that particular brainstorm. Sorry.
But let me give you the background. Believe it or not, average property taxes went down in Wisconsin last year for the first time in over a decade. This happened because Scott Walker and the state legislature – not being idiots – knew that if they didn’t impose strict limits on property tax increases then local governments would simply hike said taxes up in order to maintain their current (and quite unsustainable) budgetary spending. Good news, right?
Well, not if you’re a Wisconsin Democrat; from their point of view, that money is being diverted from a prime constituency (state and local bureaucracies). So both Kathleen Falk and Tom Barrett are both criticizing the tax rate limits – and, thus, the lower property tax rates. Falk, being the more progressive (read, “dumber”) candidate of the two, is outright calling for the caps’ removal; while Barrett, being the more establishment (read: “more cowardly”) candidate, is merely doing some sniping at the practice, in the hope that progressives will get confused and vote for him accordingly.
Just to be on the safe side, let me note this: it is not a good idea to campaign on the platform of Hey, let me raise your property taxes so that City Hall can keep giving public sector unions sweet pension deals! If you’re a politician and someone suggests that you run on this, you tell him or her ‘no.’ Just like you would if the suggestion was Hey, you should go on national TV and smother puppies in a wading pool filled with the ashes of burned American flags! – Oh, crud, now that I’ve suggested it the Democrats will probably schedule one of those for May Day.
And I like puppies, too.
Moe Lane (crosspost)