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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Happy Birthday Medicare & Medicaid...

Healthcare, Economy, Politics, Quality of Life, Taxes, U.S.

 Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law 50 years ago today by President Lyndon Baines Johnson who praised former President Truman for getting that ball rolling.  Here we are five decades later observing the two programs that are an integral part of life in our country, and that are huge federal budget items.

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Walker Being Squeezed...

Politics, People Making A Difference, Wisconsin, Taxes, Quality of Life

Governor Walker is feeling a bit of a squeeze play from the Legislature concerning the Budget.  It seems that even the members of his own party see that they have an opportunity to wring concessions from him or at least cause him some angst in his not-yet-announced-but-already-assumed run for the Presidency.

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The Sky Is Falling; The Sky Is Falling!

Politics, Quality of Life, Education, People Making A Difference, Taxes, Wisconsin

Entrenched power is under assault by Republicans writing the new state budget in the Joint Finance Committee.  Those two areas are organized education and labor unions.  Organized education sees the relaxation of teacher licensing in Wisconsin as the beginning of the end of excellent education.  Organized labor sees the prospective repeal of the prevailing wage rules as the ultimate loss possible for certain unions.

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When Will This Folly End?

U.S., Politics, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Taxes

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Adding Insult to Injury...

Politics, Taxes, Quality of Life, U.S., Healthcare

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A Couple of Things...

U.S., Taxes, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

Boston Marathon participants from Germantown this year (according to the morning paper at press time):

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ACA 'Cadillac' Tax Draws Ever Closer...

Politics, Quality of Life, Healthcare, Taxes, U.S.

The soon-to-become infamous Cadillac tax which is part of the Affordable Care Act is beginning to draw notice, especially from the labor leaders whose negotiated plans will likely come close to this penalty or enjoy the penalty from the outset.

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We Need To Get This One Right...

Economy, Healthcare, Politics, Quality of Life, Taxes, U.S.

We spend a lot of time, many of us anyway, on trying to promote the candidate(s) of our choosing.  Many spend a lot of money on that effort, as well.  For some, this is an exercise of personal power as we see with the billionaires who throw tens of millions upon tens of millions of dollars into the fray.  For the majority, this is an exercise in the use of freedoms guaranteed us by our Constitution.  For whatever our reasons, many of us are thoroughly engaged in the outcome we favor.  Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.  Some of those outcomes hang with us; I still remember the field of flowers suddenly being destroyed in the flash of an atomic bomb explosion that took Barry Goldwater to the loser’s position in the first election in which I became an active volunteer.

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DUH!

Politics, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Potpourri, Taxes

There have been several “Duh” moments in the past day or two or three:

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ObamaCare Premium Subsidies...

Healthcare, Economy, Political, Taxes, Quality of Life, U.S.

Those signed up for ObamaCare this year are averaging $268 per month in premium forgiveness.  There are some 6.5 million people in that category.  That totals nearly $21,000,000 annually in subsidies paid by the government to the health plans providing the coverage.  It is easy to see why the major health insurance companies were so eager to jump onto the ObamaCare bandwagon.  Their revenue streams have taken a significant jump and their profits have increased also.

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Random Thoughts on a Saturday Morning...

Wisconsin, U.S., Taxes, Quality of Life, Politics, People Making A Difference, Employment

 Random Thoughts on a Saturday Morning…

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Affordable Care Act Test Vote?

Politics, Quality of Life, Healthcare, Economy, Taxes, U.S.

Republicans reportedly will test the waters on changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by proposing to move the definition of full time from the current 30 hours per week back to the traditional 40 hours per week.  They feel this is the slam dunk issue if one exists.

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Off to a Great Start for 2015

Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, U.S., Economy

The following came to me this morning from a good friend and I thought it worthy of being shared.  My comments are found at the very bottom of the piece.

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Do Republicans Remember How To Govern?

Political, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, Healthcare, Economy, Education, Employment, Taxes, U.S.

With the defeat (a/k/a dumping) of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), there are some amazing numbers floating around:

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Let's Hear It For OPEC...

U.S., Wisconsin, Economy, Quality of Life, Taxes

Let’s hear it for OPEC…and especially for OPEC’s continued greed and perceived lack of alternatives.  The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has decided to avoid reducing the production of its member countries which almost assures a continued slide in the price of gasoline that you and I pay at the pumps.  I paid $2.689 as a Costco member yesterday; I cannot remember paying this little for a long time (little, of course, being a lot more than I used to pay).

