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It turns out that if you follow Republican dogma, and don't have large amounts of oil reserves...

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It turns out that if you follow Republican dogma, and don't have large amounts of oil reserves, then tax cuts, and wars on unions might not lead to boom time. Who knew? Is Scott Walker following the Bush play book? I for one, am shocked. If the Bush years taught me anything, it has to be that cutting taxes on the wealthy always leads to boom times. Damn President elect for life Obama has ruined everything and it's up to us to ensure that Scott Walker overcomes Obama and gives the country back it's prosperity that the Obama years have destroyed.

Tale of Two States: Wisconsin and Minnesota, a socioeconomic experiment in real time!

February 2, 2015 in Appleton - Fox Cities, In Penny's Words, Locations, News & Views

By Penny Barnard-Schaber

Many states have similarities, but few states are as similar to each other as Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Both states have four seasons with an added emphasis on snow and winter. Both states have a lot of lakes; Minnesota is referred to as the Land of 10,000 Lakes and Wisconsin is noted as the Nation’s Dairy Land and has even more lakes.

Here are some interesting statistics from 2010 Census Bureau website (census.gov):

patty_table-300x140.jpg

As you can see from the chart, there are many similarities between Wisconsin and our neighbor, Minnesota. Notice one very large and significant difference: in Wisconsin we put more than twice as many people in jail. This is very costly for Wisconsin and demonstrates a different spending strategy for Minnesota.

Over the last four years there have been other significant differences between these two neighboring states: the differences will make a very interesting sociology study in the near future.

Each state elected a new governor in 2010; the governors have done very different things in their respective states. The different strategies were recently discussed in detail in a La Crosse Tribune Editorial from January 4, 2015. Both governors inherited economic problems because of the nationwide recession. Governor Walker inherited a $3.6 billion dollar deficit and Governor Dayton inherited a $5 billion dollar deficit.

Governor Walker cut education spending by a very large amount and cut taxes for businesses and individuals who made more than $150,000, while decreasing the earned income tax credits and the homestead tax credits. Both of these tax credits help low-income people; cutting the credits made their taxes go up. Governor Walker has also borrowed a lot to continue the high level of road building in Wisconsin with less money going to road maintenance. Governor Walker did not create a Wisconsin Exchange for Health Insurance, and he did not take the Medicaid Expansion money.

Governor Dayton had an education fund that he borrowed from to balance their budget, and he raised taxes on the highest earners in Minnesota while at the same time increasing the credit for renters as well as cutting taxes for middle income families and for businesses. Governor Dayton did help create a Minnesota Exchange for Health Insurance and took the Medicaid expansion money. He also increased the Minnesota minimum wage to $9.50 an hour.

So how have these different decisions played out over the last four years? Very differently as you can imagine!

Minnesota’s jobless rate in November was 3.7%; Wisconsin’s was 5.2%. Forbes ranks Minnesota as ninth best for business, seventh in economic climate and second in quality of life. Forbes ranks Wisconsin differently: it is 32nd best for business, 27th for economic climate and 17th for quality of life. Different actions were taken in both states with very different results.

From my perspective we are really feeling the impact of Governor Walker’s decisions at the local level. Our communities are stretched thin for road repair and maintenance and for making sure we have a great public education system. Based on requests from state agencies and departments Wisconsin is facing a budget deficit of about $2 billion which includes a $750 million dollar shortfall for transportation funding while Minnesota has a $1.2 billion surplus.

Governor Walker and the Republicans like to talk about how they fixed a deficit. They talk about inheriting a $3.6 billion deficit in 2011, but they don’t tell you what preceded that deficit. In 2009 our state had an estimated $6.6 billion dollar deficit because of poor decision-making and the national recession. At that time, in my first term of office, the Democrats had the majority and they had some hard decisions to make. Revenue collections had fallen to one of the lowest levels ever seen; both income tax and sales tax revenues were very low in 2008 and 2009. Instead of ignoring the problem we were facing, the Democrats did some things similar to what Minnesota did in 2011. We raised the income tax on high wage earners by 1% and we closed a corporate tax loophole that allowed corporations to move their Wisconsin earned profits out of the state to avoid their tax responsibility. By doing this the deficit of $6.6 billion was cut to $3.6 billion.

These tax changes were left in place until about 2013 by the Republicans and Governor Walker, allowing them to pay some bills and develop a “projected” surplus. In 2013, based on a surplus that was only projected and not definite, Governor Walker proposed and the Republicans passed large tax cuts. The Governor and the Republicans are not talking very much about the deficit that has been recreated through their policies and decisions, instead they are talking about re-aligning a couple of state agencies and they are avoiding the more important issue of the structural deficit that is the result their decisions over the last four years.

Possibly, if Wisconsin had left the changes from 2009, which were very similar to the changes Minnesota just made, in place then Wisconsin would also have a surplus and we would have similar higher rankings from Forbes. It will be interesting to see what the next biennial budget will look like in Wisconsin as we try to catch up with our neighbors in Minnesota. I’ll be watching the upcoming budget carefully because it is important and I would prefer to have Wisconsin leading the way instead of playing catch up.

http://new.scenenewspaper.com/2015/02/tale-of-two-states-wisconsin-and-minnesota-a-socioeconomic-experiment-in-real-time/


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It turns out that if you follow Republican dogma, and don't have large amounts of oil reserves, then tax cuts, and wars on unions might not lead to boom time. Who knew? Is Scott Walker following the Bush play book? I for one, am shocked. If the Bush years taught me anything, it has to be that cutting taxes on the wealthy always leads to boom times. Damn President elect for life Obama has ruined everything and it's up to us to ensure that Scott Walker overcomes Obama and gives the country back it's prosperity that the Obama years have destroyed.

