The ‘Maker’ or the ‘Taker’?

We in Wisconsin have a U.S. Senator to either rehire or to replace.  We have a former Senator who is back in Wisconsin to try to regain a seat in the United States Senate.  We have a sitting Senator who is also an employer of Wisconsinites since he owns a manufacturing company in our state.

Former Senator Russ Feingold, a liberal Democrat, wants his old seat back and is trying to defeat current Senator Ron Johnson, a conservative Republican.  Based on polls, Feingold seems to be about two percentage points ahead of Johnson currently.  There is also a Libertarian who has about 4% of the vote.  I have little idea of where that 4% of the vote would scatter if there were only the two major party candidates, but third party candidates bother me in that they induce situations that might otherwise not exist.

Senator Johnson, the employer, is the “maker”, as I see it, in that he has provided solid jobs for his employees for a long time and has contributed to the economy of Wisconsin by so doing.  Former Senator Feingold is the “taker” since he has been involved in public sector employment for so long as I can remember.  Don’t get me wrong, our public sector employees who protect us from crime and fires, and who keep our roads in good shape and plowed and sanded/salted, etc. are great people no matter their political inclination.

Feingold is an attorney, was a State Senator for ten years representing people in Wisconsin’s 27th District.  He was a U.S. Senator from 1993 to 2011.  He co-sponsored the McCain-Feingold Act to reform campaign finance.  He was among the Democrats who voted in favor of what has become known as ObamaCare, officially the Affordable Care Act, which has proved to be one of the great misnomers of all time, and he cast the sole vote against the Patriot Act.

Feingold makes no bones about his liberal persuasion; he wears the badge proudly.

Assurant Health blamed Obamacare on its going out of business.  Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield no longer sells plans on the ObamaCare ‘exchange’ in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties.  UnitedHealth Group is leaving all Affordable Care Act exchanges nationwide.  Like it or not, ObamaCare shows all the signs of an imploding government health program which could actually cause significant damage to the providers of health care services and to those covered in that process.

In a 2015 story by Politico, Feingold was asked if, looking back at it then would he have voted differently on Obamacare.  He replied “Oh no, I stood with my vote on the Affordable Care Act in 2010.  I was one of the only candidates to do that.  I understand people have been lied to repeatedly (apparently referring to Republicans) about what was in the bill.  I regretted that, but it was fairly stated that over time that it would work out.” It seems that time has not helped this abomination.

Sen. Johnson has said that he wants to repeal ObamaCare, and has been quoted as saying,”If we continue on this path, the future of our health care system is rationed, lower quality care, increased medical costs and severe limits on medical innovation.”

So we have a choice between what I call a ‘maker’, current Senator Ron Johnson (R) and a ‘taker’, former Senator Russ Feingold (D).  The only people Feingold has employed are those who worked in his various political offices, with the possible exception of whoever may have worked for him during his educational institution gig in California.  The people Johnson has employed and continues to employ are gainfully employed in the private sector in Wisconsin except for his senatorial office staff members.

There is, I believe, a big difference between the experience of a person who has risked his personal fortune (however big or small that was/is) on a business and who has provided good paying jobs for employees, and a person who has been involved in the public sector for most if not all of his working lifetime.  No matter how intelligent the public sector person might be, he or she simply has not lived on the other side of the ‘fence’ with people dependent upon his or her business decisions.  Unless and until you have had the responsibility of meeting a payroll, and even fulfilling promises to stockholders, you do not have a good understanding of the realities in the world of makers.

Makers put personal welfare and fortune at risk for an idea and for those whom they employ.  Those who simply put taxpayer money at risk, and who make ‘feel good’ decisions have little clue about the realities of being a ‘maker’.  True, they may face being turned out of public office, but somehow even that seems less onerous than running a business into the ground or of having to terminate employees because of a bad decision or failure to take the chances represented by a potentially good decision.

Maybe some would see the use of the ‘maker’ and ‘taker’ labels as being a bit severe; only unless and until you have been a ‘maker’ can you fully appreciate the difference.  Current Senator Ron Johnson (R) has been both and has the quite unique position in the current U.S. Senate of knowing both sides of that coin.

We need to keep Senator Ron Johnson (R) in office for the good of Wisconsin as well as the good of our country.

 

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