A quick note on Laurel Walker’s column Taxpayers must sing for their supper

March 22nd, 2007

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Laurel Walker is all up in arms that a Menomonee Falls magician was “forced” to perform a benefit to raise money to have the snow shoveled of a public sidewalk near where he lives during the winter:

He’s been unable to persuade officials in Menomonee Falls, cialis sale buy viagra where he’s lived since 1994, viagra to keep the public sidewalk along Pilgrim Road near Kohler Lane clear of snow during the winter. It’s a route he and others like to walk for exercise…

Here’s a thought…if you’re so interested in exercuse, why don’t you shovel the freaking sidewalk yourself? That way, you’ll get twice the exercise and your fellow citizens will get none of the costs.

Entry Filed under: Media,Milwaukee

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Wendy  |  March 22nd, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    “Exercuse” seems to be a word people use to describe reasons they don’t exercise. “I have a good exercuse for not walking today. There was snow on the sidewalk.”

  • 2. Nick  |  March 22nd, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    Of course knowing how cities tend to work… there city union would probably file suit against the home owner for taking work away from a bonified union member.

  • 3. Melinda  |  March 23rd, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    LOL Wendy! That was pretty dang funny..

    I suggest you be careful… Elliot doesn’t like it when his readers are funnier than he is! :0)

  • 4. Melinda  |  March 23rd, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    To take Elliot’s criticism a bit further… So if taxes were raised in Menomonee Falls, does this columnist really believe that this would be the cities #1 priority for the money?

    Seriously – this is my problem with taxes. Everyone has their own little pet programs, desires, “needs” – but they almost never match those of most of the people who will be footing the bill.

    So – my question is this… How much would Menomonee Falls actuallly have to raise taxes before this one gentleman’s sidewalk was cleared of snow?

    My guess is that it would be MUCH cheaper for him to just gather a few of his buddies who also use that sidewalk in winter and hire a service to do it.

    BTW – for the record – I think what this magician did was commendable. Imagine how much lower our taxes would be if everyone who had a pet project like this found a unique way to fund it WITHOUT raising all of our taxes.

  • 5. John Michlig  |  March 25th, 2007 at 10:42 am

    I guess this is where I’m outed as some kind of flaming liberal: Isn’t a community walking path a great place to spend community funds? Are we simply FINISHED with the concept of community as it exists outside our plasma tv-equipped living rooms and satellite radio-stocked vehicles?

    Longer outburst here:


    I’ll don protective headgear in anticipation of the ire to come …

  • 6. Administrator  |  March 26th, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Hardly anyone gets flamed here, John. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a pretty intelligent and courteous crowd carry on conversations in the comments.

    I think there is definitely a place for community. Most conservatives belong to a church or give-back to the community through service organizations like the Rotary. I think an argument could even be made that conservatives are more community-minded than liberals. They are certainly more generous.

    The difference is many on the left think generosity should be compulsery.

    I instinctively resist the impulse to ask the government to solve all our problems for a number of reasons including:

    • There a more problems in the world than there are resources
    • It’s easy to spend somone else’s money
    • Government programs are like vampires: nearly impossible to kill
    • Government and community are not the same thing. (When the Omish raise barns they do it together. The government doesn’t build them one.)

    I did read the link you posted and found it fascinating. (I wish I had the patience and talent to write such a thoughtful and well-researched post.) I, myself, live in a community of sidewalks and wouldn’t have it any other way. I will point out, though, that the government isn’t responsible for keeping my front walk free of snow…I am.

  • 7. John Michlig  |  March 26th, 2007 at 10:00 am

    You link to an article about a book called “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” I haven’t read the book, but I certainly believe that the wealthiest among us – – conservative AND liberal – – give back very, very little. I read a startling article about that fact recently and only wish I could remember the link.

    The super-wealthy are now amassing furher wealth — more than they or their descendents could possibly hope to spend in several lifetimes — as a means of keeping score. The math is heartbreaking when you realize what .5% of Larry Ellison’s INTEREST INCOME for a single year could do for a dozen school districts.

    And, no, they don’t pay near as much in taxes as you would think.

  • 8. Administrator  |  March 26th, 2007 at 10:17 am

    My neighbor across the street from me is a pediatrician. She makes three times what I make. Am I justified in going into her house and taking her piggy bank?

    What if I use her money to start a basketball program for underprivileged kids? Does that make taking her money OK?

    Making money isn’t a crime. Taking it still is…unless, of course, you use the full force and power of the government to do it.

  • 9. John Michlig  |  March 26th, 2007 at 10:34 am

    The relative lack of wealth-sharing in the modern era is an observation and a set of consequences, but as the person pointing it out I’m certainly not advocating mandatory philanthropy. (Or “communism” : ) )

    However, “it is what it is,” and we are living with the consequences at multiple levels, are we not? Perhaps we’ll see a new ethos take hold in years ahead – though I’m not holding my breath.

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