Taking a Different Path

Terrence Wall, a well-known developer for Dane County and beyond, writes from a businessman’s perspective. Often, he writes about the intersection of politics and business for IB, and how pending mandates or legislation affect the bottom line. However, his topics vary.

I’ve been voluntarily writing this column for over five years now, if I recall. Yes, it’s been fun poking the eye of the bear, if you know what I mean, and I’ve enjoyed receiving many slaps on the back from well-wishers who thanked me for speaking up when others dared not.

But now it’s time for a break. Doing a good job producing the column takes a large investment of time each month, especially if I am to do the proper research. (There’s nothing more embarrassing than misstating a fact in print for the whole world to see!) Yes, I may come back again some day, but with additional demands on my time presently, I need a little time off from column writing.

I learned a lot along the way. One peculiar lesson is that if the radicals in this town think they can scare you into keeping your mouth shut, they’re wrong. They’ll try, but if they consider you beyond hope of intimidation in an attempt to deny your First Amendment rights – Vicki McKenna and myself are two good examples – they tend to leave you alone. My favorite example was when the chairman of the Democratic Party threatened the publisher of this magazine, trying to silence me during a campaign. Imagine that – they couldn’t tolerate even a single dissenting voice in a community comprised vastly of similar voices.

Yes, the feedback indicates the business community loved the column and the libs hated it, but either way, they both read it. Even former Mayor Dave once told me it’s the first thing he read when he opened up the magazine. I was always entertained by the people who complained to me about my “wrong” opinions. Hello! Wake-up call: no one forces you to read it each month!

So here are my last business and political comments for the column. For all of you who have been asking about the likelihood of Obama winning re-election, regardless of the Republican candidate, I predict a landslide electoral defeat for Obama come November. The American people are not going to put up with his economic train wreck any longer, especially since his regulators are forcing banks to, once again, clamp down on credit, the lifeblood of small businesses. Never mind Obama’s recent double down on bashing “the rich.” Everyone knows that his definition of rich is anyone not dependent on government.

So hang in there – change is on the way. With a 5% to 10% increase in business this year, you’ll enjoy a turnaround in 2013 if you can survive the latest credit crunch that started in January. As recently noted by Morris Davis, a professor in the James A. Graaskamp Real Estate Center at UW-Madison, if we can bring some fiscal discipline to government spending and combine that with annual GDP growth of 4.5% plus 2% inflation, we’ll crawl our way out of this mess in 8.5 years. Yes, a long time, but it’s better than the alternative.

So I hope you’ll forgive me for taking a break and setting aside the column for now. I hope that I have encouraged a few others to speak up and not let their voices be silenced. There comes a time when you need to move on to other things, especially given the economic difficulty of the last four and a half years. We’ve all been battered and bruised, and no one escaped the last four years unscarred.

Thank you for your kind words over the years and for your support. I hope you enjoyed reading the column. And just remember, writing the column wasn’t just about providing a business or political opinion, it was also about providing entertainment.

Editor’s note: Watch for David Blaska’s inaugural column in next month’s issue!

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