Wisconsin is benefiting from Walker reforms
January 18, 2012
By Mike Grebe
If there is one thing the people of Wisconsin have learned in this last year, it is that politics and policymaking can be extremely emotional. People often approach challenges believing their solutions are the only way to address difficulties.
It is in discovering that there are a wide variety of solutions to some of government’s paramount challenges that can cause the greatest emotional reaction, especially when these other ideas actually work.
In what can only be described as an emotional diatribe against the very tough but necessary decisions Gov. Scott Walker has made during his first year in office, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate made some serious accusations in a previous Milwaukee Biz Blog regarding Gov. Walker’s reforms. While Tate and members of the Democratic Party had ideas on how the $3.6 billion budget deficit should be addressed – mostly by raising taxes on hard working Wisconsinites – Gov. Walker implemented reforms which fell in line with the promises he made on the campaign trail, and the Badger State is now benefiting from those reforms.
The reality is that Gov. Walker has laid the foundation for a more successful Wisconsin, put government back on the side of taxpayers, and got the state’s fiscal house in order. Not only has the governor closed a $3.6 billion budget deficit by not raising taxes or laying off public employees, he also added $1.2 billion to Medicaid, and his reforms led to the reduction of overall school property taxes by $47 million.
During the Doyle administration, Wisconsin lost more than 150,000 jobs, UW-Madison students saw a 9 percent tuition increase, and million-dollar cuts were made to public education which Doyle used one-time stimulus funds to backfill. Democrats have long used budgeting gimmicks to “balance” the budget, when all they really did was rob Peter to pay Paul and then used one-time federal funding to pay Peter back, but only temporarily.
Gov. Walker knew that the long practiced strategies of raising taxes, cutting crucial government programs, laying off workers and fudging numbers were not going to create long-term stability for our state. Gov. Walker is committed to creating an environment which allows Wisconsin to lead the way in private sector job growth. He knows that tomorrow’s leaders will come from our education system, which is why public education makes up the largest percentage of state support in his budget.
It is because the ideas and solutions that are turning our state’s economy around did not come from big-government, public employee union bosses that these same unions have launched this baseless recall effort. Gov. Walker’s reforms implemented a system whereby public employees have been asked to contribute the employee’s share of pension and health care costs, just like is done in the private sector.
Now, Madison liberals, at the direction of special interest unions, are fighting tooth and nail to force the millions of dollars Gov. Walker has saved taxpayers back into the hands of public employee unions. Wisconsinites will not stand for the $9 million power grab this recall is going to cost them and they will not allow the blatantly false accusations of what Gov. Walker’s reforms have accomplished to prematurely end his term.
Mike Grebe is the chairman of Friends of Scott Walker.