It seems like you barely get over the task of being disgusted with these tax increase proposals from the Milwaukee County Board and another one gets thrown on the table. About one day after the tax proposal to raise the sales tax in Milwaukee County one half percent to fund the transit system, a new tax proposal to raise the sales tax in Milwaukee County one half percent comes to fund the parks. Of course, the Milwaukee County Board only has two ideas for raising taxes-a wheel tax and a sales tax. After the board thought about raising the sales tax to fund public transit, the needed a new tax to fund the parks. After about a half hour, there had started hurting because they could not come up with an idea so they too decided to pile on with the sales tax.
Mind you, this is not a half percent tax increase to fund everything. This will be raising the sales tax in Milwaukee County, one full percentage point. One can only conclude one thing -- the county supervisors are not looking out for the citizens of this county. They are only interested in funding their own political interests at the expense of everyone else. In Milwaukee County, leadership is defined by bringing up a dumb idea, and try to force it on all of the citizens lying to us thinking that you are doing things in everybody's best interest.
Last week we learned that WE energies had just been granted their third rate increase approval for this year. Well, being that it's only about the middle of the year, we can expect three more, right?
So, who wants to be a millionaire? I really didn't change the subject, here's why. We all would like to win millions of dollars in a lottery such as PowerBall. It only costs a couple of bucks to participate even though the odds of winning are about 80 million to one. Yet we continue to play thinking this could be the time. I could be the one. Then about after a week and a half of playing, some schmo from Idaho wins the 18 million dollars and we feel ripped off because we invested the four dollars that will go to somebody else I don't even know. So my odds of winning this were actually zero.
What is a carbon footprint? I would bet that if you asked any number of people, what a carbon footprint actually is, you could not get to people that would be able to define it for you. Even if they did, it would only be in the very faintest of terms. Apparently it has something to do with the amount of garbage that you may use in your lifetime, the amount of energy you consume, and any flatulence that may sneak out. Nobody knows what a carbon footprint is, but we know that it is not good.
The global warming advocates, would have you believe that anything you did in your lifetime that contributed to a pile of garbage, or even a wastebasket anywhere would lead to premature demise of the earth as we now know it. But how was it calculated? I had recently watched a program on TV, which was talking about carbon footprints and how big, one person's carbon footprint is when you add in all the diapers and pop bottles that would've passed through their hands during their lifetime. Just before the commercial, they did the big tease: how big is the carbon footprint for a cheeseburger? Now they had my attention. I had eaten many cheeseburgers in my lifetime. I even had a job being a short order cook in which I had prepared many a cheeseburger. I was anticipating this open-minded. If nothing else, it could've been the basis for comical material. I sat and waited through 3 1/2 minutes of commercials. I sat through to a half minutes of program while I waited to get to where this cheeseburger formula was going to be revealed. The hour was closing in. They finally got back to the subject of the cheeseburger. And what is the size of a carbon footprint of the cheeseburger? And I quote: "It is very large."
Is July 1 approached, it became time to change the calendar. For Barack Obama, it became time for him to change positions on one of his bedrock principles. Being the presumed nominee for president this fall, someone should have clued him in that Democrats usually do not change their positions until just after the elections. Just ask Jim Doyle.
For the first six months of this year, Obama stood firmly on his position to be antiwar, and to begin withdrawing troops as early as January 2009. Now he has changed his mind and will not withdraw the troops that fast. But what about all the voters who cast their ballots for Obama almost solely on this issue? The war in Iraq was supposed to be a cornerstone issue for the presidential election in 2008. Just like 2004.
Last week, once again, the members of the Milwaukee County supervisor's board had to reach for the Zoloft and phone number of their closest grief counselor as their efforts to irresponsibly raise taxes upon the citizens failed. Not long ago, after they've raised the issue of imposing a wheel tax to support public transportation in a county, it was dismissed as a stupid idea by sane taxpayers and most everyone outside of the Milwaukee city Council. Then two efforts were raised to increase the sales tax in Milwaukee County by 1%, to fund parks and public transportation. It was vetoed before it could even be put on the November ballot. In some ways, I would like to see it on the ballot so that the responsible voters could send a message to these elected officials, showing how much this idea could be shot down.
Unfortunately, many people have forgotten the vision that the Milwaukee County Board had only eight short years ago. The members of the County Board at that time, decided that the transportation and parks departments were doing so well that they could use all the other tax money, which was coming in through the current sales tax, the current property tax, and all the others, and put the tax money surrendered by the citizens directly into the pockets of the retired county employees and their own. There is no Dobbert Park, there is no Ott Bus Depot, and there is no Ament Childrens Play Area. Yet Milwaukee County paid these three individuals enough money to create these sites and maintain them for years to come. The money went directly into the ease people's pockets. It was the vision of a supervisor's board then to make entitlements out of money that could have sustained the bus system and the park system. Yet these systems are now broke and a county supervisors are trying to squeeze more tax money out of fiscally responsible citizens of Milwaukee County.
Only a few short weeks ago, it seemed like everybody was complaining that gas was reaching $3.50 per gallon. Now we are cheering, because gas is $3.75 per gallon. The price of a barrel of oil has never been more volatile. Do we need to import more? Do we need to drill less? Do we need to seek alternative sources for energy? Sometimes I think that if I could just get crude oil out of my life, it will rid me of a lot of uncertainty.
Or would it?