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Things Are Turning Around in Wisconsin

Walker wants residents to know that he's working to grow Wisconsin's economy and get people back to work.

We are turning things around.  We are heading in the right direction.  We are moving Wisconsin forward. 

In 2011, we added thousands of private sector jobs and the unemployment rate is down from a year ago.  In fact, it’s the lowest it has been since 2008. 

In the past, 150,000 of our fellow citizens lost their jobs in the private sector.  Two years ago, a mere 10% of our employers thought that Wisconsin was headed in the right direction. 

In contrast, we created a better environment for job creation in our state over the past year.  Now, 94% of our employers say Wisconsin is headed in the right direction.  A majority of those employers say that they plan on growing in 2012. 

To help small businesses continue to grow, our Wisconsin Working jobs plan helps connect job seekers to employers and to the skills that they need to fill those jobs.  Our initiatives have broad, bi-partisan support.   

To continue to grow our economy, we also needed to address the fiscal crisis we inherited.  Last January, Wisconsin faced a $3.6 billion budget deficit. 

We balanced that budget deficit.  Unlike other states, we did it without raising taxes, without massive layoffs and without budget tricks.  That allowed us to put more than $1.2 billion (one of the biggest increases in the country) into Medicaid to support programs that help needy families, children and seniors. 

Property taxpayers also benefited from our reforms.  For the five years prior to my talking office, the average school tax levy increased $220 million per year.  Our reforms led to the first decrease in the school property tax levy in six years.

We proved that we can have great schools and protect the taxpayers.  We just have to spend our money more wisely. 

In the past, schools were often forced to buy their health insurance from just one company.  Now, they can bid it out and school districts are saving millions. 

As the father of two students in a public high school in Wisconsin, I am thankful for our great schools and outstanding teachers.  That’s why I’m glad schools can now staff based on merit and pay based on performance.  That means we can put the best and the brightest in our classrooms, and we can keep them there. 

Looking ahead, we have a plan to improve reading in our state through our Read to Lead initiative.  We want to be certain that every child is reading early so they don’t ever feel that learning isn’t for them. 

We are also working with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers on a system to hold schools and school districts accountable to educators, parents, employers and each community.  Our system will help replicate success and help fix problems. 

Overall, we are working hard to help the people of our state create more jobs, continue to balance our budget and make sure that every kid has access to a great education.  Working together, I know we can improve Wisconsin.

We made some tough decisions over the past year because I didn’t want to pass on a mess to my kids and others like them.  We thought more about the next generation than we did about the next election.  We kept our promises. 

Thankfully, we are turning things around and are heading in the right direction. Together, we will continue to move Wisconsin forward.

MrsPeel February 07, 2012 at 05:31 AM
@Adam....Reagan had a Republican Senate for 6 of his 8 years and he tripled the debt. Bush I increased the debt only by a modest amount. Then Bush II who had controll of both Houses of Congress for 4 years and one House for 2 years managed to double the debt and trash the economy. During this period, market after market was either totally or partially deregulated, most tariffs were dropped, corporate tax rates were constantly lowered, outsourcing of jobs became common, and millions of manufacturing jobs were shipped overseas. Milton didn't advocate total deregulation, but nobody paid much attention to that part of his ideas.
James R Hoffa February 07, 2012 at 05:45 AM
@MrsPeel - More likely that those states aren't experiencing mass union boycotts, Capitol protests and occupations, frivolous legal court challenges, death threats against public officials, unending recall elections, etc, wouldn't you say? What would happen if you eliminated all of those things from the equation here in Wisconsin? Hmm....
mau February 09, 2012 at 12:52 AM
@Lyle, I just watched a very interesting report on PBS Newshour entitled How Germany Became Europe's Richest Country. I don't see it available for viewing on their web page today but it might be tomorrow. What is striking is the difference in the attitude of the owners and their employees, between the US and Germany. The successful companies were willing to take on journeyman/women and train them and the workers were willing to take cuts in pay and hours so that they could continue to build their skills. And they didn't spend their profits on entertainment or toys, they saved or invested that money. This seems to be more of how the US was 40 years ago.
Lyle Ruble February 09, 2012 at 01:45 AM
@mau...In general, Northern Europe including Scandinavia have a much different view of the relationship between labor and managers/owners. It is much more cooperative and both are dedicated to assure the success of the endeavor. German values differ greatly concerning consumerism verses American values of consumerism. We have been educated to be indiscriminate consumers who live in a through away economy. Whereas the Germans are very discriminant consumers and buy based on long term value and durability. Even forty years ago we couldn't compare to the German value ethics.
Adam Wienieski February 12, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Mrs Peel, give me just one example of a market that was totally deregulated by George W Bush.

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