There appeared an item on prominent display at WisOpinion.com yesterday asking, "Is the Recession Hitting Felons Too Hard?"
Turns out it's the latest revelation of "policy research" from the Badger State's own "free market think tank," the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (sure sounds impressively academic, don't it).
In this "think tank" discursion, a leading "policy researcher" and WPRI "fellow" Christian Schneider (taking a break from trying to expunge from the Milwaukee Public Library all copies of Harold And Kumar Go To The Americans For Prosperity Summit), reviews some draft legislation currently circulating in the State Assembly.
And he's appalled by what he discovers: An employer tax credit proposed for small businesses* which might hire certain otherwise disadvantaged individuals, including some veterans and ex-felons.
Can you believe these crazy Democrats, wonders Schneider: Not only are they offering employment preferences to ex-felons, but they're actually "lumping in" ex-felons with veterans!
This Democrat outrage, claims Schneider, is simply "social engineering" under cover of exploiting the economic recession.
However, the "policy research" ended there, evidently.
Because had he looked at the next page of the draft legislation, he'd see that the definitions for both "qualified veterans" and "qualified ex-felons" are lifted directly from the Internal Revenue Code, where he'd find that it's not just any veteran, but only those already receiving certain forms of social assistance, such as food stamps.
And if he looked a bit further, he'd notice** that those provisions of Title 26 of the United States Code were part of a little ditty called the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, which was engineered by Republicans in Republican-controlled committees in a Republican-controlled Congress (that one led by Trent Lott, Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich and the rest of the famed Contract On America crowd).
Naturally, local medium wave bloviating dissembler Charlie Sykes applauded the "think tank" item from his "blog," but of course it's never been Sykes's function to relate the truth either.
You'd expect something with the highfalutin moniker "Wisconsin Policy Research Institute" to be otherwise, but apparently it's simply yet another outlet for hypocritical Republican partisan hackery.
* Those businesses that Republicans otherwise praise as the engines of the economy which are entitled to any tax relief they can get.
** Hope springs eternal.