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Don't Squander The Opportunity...

U.S., Politics, Taxes, People Making A Difference, Healthcare, Economy, Employment

The Washington world is one of intrigue, broken promises and broken laws.  That promises to be demonstrated more and more as we find ourselves watching the final two years of the Obama Presidency with a Republican-dominated Congress.

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Race for The Governor's Office...

Politics, Wisconsin, Taxes, Education, Economy, Employment

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A Blessing of Riches...

Education, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin, U.S.

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Nasty Old Walgreen's...

U.S., Taxes, Political, Economy, Quality of Life

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A Real & Willful Disconnect?

U.S., Taxes, Politics, People Making A Difference, Economy

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Border Woes of Our Own Making...

Political, Quality of Life, U.S., Taxes

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Will The Costs Of ObamaCare Be Sustainable?

U.S., Taxes, Politics, Quality of Life, Healthcare, Economy

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Lame Ducks Cost Big Bucks

U.S., Taxes, Quality of Life, Politics

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Wisconsin Club for Growth Goes After GAB

Political, Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Taxes

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The Impact of the ACA is Behind Us; Right?

Politics, Quality of Life, U.S., Taxes, Healthcare, Economy

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Could There Have Been Another Reason for the ACA?

U.S., Healthcare, Quality of Life, Politics, Taxes

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Talgo Myth?

Political, Taxes, Wisconsin, Potpourri

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7.1 Million People Enrolled...

U.S., Healthcare, Politics, Taxes, Quality of Life, Economy

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Gallivanting & Globe-trotting

Political, U.S., Quality of Life, Taxes

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Wisconsin Obesity Climbs Annually

Quality of Life, Healthcare, People Making A Difference, Taxes

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Military Force Reductions...

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Get It Together Republicans!

Political, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, U.S., Taxes, Economy

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ObamaCare Website Functional?

U.S., Quality of Life, Healthcare, Political, Taxes, Economy

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The Slippery Slope of Wealth Redistribution

U.S., Quality of Life, Healthcare, Political, Taxes, Economy

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Charley Reese's Final Column

U.S., Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

Charley Reese is a retired columnist for the Orlando Sentinel.  This is lengthy but well worth time it takes to read it through.

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It Seems Like Forever...

U.S., Healthcare, Political, Taxes, Economy, Employment

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Krauthammer Hit The Nail On The Head...

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Economy, Healthcare

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Enough Already!

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Economy, Employment

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Non-Essential?

U.S., Political, Taxes, Quality of Life, Economy

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Debt Ceiling Debate

U.S., Economy, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Employment

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Fiscal Sanity...At All Levels

U.S., Wisconsin, Taxes, School Board, Political, Education, Germantown, County Board, Economy

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Got an Extra $2.9 Billion You Can Spare?

Wisconsin, Healthcare, Employment, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Dangerous Confluence of Events

U.S., Healthcare, Employment, Taxes, Quality of Life, Economy

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Politics & Cynicism

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Taxes, Quality of Life

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What Are They Thinking?

U.S., Political, Taxes, Economy

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Internet Sales Tax?

U.S., Taxes, Political, Economy

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Budget All Nighters?

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Education, Healthcare, Economy

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Proportionate Return of Taxes Paid?

U.S., Wisconsin, Taxes, Political

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Does Wisconsin Need A Treasurer?

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political

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Is the IRS a Political Arm of Government?

U.S., Taxes, Political, Healthcare, Quality of Life

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Residency Requirements Changed

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, Milwaukee County Board, Taxes

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Connecting Job Report Dots...

Employment, Economy, Healthcare, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, U.S.

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End the Dithering

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, Education, Taxes, Economy

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Once Again, What Were They Thinking?

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Milwaukee County Board

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Continued Sequester Silliness

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Taxes, Economy

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Wow! A Senate Budget?

U.S., Political, Taxes, Quality of Life, Economy

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Not a Bad Gig...

U.S., Taxes, Political

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The Duplicitous Fourth Estate

U.S., Political, Economy, Quality of Life, Taxes

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SEQUESTER!

U.S., Taxes, Economy, Political

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The Minimum Wage Discussion

U.S., Political, Economy, Taxes, Quality of Life

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More Quotations for Reflection...

Potpourri, Quality of Life, Political, Taxes

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Roundabouts

Village Buzz, Village Board, Quality of Life, Germantown, Taxes

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Pension Envy

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin

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So There!

