The Era of Big Government Alive and Well with Rep Joe Sanfelippo

Government is at its best when it is small and local — at least that was the sentiment when Ronald Reagan was the head of the Republican party. Now, well let’s just say not so much.

Rookie State Representative Joe Sanfelippo has decided to make his mark by pushing through legislation that would bring about one of the largest top down, statist controls that has ever happened in Wisconsin history.

Statist Sanfelippo, who serves as a Republican in the legislative branch of state government making more than $50,000 per year, wants to reduce size of the Milwaukee County Board (but not other, larger county boards in Wisconsin). Sanfelippo represents about 50,000 people, or roughly the same amount as he represented when he served one term on the Milwaukee County board.

It stands to reason that if Sanfelippo believes that he has earned the right to cut the salary of someone in another legislative branch who represents the same amount of people, that Sanfelippo would cut his own salary to just $15,000 per year as well, but don’t hold your breath. Sanfelippo follows the “do as I say, not as I do” approach to governing.

He wants to do this now because it will no longer affect him. This is not uncommon. Many politicians like to take away the benefits from other people who may serve in the future, but never themselves. As early as just over a year ago, former Milwaukee County Supervisor turned State Senator Chris Larsen took a parting shot at his colleagues by introducing legislation in that body to limit benefits for the County Board. When asked about this issue by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Larsen says he prefer to let local government make these kind of decisions.

Now Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has weighed in supporting Sanfelippo’s idea. Abele knows full well that this would neuter the current board of Supervisors. They would no longer be able to devote their full time attention to either district needs or to amending the budget that is sent to them from the County Executive each year. The board would be reduced to people who, like Abele, were not reliant upon a salary to serve and who had sufficient time on their hands. For the most part, a restructured County Board would consist of government hobbyists, individuals bought and paid for by contributors and wealthy retirees.



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