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High-tax states need to look inward first, claims the Racine Journal Times, echoing a Republican talking point after the passage of the federal tax cuts. Instead of trying to figure out how to get around the loss of state taxes and mortgage interest deductions, they should first look to cut taxes themselves, the paper insists.

Urban Milwaukee's data wonk Bruce Thompson does an analysis to determine if the federal tax plan will succeed. Backed by charts and graphs, Thompson shows that most voters don't see much benefit for themselves in the new tax cuts and believe the bill is overly stacked in favor of the wealthy. That could be a perception that's hard to overcome, he predicts.

Political Environment blogger James Rowen writes that the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board meeting on Jan. 24 will be an extremely important one. Not only will the board consider hiking park fees around the state, but now it appears it will be asked to OK the purchase of some park land for a controversial new Kohler golf course on Lake Michigan.

Blogger Jeff Simpson contends that Scott Walker is a public relations failure. He cites the governor's attack on Madison following Mayor Paul Soglin's announcement this week that he's running for governor. Simpson points out that Soglin's Madison administration is "working," borrowing a Scott Walker slogan about how his policies are helping the state.

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's conservative columnist Christian Schneider says it's time to retire Social Security numbers. They are too easily compromised, he insists, especially in this new high-tech era. Use of the numbers is endangering the finances of many Americans. He suggests that if social media sites can use face identification, the SS administration can figure out new, more secure ways as well.

Deborah Hawley Jordahl, a consultant for several Wisconsin right-wing causes, does a piece for Right Wisconsin in which she excoriates the Wisconsin Ethics Commission for failing to safeguard materials confiscated during the John Doe raids two years ago. Jordahl herself was one of those whose emails and other papers were seized and, therefore, has a front row seat to all the shenanigans the Elections Commission and others committed.

Madison's rightie blogger David Blaska admits that he likes Paul Soglin, Madison's mayor who announced this week he's running for governor as a Democrat. But, he says, Soglin has an Achilles heel bigger than a Percheron and it's not Fidel Castro. Rather, it's his support of the anti-Scott Walker demonstrators over Walker's Act 10.

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