U.S., Political, Economy, Healthcare, Employment, Taxes

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They Live to Fight Another Day...Over Our Money

Taxes, Political, Economy

Considering the hand that was dealt, the Republicans came out of this dust-up in better position than expected.  The Bush tax rates were largely codified permanently and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was made permanent without the need to have it annually updated for inflation.  The AMT will now be automatically updated.

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Loopholes?

Healthcare, Economy, Political, Taxes, Quality of Life, U.S.

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Is It Time?

U.S., Political, Economy, Taxes

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The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight?

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Economy, Taxes

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Dear Washington. Get real!

U.S., Political, Taxes, Economy, Employment, Quality of Life

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State Insurance Exchanges

Wisconsin, U.S., Taxes, Healthcare, Quality of Life, Economy, Employment

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Kabuki Dancing to the Edge...

U.S., Taxes, Quality of Life, Political, Economy, Employment

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Getting Serious About PPACA/ObamaCare

U.S., Wisconsin, Taxes, Healthcare, Employment, Political, Quality of Life

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"WEAC back to drawing board"

Wisconsin, Germantown, Education, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Walker Chooses Federal Exchange Approach

Wisconsin, U.S., Quality of Life, Healthcare, Employment, Taxes

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Has MATC No Shame?

Germantown, Political, Taxes, Wisconsin, Education

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The Second Term Has Begun

U.S., Political, Economy, Employment, Healthcare, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Important Decisions Required By Year-End

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Economy, Taxes, People Making A Difference

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One Week To Go

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Economy, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Rite-Hite Letter to Employees

Political, Taxes, U.S., Employment, Economy

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Taxes Increase If Bush Cuts Ended...

U.S., Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Economy, Employment

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Debt Will Kill Our Country

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Economy, Taxes

This video (click here) will show you, in a few short minutes, the predicament we've permitted ourselves to get into, and it is sobering at the very least.

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Oh To Be Able To Take It Back...

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Economy, Taxes

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Lay-off Notice Delay Requested by Administration

U.S., Taxes, Political

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Great Debate #1

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Economy, Employment, People Making A Difference, Taxes

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Mileage-Based Fees?

Political, Wisconsin, Taxes, Quality of Life

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The Politics of the Middle East

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Economy, Taxes

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Retire Bush Tax Cuts?

U.S., Political, Taxes, Economy, Quality of Life

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Dear Governor Romney...

U.S., Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Economy

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PPACA...The Morning After

U.S., Healthcare, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes

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ObamaCare/PPACA Winners & Losers

U.S., Healthcare, Political, Economy, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Entitlements Unlimited?

Quality of Life, Political, Economy, Taxes

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ObamaCare (PPACA) Decision Critical

U.S., Political, Healthcare, Economy, Taxes, Quality of Life

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Happy Tax Increase

U.S., Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Economy

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The Debates Are Finished!

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Economy, Education, Employment, Germantown

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ObamaCare...The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Healthcare, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Economy, U.S.

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Fewer Left Standing...

Wisconsin, Political, Taxes, Quality of Life, Economy, Employment

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Huge Election Next Tuesday

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Economy, Education

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Does China Already Own Us?

U.S., Political, Economy, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Are We the Next Europe?

U.S., Taxes, Economy, Political, Quality of Life

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Lame Ducks Might Foul Our Nests

U.S., Taxes, Political, Economy, Quality of Life

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Ignorance Might Be Bliss, But...

U.S., Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Economy

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MATC Changes Coming?

MATC, Political, Taxes, Education

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The Goose That Laid Golden Eggs - Richard Cummings Version

U.S., Taxes, Political, Quality of Life

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The Newest Republican Senate Candidate

Wisconsin, Political, People Making A Difference, Economy, Taxes

Eric Hovde is officially in the race to replace Sen. Herb Kohl (D) who is not running for re-election.  Hovde has a lot of competition and will take his lumps as the long-time politicians who are his opponents in the Republican primary work him over.  Hovde has made a lot of money, so he is similar to our other Senator, Ron Johnson (R), in that he can provide a lot of funding from his own bank account if need be, and that is likely to be needed given the number of hands already reaching out for contributions.

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MATC Board Unaware of Need for Audits?

Education, MATC, Taxes

As the saga of the MATC employee and her use of an MATC credit card for personal purposes continues to unfold, the revelation that no audits had been performed for a decade is astounding.  John Williams, the new VP of Finance at MATC, who came on board in July, 2010, ordered a routine audit soon after making that discovery.  That audit resulted in the discovery of the theft that had been routine for seven years.  The audit found that the woman accused is suspected of running up more than $10,000 per MONTH in illegal charges.

