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.
Thursday marks the seventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.
To mark the fifth anniversary of 9/11, I wrote a column about my emotional experience touring the World Trade Center site. You can read my column here.
Wisconsin continues its unfortunate pattern of being one of the worst states in the nation to do business.
Forbes.com has released its third annual Top States for Business report, and the news remains horrendous for Wisconsin. Wisconsin ranks #43 on the list of the best states for business. Wisconsin’s 2007 rank was #44 and its 2006 rank was #39.
Forbes.com rated the states on six different criteria: business costs, labor, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects, and quality of life.
Here is how Wisconsin ranked in each of the six categories:
1) Business Costs- Wisconsin ranks #37, down from #34 last year. This index is based on cost of labor, energy and taxes.
2) Labor-Wisconsin ranks #37, up from #38 last year. This index measures educational attainment, net migration and projected population growth.
3) Regulatory Environment- Wisconsin ranks #37, up from #44 last year. This index measures regulatory and tort climate, incentives, transportation and bond ratings.
4) Economic Climate-Wisconsin ranks #26, up from #38 last year. This index reflects job, income and gross state product growth as well as unemployment and presence of big companies.
5) Growth Prospects-Wisconsin ranks #46, down from #33 last year. This index reflects projected job, income and gross state product growth as well as business openings/closings and venture capital investments.
6) Quality of Life-Wisconsin ranks #16, down from #8 last year. This is an index of schools, health, crime, cost of living and poverty rates.
The rankings compiled by Forbes are revealing. Wisconsin continues its proud tradition of being a great place to live, given our high quality of life, although it is sad to see the state drop out the top ten in that category. In all other categories, Wisconsin’s business climate is woeful.
Wisconsin taxes and spends too much, the state over-regulates, our income growth rate is one of the lowest in the country, and the brain drain is costing us many of our best and brightest workers.
The Forbes.com report is another wake-up call to Wisconsin to take dramatic measures to significantly improve our business climate. How did surrounding states fare? Minnesota ranks #11, Iowa ranks #22, Indiana ranks #25, Ohio ranks #39, Illinois ranks #35, and Michigan ranks #47.
Here are all the state rankings and the full story from Forbes.com.
Big government is alive, big time in Washington D.C. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is projecting a near-record federal budget deficit of $407 billion, more than double last year's figure. Red ink will spill into 2009 when the deficit could skyrocket to $438 billion, or even more as the federal government assumes control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The CBO blames the booming deficit on the sputtering economy, the housing slump, weak financial markets, and expensive food and energy costs.
While the deficit is serious, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports what is more troublesome is the excessive amount of federal spending. The problem isn’t how much we borrow, the Bush tax cuts, or the war on terror. Putting it in simple terms, the WSJ reports, “Rather than sort through priorities, Congress is spending more on just about everything.”
The “pay as you go” promise has flopped as “paygo” violations and earmarks have escalated since Democrats took control of Congress in 2006.
The WSJ has a chart that displays runaway federal spending in various categories from 2001-2008. The paper correctly asserts that voters this November need to seriously consider which candidates are best suited to curb “Congressional appetites.”
You can read the WSJ article here.
I am honored to be one of 32 state legislators that have a 100 percent voting record on business issues according to Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC). The WMC says these legislators “clearly understand the connection between a strong economy and the quality of life we enjoy in Wisconsin. We salute these 100% pro-business legislators — they deserve our thanks and support.”
James A. Buchen, WMC vice president of government relations said, “These legislators are stalwart defenders of jobs for our families. Legislators who stand up for jobs time and again – especially with a slowing economy – are the true friends of working families. These legislators are stalwart defenders of jobs for our families.”
Here is a WMC press release and the complete WMC scorecard.