MacIver News Service | May 24, 2019
The sun is finally shining bright and summer temperatures have arrived here in Wisconsin. This past week the Joint Finance Committee continued to debate Gov. Evers’ proposed 2019-21 biennial budget, focusing mainly on the Departments of Tourism, Corrections and K-12 education funding. Keep up with the discussion by following MacIver on Twitter.
This week, reports indicate Wisconsin as well prepared to handle a recession; the Heritage Foundation outlines a path to a balanced budget; and the MacIver Institute takes a look at who is to blame for Milwaukee’s lead pipe problem. Before you enjoy a beautiful weekend on the lakes, here are some can’t miss articles for the fiscal conservative, in case you missed it.
Former Gov. Scott Walker’s fiscal policies have set Wisconsin up to be well prepared for a recession. Moody’s Investor Services ranks the state “stronger” in three of four key fiscal categories. In addition, the Badger State continues to boast a high credit rating of Aa1, which was upgraded by Moody’s in 2017 for the first time since 1973. Walker’s leadership rebuilt the state budget and ensured fiscal stability in Wisconsin. If a recession were to hit, Wisconsin is in a strong position to weather it.
America’s debt problem continues to grow. The Heritage Foundation outlines the current crisis coming to a head, and what steps can be taken to reduce the deficit and the debt, and take this issue head on. They refer to it as the “Blueprint for Balance”. Some steps are likely to be supported, such as making the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanent, whereas others such as reforming Social Security and Medicare will require political courage.
Reports of a slowing housing market may be greatly exaggerated, according to Forbes’ John Tobey. Despite sales decreasing, Tobey argues the housing market is strong, citing five specific reasons that the market is in a better position than some say. The mortgage rate has stayed low, personal income has risen, the delinquency rate has continued to fall, the ownership rate has rebounded after bottoming out in 2016, and prices continue to rise. These indicators show a housing market that is strong.
The lead levels of the Milwaukee water system are no secret for both sides of the aisle. Democrats and socialists have failed to act on the issue despite maintaining control of the city for decades. Democrats place blame on the GOP-controlled Legislature for rejecting Gov. Evers’ $40 million dollar lead pipe replacement proposal, while Assembly Speaker Vos applauded Madison for fixing their pipes without state government intervention. Republicans in the last legislative session passed lead line remediation legislation to allow municipalities and water utilities to assist property owners in paying for pipe replacements.
In response to U.S. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal,” Senate Republicans have attempted to fight climate change in a bipartisan manner. Their proposal looks for new ways to fund research, promotes clean energy technology, and reduces the cost of grid-scale technology. The GOP hopes to encourage free market innovation for renewable energy. This proposal has received some Democratic support, but the extreme environmentalist far-left believes it doesn’t go far enough.