Governor Scott Walker will sign the State of Wisconsin budget today at Fox Valley Metal tech. This bill will have a huge impact on jobs.
Walker managed to take a $3.6 billion dollar deficit into a potential $300 million surplus. He has increased spending by only 1.8% and has held the line on taxes.
Holding the line on taxes is in stark contract to our neighor to the south in Illinois. They raised income and corporate taxes rather than cut spending. The democratic governor in Minnesota has chosen to raise taxes as well.
Walker made simple common sense proposals to control labor costs by asking employees to contribute more to their pensions and healthcare. He has also given them a choice about belonging to the union. The unions power will be diminished, but this needed to be done to negotiate future work rule changes that will lead to greater savings.
Walker has slashed aid to cities, but the cuts can be offset by asking for workers to contribute more to their pension and healthcare. Many communities have rushed through contracts. Here in Milwaukee a contract renewel was signed with teachers. Now 200 jobs may need to be cut and the union has refused to make increased contributions to save those jobs. Look for unions to demonize Walker rather than take the steps those of us in the private sector took years ago.
This budget he signs to day is the first step toward shrinking the size of government and providing a climate favorable to job creation.
Wisconsin has an unemployment rate of 7.1%. Still too high but much better than the nationwide rate of 9.1%.
Maybe Washington could learn a thing or two from Walker and other conservative govenors.
Contrast this to Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geitner. He said we need to raise taxes so we can maintain the size of government.
How about Ben Bernacke who said he was surprised by the slow down in the economy. It seems the Obama administration has no clue about what to do to create jobs. Their big spending, big government, spend your way out of economic trouble is not working.
The Federal governement needs to take the same steps we have in Wisconsin. Spending needs to be slashed. Entitlement programs need to be reviewed and re-vamped. We cannot continue to spend at current levels without going off an economic cliff. Just look to Greece if you want a glimpse of our future. The Congress needs to get a clue soon before our economy sustains permanent damage. In just a few years our debt will out pace our Gross Domestic Product. We must act before we get to that poing.
Remember that today as Walker signs the budget. He has managed to do what states like California, New York, Minnesota and Illinois have not been able to do. These are the steps government must take at all levels if we want this economy to create jobs again.