Before I took office, Wisconsin was in the midst of a fiscal and economic crisis. In the three years leading up to the 2010 election Wisconsin lost more than 150,000 jobs under the failed policies of former Gov. Jim Doyle and a Democrat-led Legislature. We had a chronic multibillion-dollar structural deficit and the hardworking taxpayers of Wisconsin were saddled with one of the highest tax burdens in the nation.
We could not wait to make the necessary changes to the way government was run in order to bring us back from the brink of insolvency.
When I ran for governor in 2010 I made a series of bold promises to the people of Wisconsin. I told them that I would help businesses create 250,000 jobs before the end of my first term. I pledged to rein in out-of-control spending and I gave my word that I would treat the taxpayer’s money as my own.
Since I took my oath of office, I have stood by my word and made good on these promises. We have helped businesses grow and in the process created more than 33,000 new jobs in Wisconsin. We are moving in the right direction and still have work to do, but we are well on our way to meet and surpass that goal. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate, at 6.7 percent, is the lowest it has been since 2008, and people are getting back to work.
Spending has been curtailed and at the same time, without raising taxes, we have invested the largest influx of money into Medicaid in state history. We have balanced our budget and still make protecting Wisconsin’s most vulnerable a priority.
We have laid the foundation for a strong fiscal future, saving more than a billion dollars thanks to our reforms. In order to maintain the consistent growth we have seen since I have taken office, we must continue to move forward toward prosperity.
Doing otherwise would prove disastrous, not only for us today, but to our children, grandchildren and the generations to come.
Unlike my opposition, I am focused not just on this election, but on the sustainable future success of the entire state of Wisconsin.
Wisconsinites cannot afford a third Doyle term; electing Tom Barrett would be just that. He would take the state backward to the days of billion-dollar budget deficits, double-digit tax increases and record-setting job loss.
He suggested during the primary that he would rescind the property tax cap that afforded median valued home owners tax relief for the first time in more than 12 years. He has stated that he would hold the state hostage over collective bargaining. Not to mention the fact that we are only a few short days away from this election and he has still not given even a hint at what his budget plan is for the state.
We deserve better than a rehash of the failed policies that brought us to our knees in years past. We must continue forward on the path that we have laid that is sparking our economic engine back to life.
Scott Walker, a Republican, is governor of Wisconsin and a candidate in the June 5 recall election.