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Economist vies for 7th Congressional District

An economist from Hudson has announced plans to run for Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District.

Dennis Paulaha earned bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate in economics at the University of Washington. As a college and university professor, he taught macro- and microeconomic theory, monetary theory and policy, environmental economics and special issues courses in Rhode Island, New York, Vermont and Minnesota, in addition to writing several books on the economy.

Paulaha is among three other candidates vying for the Democratic nomination during the Aug. 14 primary election. So far, Kyle Frenette, Brian Ewert and Margaret Engebretson have filed their candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission. Paulaha said he plans to file his candidacy next week.

The seat is currently held by Republican Sean Duffy.

"I moved from Deephaven, Minnesota, to Hudson, Wisconsin, 23 years ago with the intention of staying two years," Paulaha wrote on his website. "My plan was to then move back to either Rhode Island or Vermont. But I'm still here, because I love Wisconsin. And I'm running for Congress to offer something better than the childish anti-government dogma Republicans have been using for years to weaken America."

The most important question the 2018 election is going to answer is whether Americans are willing to let bigotry, prejudice, anti-government dogma and limited-freedom rhetoric tear the nation apart or whether they are going to stand up for what America is supposed to be, Paulaha said.

"The only ones who are going to benefit from the 'Make America Great Again' tax cuts and Republican destruction of government are a few rich people and the Russians, who will have a weaker enemy," Paulaha said. He said the most important issues facing the nation are single-payer health care, controlling climate change, better regulations on guns and stopping Republican attacks on public education.

"They're not just people issues," Paulaha said. "They're economic issues, and if we get them right, we can lay the foundation for the greatest period of economic growth in our history."

Renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuels, and if the federal government stopped subsidizing them, he said the move away from fossil fuels would go much faster and would be a huge boost to the economy.

"Single-payer health care is the same," Paulaha said. "It's not like a fairness issue; it's not like we should be nice to people. It's an economic issue. What we have now is a very wasteful, expensive system. We are the only industrialized nation where people can go bankrupt because of medical bills."

He said it would be good for business to take the burden for health care off its back to make businesses more competitive.

"The current administration is really doing everything it can to destroy government," Paulaha said. "The Republicans have done that for a long time."

Government is vital for economic well-being, he said.

"I want to be there because when these guys are gone, we are going to have to put it back together," Paulaha said. "And when we put it back together, if we're smart, we can make it better than it was before."

Paulaha wrote a book, "Wealth & Freedom: Kind of a Fable," to help Democrats win elections by showing what is wrong with Republican ideas. He said the objective of the book is "to make it clear why Republicans ideas are bad for health, wealth, wisdom, incomes, profits, economic growth and true freedom, and why government is the key to success in a free production and exchange economy."

He said he decided to run instead of hoping others will do what he knows should be done.

"I don't know what a lot of Democrats stand for anymore, but the (book) shows what they could or should stand for. It certainly shows what I stand for," Paulaha said.

The book is available free at