Sunday, November 14, 2010

Yoo Hoo, TEA Zombies! Yoo Hoo!

It's kind of funny that the TEA Zombies could make it out time and time again to protest their taxes going up a couple of bucks and threatening armed revolts, but when it comes to the actual problem, they have all seemed to have dried up and blown away.

The local paper is reporting that electricity rates have been climbing at shocking rates over the last two decades and having a marked impact on the state's business climate:

The price of electricity has shot up faster in Wisconsin than in all but five other states since 2000, which could pose a threat to the state's economic competitiveness, a new analysis by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says.

Wisconsin businesses and homeowners are paying more than most surrounding states, as the state continues to pay for power plant upgrades that followed near-brownouts in the late 1990s.

That, coupled with rising natural gas and coal prices, has pushed rates up. The state's electricity prices, which ranked 11th-lowest in the nation in 1990, now rank 20th-highest, the report found.

"We need to recognize that energy prices really do have an effect on the competitiveness of the state," said Kyle Christianson, policy research analyst at the nonpartisan Taxpayers Alliance. "We're talking about trying to attract employers and adding new jobs, and particularly in a manufacturing-intensive economy like Wisconsin, energy prices are a major cost of doing business."

And despite what the radio squawkers or their echo chamber on the right side of the Cheddarsphere would have you believe, it has nothing to do with those evil unions, taxes, cap and trade or any of the other ecofriendly laws and regulations.

It has to do with one thing and one thing only. Pure unadulterated greed:

Wisconsin Energy Corp. said Tuesday its profit in the third quarter nearly doubled, as customers used record amounts of electricity during a hot, humid summer.

The higher profit for We Energies' parent company was also linked to an electricity price increase that hit customers in January, as well as completion of the utility's first new power plant in Oak Creek.

Net income from continuing operations was $112.3 million or 95 cents a share, up 93% from $58.2 million or 49 cents a share in last year’s third quarter. The results were 9 cents higher than the projection of 12 Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Sales in the third quarter rose by 19%, or $157.7 million, to $973.2 million.

But don't expect the TEA Parties, Americans for Prosperity or any of these other fools holding a rally in front of We Energies anytime soon. After all, these "grassroots" groupies are being sponsored and propped up by the likes of these very culprits.

The TEA Parties, AFP and the rest are nothing more than a very well executed exercise of misdirection and distraction. While they've gotten their base all riled up and mad as hell at the government, they continue to plunder and loot us even as they encourage their followers to howl even louder.

I just wonder if their followers will wake up and smell the coffee before they allow the country to be driven all the way over the brink.


  1. You've made no mention in your blog about Milwaukee's sudden jump in the number of homicides this year...reversing the downward trend of the past couple years. You apparently have no problem with that.

  2. Well, being a member of MPD yourself, maybe you can explain it.

  3. I'm not, actually, though I do have my opinion on the homicide rate. I was pointing out the logical fallacy of your post.

  4. Um, yeah, that's not what you said in other places, but OK.

    And yes, I can see how electricity rates can make one think of homicide. Sure thing there.

  5. I am actually not disagreeing with you on the utility bill thing. I'm not a WE shareholder and I'm not rich...I'm a step or two away from living paycheck to paycheck like most Americans.

    Don't rate increases need approval from the Public Utilities Commission? Who appointed those people?

    Anyway, my original point was that there are many things the TPM isn't picketing/protesting/marching over...doesn't automatically mean they aren't bothered by it.