Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett promises to bring “Milwaukee values” with him as ambassador to Luxembourg.
Let us be the first to offer our apologies to Luxembourg.
President Joe Biden last week nominated the do-nothing Barrett to the post, pending Senate confirmation.
You can excuse the tiny European country sandwiched between Belgium, Germany and France for lighting a candle and praying the Senate takes a pass on the mayor of one of the most violent and dysfunctional cities in America.
Barrett, a partisan Democrat who has presided over the precipitous decline of Wisconsin’s largest city, has spent more time and attention on his expensive joke of a streetcar than a surge in violent crime that has turned Milwaukee neighborhoods into war zones. As of Friday, Milwaukee had recorded 119 homicides so far this year, 5 ahead of last year’s violent record of 189 murders.
Barrett’s Milwaukee values? Does Barrett mean a public school system that has failed the vast majority of its kids? A school system that celebrates a dismal 69 percent graduation rate as a victory, and works to lock out successful private education competitors even as less than 20 percent of its students are proficient in math and reading.
Milwaukee posted a 7.4 percent unemployment rate last month, the highest in Wisconsin. More than one-quarter of its residents live in poverty, About twice that of the U.S. rate.
Would-be Ambassador Tom Barrett, a Democrat, has presided over Milwaukee’s malaise for 17 years, as one of the longest-serving mayors in the city’s history.
Luxembourg, by contrast, has a homicide rate of less than 1 per 100,000 people.
“Violent crime is rare but does exist. In 2018, four murders and ten cases of attempted murder occurred in Luxembourg,” according to the Overseas Security Advisory Council.
The murder rate in Milwaukee — 16.41 per 100,000
Luxembourg, a country with a population slightly larger than Milwaukee’s, boasts “one of the most successful” educational systems in the world.”
Luxembourg’s unemployment rate last month was 5.7 percent, and its citizens enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.
You can’t blame Luxembourgers for being a skosh nervous about Barrett coming to their peaceful and successful nation.
Luxembourg’s motto, after all is, “We want to remain what we are.” Not a chance if Ambassador Barrett brings his idea of “Milwaukee values” to the quaint country.