send a dachshund in after this badger

Byline: | Category: Uncategorized | Posted at: Tuesday, 13 February 2007

[Wisonsin Governor] Jim Doyle will unveil a tax on oil companies on Tuesday but will bar the firms from passing it on to consumers.

As soon as I read that I said to myself, “I bet that this guy has never worked a day in his life outside of government.”

So I checked his biography and found this:

Inspired by John F. Kennedy’s call to public service, after college the Governor and First Lady worked for two years as teachers in Tunisia, Africa in the Peace Corps. After he graduated from law school, the Governor and First Lady moved to the Navajo Indian Reservation in Chinle, Arizona to work as an attorney and teacher, respectively.

In 1976, Governor Doyle was elected Dane County District Attorney and served three terms from 1977-82.

Up to this point in his life, it looks like Gov. Doyle is the stereotypical career bureaucrat whose lack of real world life experiences might allow him to believe that businesses could absorb extra expenses, like higher taxes, while overall costs remained steady. But then there was this:

When he left that office, he spent eight years building his own private law practice . . .

What? Did he not learn in those eight years that for a business owner to stay in business, he has to pay all of his expenses and still sell his product for more than it costs to produce it?

Apparently he did learn, because he said this just last November:

People ought to understand the sales tax is a tax on people it’s not a tax on business. . . So when you say you’re going to take away [a sales tax] exemption, you’re not talking about a business. You’re saying individual people are going to pay a sales tax and I’m not in favor of that.

Of course, when he said that, he was talking about the sales tax exemption that Wisconsin has long bestowed to certain services–including legal services. You see, he knows that businesses don’t pay taxes. People do. He especially knows that when it’s his business that’s being taxed.

I say all this somewhat tongue-in-cheek. One doesn’t get to be governor of a state not knowing how the real world works–even if he had spent his entire life in bureacracy and politics. However, Governor Doyle apparently thinks that Cheeseheads won’t be able to figure out how the world works, and that they will accept his assurances that the price of gas won’t rise even as the tax on gas increases.

If Wisconsin pols are able to do it, they should attach to the Governor’s bill a tax on legal fees in the same amount that Gov. Doyle wants to tax oil companies. Then they could just sit back and watch how fast that badger backs out of his hole.


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6 Responses to “send a dachshund in after this badger”

  1. Headless Blogger Says:

    Bob – Your final idea of taxing the lawyers will not work in WI. Doyle has veto powers unknown outside of Cuba and Venezuela. He can eliminate any word or words he doesn’t like in order to rewrite the bill.

  2. Steve Erbach Says:


    If you don’t mind, I’d like to quote you on my blog, The Town Crank. My entry for this same issue is here: . Not as pithy as yours, but I’m still getting over being flabbergasted.

  3. bob Says:

    Quoting is always okay. Thanks for the link.

  4. j. limbach Says:

    My point–The tax on oil companies is NOT a ‘tax on gas, so stop trying to imply that. OIL companies are not ‘businesses’ in the sense you are using. They are mega-national money-hungry conclomerates that take BILLIONS and BILLIONS of our dollars in PROFIT every year while letting their pipelines and tankers leak crude all over the planet. (which we get to pay for, also) I say tax them to hell and back, then do it again. It takes pressure off the rest of us HONEST business people. More power to him.

  5. bob Says:

    Mr. Limbach,

    I’m not “implying” that a tax on oil companies is a tax on gas. I’m plainly stating it as a fact.

  6. Tim Says:

    Mr Limbach,

    I’m interested in finding your source stating that “their pipelines and tankers leak crude oil all over the planet.” I know that there are examples that you can cite, but those are the exception, not the rule.

    I work in the transportation business, marine transportation specifically. Ship operators and owners go to enormous lengths to ensure that leaks don’t happen. If a company let it’s product (profits) leak out, and THEN had to incur the wrath of the press, evironmental groups, governmental bodies AND insurance companies, it wouldn’t be as profitable as you state. Companies don’t relish multimillion dollar legal fees and multibillion judgements and fines… I suggest you learn what you are talking about before making blanket statements like that.

    You state that we should ‘tax them to hell and back, and then do it again.” This shows how little you know about business. I defy you to name a business that would absorb a govenmental burden, either tax or regulatory in nature, and not pass that cost along to consumers. Businesses do not pay taxes, they collect them. If you don’t know that, I doubt you run a business, “honest” or not.


    p.s.: You make the statement, “us HONEST business people” What is your “honest” business?