Lowering taxes (depending on the rate) almost always will lead to increased economic activity in the private sector.. .As opposed to say raising taxes which of course will almost always have a negative effect. This is all short term - prolonged under-taxing and under-funding of the public sector will lead to things like a rotting infrastructure, poor education rates, and pooling of wealth into ever smaller groups of people. Over taxation will pool power instead of money and stifle an economy and create downward spirals in productivity. The trick is to have the correct rate.

When you are a slave to either sides dogma (i.e. you scan news sources for what you want to beleive and disseminate it to forums such as these) you become part of the problem.

If you think republicans are the problem someone else is doing your thinking for you. If you think democrats are the problem someone else is doing your thinking for you.

Edited by OnMyWayID

I don't believe it.. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it. -Ford Prefect

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Is Centrist America A Myth?

BY CARLOS A. ALVARENGA on NOVEMBER 1, 2014( 0 )

In case you missed it, Thomas Edsall had a fascinating article in the NYT about the work of two graduate students and their quest to understand if there really is a “silent majority” of “moderate” voters in America. Their conclusion, after conducting some interesting experiments, is that the idea that most voters are somewhere in the political center is really an illusion.

110.jpg?w=700

As Edsell notes:

What if the notion that a large segment of the electorate is made up of moderates who hunger for centrist compromise is illusory? What if ordinary voters are, in many respects, even more extreme in their views than members of Congress?

Two political science graduate students at Berkeley, David E. Broockmanand Douglas J. Ahler, have made a persuasive case that not only are there few voters who are actually centrist or moderate, but that many voters – and on some issues, a majority of voters – are further to the left or right than the congressmen and legislators who represent them.

Edsall quotes Brockman’s explanation of the problem:

A voter’s ideal policy is significantly more extreme than the legislator’s on each of two policies. However, when mapping their views to one dimension it is the legislator who appears extreme. Why? When asked whether he would like to nudge the policy status quo in a conservative or liberal direction, this voter gives inconsistent answers, answering in a liberal manner on one question and a conservative manner on a different question. “On average,” then, this voter is in the ‘middle’ of the liberal-conservative continuum.”

One voter might support liberal policies calling for much higher taxes on the rich and also support a conservative stand in opposition to same-sex marriage. When the two responses are averaged, though, he or she would be defined as a moderate. [Emphasis mine.]

In other words, when pollsters ask someone several questions, it’s often the case, argue the researchers, that a series of polarized positions get “averaged” into an overall centrist profile. The voter looks like a centrist, but that conclusion is wrong. This seems like a striking revelation, if true, because for decades we have been told that most Americans reside in the political center and reject extremes on both the left and right. This always sounded right but had some never quite reconciled with reality. For If Broockman and Ahler are right, then their findings would explain something that has puzzled me for years: why most Americans don’t object to polarizing aspects of the American political system such as gerrymandered districts and 90+% re-election rates for Congress. Such ridiculous aspects of American government would give rise to anger and protest in a truly centrist population but not in the kind of population Broockman and Ahler describe. In a population holding varied extreme views, the goal would never be a “government in the center” but to win as man polarizing battles as possible. Of course, in this kind of society, compromise would be a liability and the only thing that matters would be winning at almost any cost, which kind of sounds like the U.S. in 2014.

Sadly, notes Edsall, at least for people who really are in the center, this is what the researchers suggest has happened and will continue to happen:

In an additional paper published in September, “How Ideological Moderation Conceals Support for Immoderate Policies: A New Perspective on the ‘Disconnect’ in American Politics,” Ahler and Broockman reach a pessimistic conclusion:

Because each citizen prefers a different mix of policies, there is no one mix a politician could adopt that would broadly satisfy citizens. Thus it is natural that many citizens appear frustrated with the choices they have in American elections; yet, given the relatively idiosyncratic nature of citizens’ own preference bundles, it is also unclear that there is dramatic room for improvement.

They continue:

Because each citizen’s pattern of views across issues appears unique, each citizen is likely to be “disconnected” from the positions their representatives take in his or her own way, a situation which the election of more moderates – or more of any other one particular kind of politician – could not broadly resolve.

In other words, Americans can look forward to a recurrence of public dissatisfaction for which there is no remedy and to intractable conflict among elites resulting in the inability of either side to enact a durable agenda.

So welcome, perhaps, to America in the 21st Century: no longer a nation of centrist pragmatists (or so the legend says), we are now a nation picking sides on every major issue and preparing ourselves to fight for those positions against any attempt to find middle ground.

Read more:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/29/opinion/nothing-in-moderation.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=1

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Oct 19, 2010 I-130 application submitted to US Embassy Seoul, South Korea

Oct 22, 2010 I-130 application approved

Oct 22, 2010 packet 3 received via email

Nov 15, 2010 DS-230 part 1 faxed to US Embassy Seoul

Nov 15, 2010 Appointment for visa interview made on-line

Nov 16, 2010 Confirmation of appointment received via email

Dec 13, 2010 Interview date

Dec 15, 2010 CR-1 received via courier

Mar 29, 2011 POE Detroit Michigan

Feb 15, 2012 Change of address via telephone

Jan 10, 2013 I-751 packet mailed to Vermont Service CenterJan 15, 2013 NOA1

Jan 31, 2013 Biometrics appointment letter received

Feb 20, 2013 Biometric appointment date

June 14, 2013 RFE

June 24, 2013 Responded to RFE

July 24, 2013 Removal of conditions approved

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