Great op-ed by Gov. Walker on the economic outlook for Wisconsin, compared to nationally:
After years of tax increases and budget tricks, Wisconsin faced one of the largest budget deficits in the country — $3.6 billion. Our state government was hemorrhaging money due to fiscally liberal policies which catered to special interest groups and government union bosses.
Wisconsin was on the same path as many of our neighbors — such as Illinois and Minnesota — which, instead of instituting real reform, continued down the road to insolvency. In Illinois, it has led to a dramatically underfunded public-employee pension program and downgraded credit rating.
Unlike our neighbors, we eliminated our deficit and balanced our budget without raising taxes and created a substantial surplus. We gave power back to local governments and school districts so they could make budgeting decisions that worked for their communities, resulting in savings of more than $1 billion.
We pursued a bold agenda with clear goals in mind — to eliminate our deficits, create a better economic outlook for Wisconsin’s future and promote sound fiscal policy, all while reducing government interference in the lives of our citizens. We accomplished these goals. And because of our reforms, we’ve been able to return money to the hardworking taxpayers of Wisconsin.