By Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker
Wisconsin deserves a government that puts the needs of its citizens first, a state that places public safety and the education of its children above the demands of the special interests. We deserve a government that finds new ways to do more with less, not one that looks for new ways to tax families and employers when they can least afford it.
With so many Wisconsin families and employers struggling to make ends meet, it is difficult to understand why Governor Jim Doyle and the legislature would decide to raise taxes and fees by more than $2 billion while increasing new state spending by $3.6 billion.
To make it worse, they are not being honest with the taxpayers.
The Governor says that the budget protects the middle class. In reality, this budget protects government at the expense of our families and employers. It will force families to pay more for property taxes, automobile insurance, nursing home and hospital care, and cell phone use. At the same time, it reduces state funding for law enforcement, local government services, and even allows for the early release of criminals into our communities.
Governor Jim Doyle and legislative leaders say their tax increases are balanced with deep cuts in state spending. However, they actually increased state spending by 6% and included $37 million for legislative pork projects that range from renovating a local opera house to purchasing recycling bins. But even with the deep cuts to public safety and a massive $2 billion tax increase, Wisconsin will be left with a $2 billion deficit in the next state budget.
According to Chief Executive magazine, Wisconsin is ranked as the 43rd best state in the Nation to do business – near the bottom. What have Governor Jim Doyle and legislative leaders done to improve that ranking? They increased the capital gains tax on business investment by $242 million. This will only drive more employers and jobs out of Wisconsin.
We need to take our state in a new direction founded on the principles of limited government, economic growth, and personal freedom.
Through their ingenuity, hard work and determination, the people of Wisconsin have made our state a great place to live, work and raise a family. Our companies are recognized as world leaders in everything from manufacturing motorcycles to making a better bovine. We are famous for our Midwestern work ethic. In fact, Wisconsin once led the nation in reform—changing welfare and providing hope to low income families through education choice and charter schools.
Wisconsinites want government to live within its means and to set spending priorities that reflect their own priorities, rather than seek ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funds for programs that serve few, if any.
It is not enough to tinker around the edges of failed public policy. We need to change the way Madison thinks as well as the way it does business, but I need your help. Together, we can put government back on the side of the people and build a Wisconsin we can believe in again.scottwalker.org