State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
The news media gives little attention to Tax Freedom Day, the day the average American has earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels. It reports even less on the Cost of Government Day.
Cost of Government Day is the date of the calendar year on which the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of spending and regulatory burdens imposed by all levels of government, federal, state and local. According to the Americans for Tax Reform, Cost of Government Day is far worse than Tax Freedom Day.
This year, the national Cost of Government Day fell on July 16. Wisconsin’s Cost of Government Day, the 37th latest in the country, is today. July 17.
Americans for Tax Reform in its 2008 report on Cost of Government Day (COGD) writes:
“Working people must toil on average 197 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government. In other words, the cost of government consumes 53.9 percent of national income.
Cost of Government Day falls four days later in 2008 than last year’s revised date of July 12. In 2008, the average American will have to work an additional 17 days out of the year to pay off his or her cost of government compared to 2000, when the COGD was June 29.
In fact, since 1977, COGD has fallen later than July 16 in only four of those 32 years -in 1982 and 1983, and in 1992 and 1993. The driving factor for this development is the fact that all components of the cost of government – federal spending, state and local spending, and regulation – are now increasing faster than national income.
This increase in the cost of government stands in sharp contrast to at least two periods in the past thirty years: COGD fell sharply from a high of July 20 in 1992 to June 29 in 1999 and 2000. In addition, COGD declined from a record high of July 23 in 1982 to July 3 in 1989. Both of these declines resulted from a combination of restraining the growth of federal spending while the economy was booming and rapidly increasing national income.”
The key is taxing and spending. The burden on taxpayers is reduced when restraints are placed on spending. In Wisconsin, taxing and spending levels remain too high, meaning Wisconsin taxpayers have to work over half a year just to earn enough income to pay off their commitments to all levels of government.
You can read more about the Cost of Government and Cost of Government Day here.
I have signed a pledge issued by Americans for Tax Reform that I oppose tax increases.
Cost of Government Day is finally here. Its arrival is little reason to celebrate.
Voters in Georgia go to the polls today to choose candidates in primaries for Congress, the General Assembly and other state and local offices. Before they can vote, Georgians must provide a Georgia driver's license, a valid government-issued photo ID, a U.S. passport, a military photo ID, a valid picture ID showing membership in a native American tribe, or a photo ID issued by a county registrar.
Last Friday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Tom Campbell tossed out a challenge against the photo ID requirement. Georgia’s state Democrat Party was seeking a temporary restraining order to block the use of photo ID in today’s Georgia primaries.
During a hearing last week, Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel testified there would be "mass chaos" at Georgia’s 3,000 precincts if the judge were to grant the Democrat party's request. In a statement following the judge’s ruling, Handel said, "Photo ID has been implemented without incident in eight elections, including the presidential preference primary that featured record voter turnout."
Georgia has also taken a step that I proposed with legislation in Wisconsin that literally removes one of the key arguments of photo ID opponents. In Georgia, according to the Secretary of State’s website, “If you do not have one of these acceptable forms of photo identification, the State of Georgia offers a FREE Voter Identification Card. An identification card can be issued at any county registrar's office or Department of Driver Services office FREE of charge.”
During the 2005 legislative session, I authored Senate Bill 119 that would have issued identification cards without charge. Senate Bill 119 passed the state Senate 25-8, but did not get to the Assembly floor for a vote. Here are details on Senate Bill 119.
Democrats in Georgia pledge to continue to fight to have that state’s photo ID thrown out before the November elections. Just as here in Wisconsin, Democrats object to the common sense policy of having voters show proof that they are who they say they are. Wisconsin needs to adopt a photo ID requirement. Approving photo ID should be one of the Legislature’s top priorities when it reconvenes in January 2009.
My office prepared a state citation that I presented to Christopher Gonzalez at the special ceremony. It reads:
Whereas, Christopher Gonzalez is a member of the Boy Scouts of America and through dedication and commitment, attained the rank of Eagle Scout; and
Whereas, Christopher Gonzalez’s Eagle Scout project included landscaping Hoover Elementary School; and
Whereas, Christopher Gonzalez earned 28 merit badges, and served his troop in the leadership positions of Scribe, Assistant Senior patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and Instructor; and
Whereas, Christopher Gonzalez, a 2008 graduate of Nathan Hale High School, was a member of Track Team performing shot put, Future Business Leaders of America, and a Life Saving Class graduate; and
Whereas, Christopher Gonzalez plans to attend Fox Valley Technical College to study Diesel Mechanics; now
Therefore, the members of the Wisconsin State Senate on the motion of Senator Mary Lazich, commend Christopher Gonzalez for outstanding dedication and service to scouting. Christopher Gonzalez is further commended for successfully completing the requirements necessary to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honorable rank awarded by the Boy Scouts of America.
My office prepared a state citation that I presented to Bryan Rezeski at the special ceremony. It reads:
Whereas, Bryan Rezeski is a member of the Boy Scouts of America and through dedication and commitment, attained the rank of Eagle Scout; and
Whereas, Bryan Rezeski’s Eagle Scout project included constructing over 90 perches for the rehabilitation of birds at the Wildlife In Need Center of Waukesha County; and
Whereas, Bryan Rezeski earned 24 merit badges, and served his troop in the leadership positions of Scribe, Assistant Senior patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and Instructor; and
Whereas, Bryan Rezeski, a 2008 graduate of Nathan Hale High School, was a member of the Cross Country Team, Future Business Leaders of America, and a Life Saving Class graduate; and
Whereas, Bryan Rezeski plans to serve his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps; now
Therefore, the members of the Wisconsin State Senate on the motion of Senator Mary Lazich, commend Bryan Rezeski for outstanding dedication and service to scouting. Bryan Rezeski is further commended for successfully completing the requirements necessary to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honorable rank awarded by the Boy Scouts of America.
This morning, I had the privilege of participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Sendik’s Fine Foods at the Shoppes of Wyndham Village in Franklin.
It was fitting the special ceremony was held under sunshine and gorgeous blue skies, as though the wonderful project was meant to come to Franklin.
I recall the first contact I had about this development when I was asked to lend support in the hope Sendik’s would help Franklin’s tax base. I was pleased to endorse a project that will benefit consumers, taxpayers, and education in Franklin.
Congratulations go out to Mark and Mary Carstensen for making this quality development dream come true along with Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor, the Franklin Common Council and the Franklin Plan Commission for their vision. Franklin is prosperous, one of the most growing communities in all of Wisconsin. I appreciate representing Franklin in state Senate District 28 and I wish Sendik’s, owner Tom Balisteri Jr., and the Shoppes at Wyndham Village the very best.