Toll roads are no panacea for fixing what's ailing Wisconsin's transportation budget problems, writes Political Environment blogger James Rowen. First, there are enormous up front costs and then a long wait until the tolling can actually get underway. Once in place, there's the problem of this administration spending the money on new projects -- paying for the Foxconn highway improvements, for example -- while potholes and maintenance are ignored, he charges.
Meanwhile, Scott Walker's first secretary of transportation Mark Gottlieb, in an op-ed for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, chimes in that toll roads should be the road not taken. He points out a recent study that proclaimed tolling is terribly expensive and inefficient. Some 23 percent of the tolls need to go to maintenance and repair of the system, he says.
Yes, there's a difference in philosophy between Scott Walker's approach to welfare and the way the Democrats look at it, editorializes the Beloit Daily News. In the end, though, welfare policy ought to be aimed at getting folks off welfare and it's a shame the two sides are so polarized about how to do that, the paper says.
Free speech isn't free from consequences, declares the Racine Journal Times in an editorial. People are discovering that more and more on social media sites like Facebook, the newspaper notes. Sometimes posts can lead to violence, it adds, and cautions readers to be fully aware of the consequences of what they say.
In a column for USA Today-Wisconsin newspapers, the president of a home infusion therapy provider argues that Congress needs to fix the funding shortfall under Medicare that he contends is causing more problems for elderly patients with immune problems, cancer and those awaiting surgeries. It's a looming nightmare for many families, insists Don Powell.
Devin Gatton, president of the Wisconsin Chapter of Log Cabin Republicans, takes to Right Wisconsin to proclaim that while Democrats see crumbs he sees savings in the new tax law passed by Congress in December. He accuses Democrats of being out of touch when they portray a $1,000 tax reduction as a "crumb."