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Obama Budget Magic

U.S., Taxes, Economy, Political

President Obama has published his version of a 2013 budget, even though his Democrat-controlled Senate is unlikely to do the same since they haven't for well over 1,000 days in spite of the requirement they do so.

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Candidate Veto Pledge?

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life

It is interesting to see the very open, and some would say blatant, attempt by major unions in Wisconsin to hand-pick their candidate to go against Scott Walker in the almost certain recall election to come.  It is very simple really; either you pledge to veto any budget that doesn't restore full union rights or you run the state without a new budget.  There is no inbetween; no 'ifs, ands or buts' as it were.

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What If?

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Economy, Employment

What if Newt Gingrich would not continue his slash and burn attacks on Mitt Romney?  What if Newt would put the need to remove President Obama from office above his personal, and seemingly petty, needs (compared to the public's needs)?  Would that make a difference in the polls that now seem to indicate Obama could beat Romney in the Fall elections?

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Village Buzz - February 2nd

Germantown, Education, School Board, Taxes, Quality of Life, Village Buzz

I read of the Milwaukee School Board's refusal to permit the food service work to be outsourced in spite of the fact that these union employees were being favored with "fringe" benefits equal to an additional105.8% of their compensation.  That is right; if they are earning $10 per hour (and I feel certain that is way too low but it is easy for comparison purposes), their benefits are costing another $10.58 per hour for a total of $20.58 per hour.

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Republican Field Smaller

Political, Quality of Life, U.S., Economy, Healthcare, Taxes

Rick Perry left the field of Republican candidates this morning.  He asked his supporters to back Newt Gingrich.  Given Perry's showing, his tossing his support to Gingrich will do very little to help Gingrich.  One of Newt's former wives, Marianne, will speak tonight on national television, and that won't help Newt either. 

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Jetsetters?

U.S., Taxes, Political, Quality of Life

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My Tax Bill Was a Pleasant Surprise

Wisconsin, Taxes, MATC, School Board, County Board, Political, People Making A Difference

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Last One Standing?

U.S., Political, Economy, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Ineptocracy

Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Political, Taxes, U.S.

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Deal or No Deal?

U.S., Political, Taxes, Economy, Quality of Life

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Washington County Budget Meeting Is Interesting

County Board, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes

The Washington County Board meeting held on November 3rd was a display of something less than a well-functioning Board in my estimation.  The debate can be seen here and the less functional portion of that debate occurs from about minute 40 to the end of the meeting.

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County Budget Meeting

County Board, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Economy

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Student Loan Changes

U.S., Education, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life

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County Board Dust-Up Over 2012 Budget

County Board, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Tax Reform Anyone?

U.S., Taxes, Political, Economy, Quality of Life

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The Barbarians Are Getting Restless

U.S., Taxes, Quality of Life, Political, Economy

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MATC Grabs the Front Page Again

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, MATC, Education

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Stench From UWGB

Wisconsin, Taxes, Quality of Life, Political, Education

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Can They Not Comprehend?

U.S., Economy, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life

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A Toll Road Coming?

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Economy

It seems we have discussions every so often about the possibility of toll roads in the Badger state. The time has come again, apparently.

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Are You Using the Tools?

Wisconsin, Germantown, Education, School Board, Taxes, Quality of Life, Political

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Perpetual Funding Crises

Political, Economy, Quality of Life, Taxes, U.S.

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More of the Same?

Political, Economy, Taxes, U.S.

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Job Creation

Employment, Economy, Political, Taxes, Quality of Life, U.S.

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Hard to Imagine

U.S., Quality of Life, Political, Economy, Employment, Taxes

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The Debt Ceiling Show

Economy, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, U.S., Wisconsin

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1/3 vs. 2/3. Who Will Win?

U.S., Wisconsin, Economy, Political, Taxes, Quality of Life

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Village Buzz - July 27th

Village Buzz, Political, Wisconsin, Germantown, Quality of Life, Taxes, Economy

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We All Know It Has to Happen...

U.S., Economy, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Left at the Altar Twice?

Political, U.S., Taxes, Quality of Life, Economy

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Simple Truths

U.S., Taxes, Quality of Life, Political, Economy

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The Lecturer in Chief Told Us!

U.S., Taxes, Economy, Political, Quality of Life

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The End Or Only The Beginning?

Wisconsin, Political, Economy, Taxes

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What Will It Take?

Economy, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, U.S.