Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Looks like the economy keeps improving in "tax hell" Wisconsin, as the recent state unemployment figures show that the state added a seasonally-adjusted 16,000+ jobs last month, and 71 of 72 Wisconsin counties had drops in their unemployment rate in April. Wisconsin now sits at 8.5% unemployment, which ain't great, but is also 1.4% below the national rate. No doubt, things are looking up, despite what GOP operatives in media and politics ar trying to tell you, and it kind of puts the lie to the argument that higher taxes will be a job-killer. Amazing how hard work and an educated work force counteracts much of that.

And the state wisely responded to an originally misleading headline in the Journal-Sentinel that indicted health care reform would raise state costs between 2014 and 2018. As the state wisely followed up, this reform will mean the feds will take much of the state's coverage, and save hundreds of millions of dollars compared to how it would have worked under the status quo (and comparing to the status quo should always be the first test when you make a decision, the failure of the status quo is why health care needed and still needs to be changed). This is an extremely helpful development, as total expenses for the state's Department of Health Services had to be increased by $2.3 billion in this most recent budget, and is now responsible for more general funds than the UW System . And even with those increases, the state still had to cut $600 million from Medicaid, with more reductions possible.

Wisconsin has been almost punished by being responsible to tis citizens, and while it means we have low levels of poverty, it also means that other states have been able to slide by with low insured rates (I'm looking at you, Confederacy)and make all of us pay for their laziness in proving security to its citizens. This is unsustainable, and it's about time the feds cover all of its states, instead of disproportionately helping the slackers. It may also allow our state to maintain its commitments to public education, roads, and other necessities, which are the things that make this place so great. Of course if we had national health care, this state burden on health assistance would largely go away. Hmmmm...

The spill continues in the Gulf, and Obama is heading dangerously to "Bush in Katrina" type paralysis. He isn't there, especially since this was a private-sector screw-up that had no forewarning (Katrina was neither), but in trusting a corporation to "fix it and do the right thing", oil keeps washing up onshore and the disaster continues with no major action from the White House. This is an unacceptable result, and since it goes beyond a simple loss of oil revenues for BP (with many other economic sectors being affected), it is well past time for the feds to jump in, tell BP "You fucked up, we're fixing it," and put all resources into it. You cannot trust corporations to do anything out of altruism, and between the TARP, health care reform, and this, Obama has not been willing to punish those who have hurt this nation. It's not like they're going to help him back, so these crooks need to be told to fuck off, NOW.

Oh, and Obama may also want to get rid of the Bush appointees who, instead of doing their jobs regulating oil operations in the Gulf, were watching porn, doing meth, and backscratching their way into lucrative oil-company jobs. The damage from that administration contuinues, and I worry that it might keep this recovery from being stronger in 2010 than it should. More than I ever, I believe that November 2, 2004 was a much bigger tragedy to this country than 9/11, 2001, because it allowed THOSE PEOPLE to make the appointments. The meltdowns that have happened in the years since are no accident, especially when you hire cronies, porn addicts and meth heads for big-time, serious jobs. Republican "governance" at its finest.


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  2. I think the idea of the feds jumping in and fixing it is overblown. I think the real problem is the U.S. government doesn't have people that do this kind of work, so you essentially are stuck depending on BP to fix it as they have the people who have the experience that is remotely connected to the problem.

  3. Dave- I understand that the gov't may not have the expertise that BP has, but a whole lot of good BP's background has done so far. The gov't is the entity responsible to livability on the U.S. coastline and getting that area's economy back on track (BP has no real reason to care), so they have to step in.

    And BP's argument of "we're the only ones that understand this technology," sounds an awful lot like the hedge funders that tell the government they're the only ones that get derivatives, so they're the only ones that can fix it. Gov't has to be proactive to get these horses before they get free of the barn, but Dubya's boys and girls don't care about such annoying details, and now we see the results.

    At least Barack shot a hostage today, let's see if it's a step to the right track in cleaning up both the coastline and a corrupt agency.