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Your Letters: June 22

5:19 PM, Jun. 21, 2013  |  Comments
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GOP bills are bad public policy

It's time for all of us to protest two bills passed by or under consideration by the Wisconsin Legislature this week. Both contain some of the worst public policy of our century.

SB 206, concerning the management of abortions, sets precedents that no one in a democracy should support, regardless of one's position on abortion. It sets invasive rules and limits for medical practice regardless of a patient's individual medical history or a doctor's qualifications. It misuses medical technology by requiring a medical procedure to be done regardless of the patient's or the doctor's judgment about its necessity or efficacy. It increases the cost of health care for the patient at a time when middle-class people can least afford unnecessary expenses. It pretends to do this for the benefit of women when there is no evidence that a majority of women want or need this kind of supervision from the Legislature. It pays undue attention to a tiny percentage of the population who seek a specific medical procedure, while it exacerbates problems created by a faltering economy.

AB 40, regarding the budget for 2012-15, is even worse because it affects more people and extends its damage into the future. Wisconsin currently ranks 44th in the nation in job creation, 49th in wage growth and 50th in short-term job growth. Thus we should expect a budget that addresses these dismal statistics. No such luck.

Instead, this budget diverts $94 million of taxpayer money for education to subsidize parents, regardless of their income, who send their children to private schools (which are not accountable to the public and have no proven record of doing a better job than public schools). Tax breaks for the wealthy are apparently far more important to our legislators than an excellent education for all children.

It rejects federal funds to strengthen BadgerCare, cutting nearly 80,000 people from the rolls and forcing people near the (outdated) poverty line to buy private insurance worth a third of their income. In this budget, we will pay $120 million more to serve fewer people.

Instead of supporting workers and jobs, this budget raises taxes on construction and manufacturing industries and guts the Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance System, threatening unemployment benefits.

It borrows roughly $1 billion for the transportation budget, creating a structural budget deficit while it allows less money for local governments to address local needs for road repair (not to mention any other local priorities). What happened to the balanced budget passed in the last session?

It allows the sale of state-owned property without competitive bids.

The final tip-off as to the rationale for the budget is that (like the infamous Act 10) it contains 94 non-fiscal policy items, such as a rollback of consumer protections and removal of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

It is a highly ideological document that is painfully ineffective in addressing the economic problems that most of us are experiencing.

It is time to contact the governor en masse to make our voices heard above those of elected officials who have unaccountably decided to support the governor's wishes at our expense.

Estella Lauter

Fish Creek

Turnabout is fair play

As a conservative, I have grown accustomed to being called all sorts of names. I have been accused of being a racist, a bigot, homophobic, Islamophobic, a right-wing extremist and, my personal favorite, a plain old hater.

I don't think I'm any of those things. Sure, I'm a right-winger, but the extremist tag is relative. Liberals resort to name-calling because it is very difficult to argue on merits when your position has none. The absurdity of many liberal beliefs is intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer, so instead of wasting space refuting their nonsense, I thought it might be fun to demonstrate the liberal technique of using the epithet as political discourse.

What would be a good description for someone who believes that veterans and "right-wing extremists" such as those opposing abortion and illegal immigration need to be put on a terrorist watch list but consider it an act of workplace violence when a Muslim kills 13 soldiers at Fort Hood while screaming, "Allahu Akbar!"?

What about those who believe that the Constitution provides an inalienable right for women to receive free birth control while gun ownership is a privilege subject to the caprice of the legislature?

Some believe that the killing of an unborn child for any reason is simply a matter of the mother's choice but consider the execution of a murderous psychopath to be cruel and inhumane.

First it was global cooling. Then it was global warming. Now, with a clever variation on the "heads I win, tails you lose" concept, it's called climate change. Whatever the name, many claim it is "settled science."

Many people believe that a 15-year-old girl is wise enough and responsible enough to have access to abortifacient drugs without a prescription or parental consent but the girl's parents are not wise enough or responsible enough to chose where to send their daughter to school.

Some in this country believe that so called "works of art" like sticking a crucifix into a jar full of urine or covering a picture of the Virgin Mary with elephant dung are so important to the general welfare of society that they need to be subsidized with taxpayer money, yet if a guy presents any critique or even the most benign satire of Islam, he is accused of intolerance or engaging in hate speech and the next time some Muslims decide to blow some people up or chop off some heads he will probably be blamed for that, too.

On second thought, I really don't want to call people names. This is a family newspaper and I really don't want to hurl insults. Besides, we already have a name for people with these beliefs. They're called liberals. I know that not every liberal believes all these things, but all those that believe any of these things are liberal, and left unchecked they will destroy this country.

Steve Baudhuin

Sturgeon Bay

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
573 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
854 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1013 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1270 votes

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Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports