State of Wisconsin Archives: on Budget & Economy

Bernie Sanders: Yes, limit size of government, but address inequality

Q: How big a role do you foresee for the federal government? It's already spending 21% of the entire US economy.

SANDERS: Well, to put that in a context, in the last 30 years in this country there has been a massive transfer of wealth going from the hands of working families into the top 1/10 of 1% whose percentage of wealth has doubled.

Q: But, my question is how big would government be? Would there be any limit on the size of the role of government?

SANDERS: Of course there will be a limit, but when today you have massive levels of income and wealth inequality, when the middle class is disappearing, yes, in my view, the government of a democratic society has a moral responsibility to play a vital role in making sure all of our people have a decent standard of living.

Hillary CLINTON: The best analysis that I've seen based on Senator Sanders plans is that it would probably increase the size of the federal government by about 40%.

Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin Feb 11, 2016

Scott Walker: Wisconsin Comeback: lower unemployment and lower tax burden

Over the past four years, we put the power back into the hands of the citizens of Wisconsin. In turn, Wisconsin is more free and prosperous. If you remember nothing else, remember this: more people are working, while fewer are unemployed. State government is more effective, more efficient, and more accountable, and the state's financial condition has improved. Budgets are set based on the public's ability to pay, instead of the government's hunger to spend. School scores are up and more students are graduating, and we are helping more of our fellow citizens to transition from government dependence to work.

The Wisconsin Comeback is working. There are now 7,600 more private sector jobs in Wisconsin than there were before the recession. The unemployment rate that peaked at 9.2% in January of 2010 is now down to 5.2%. Trends show it will continue to drop this year. Budget reforms over the past four years reduced the burden on the hard-working taxpayers of this state by $2 billion.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Wisconsin Legislature Jan 13, 2015

Glenn Grothman: Free enterprise instead of assuring livable income

Q: Free enterprise and the right to private property turn mankind's natural self interest into the fairest and most productive economic system there is, and are the key to national prosperity?

GROTHMAN: Strongly Agree

Q: It is the government's responsibility to be sure everyone has health care and a livable income?

GROTHMAN: Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Wisconsin House race Sep 30, 2014

Glenn Grothman: Outspoken critic of increased spending & new government jobs

Glenn was a leader in pushing to turn Wisconsin's $3.6 billion deficit into a budget surplus. Glenn firmly believes that our elected officials must be good stewards of the people's money. He has been an outspoken critic of increased spending and new government jobs, fighting both during the 2011&2013 state budget debates. In Washington, Glenn will fight to reduce government spending, eliminate unused & unneeded government jobs, and implement a plan to reduce the burden of debt on future generations.
Source: 2014 Wisconsin House campaign website, May 31, 2014

Scott Walker: Blueprint for Prosperity: Lower taxes & $100M Rainy Day fund

Tonight, I propose a Blueprint for Prosperity, which will continue to improve our economy, while preserving our strong fiscal standing. Specifically, I ask you to work with me over the next few weeks to return the vast majority of the new surplus directly to the hard-working taxpayers of Wisconsin and to add more than $100 million to the state's rainy day fund. As it has over the past few years, lowering the tax burden will contribute to a stronger economy and a better fiscal situation in the future.

Our Blueprint for Prosperity will put more than $800 million back into the hands of the hard-working taxpayers all across the state through tax cuts and withholding changes. Once passed, the total tax relief provided since I took office will be roughly $2 billion.

  1. We will reduce property taxes by $406 million.
  2. We will reduce income taxes by $98.6 million.
  3. We have adjusted withholding for state income taxes by $322.6 million.
Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Wisconsin legislature Jan 22, 2014

Tommy Thompson: Balanced budget is first priority

If elected to the U.S. Senate, Thompson said one of the first needs he would support is "a balanced budget. I'd also ask every federal agency to reduce spending by 5 percent and give the Secretaries who run those departments the authority to do away with programs that weren't working."

Baldwin, if elected, "would end the war in Afghanistan, make it illegal for drug companies to profit from Medicare Part D, get rid of corporate welfare for big farms and big oil."

Source: Madison Agri-View on 2012 Wisconsin Senate debates Oct 4, 2012

Tommy Thompson: Tax-and-spend policies are out of the mainstream

Thompson opened the debate by labeling his opponent Tammy Baldwin "a taxer and a spender." He accused her of being out of the mainstream and failing to produce any changes in Washington. "Baldwin doesn't have a record to run on, so all she can do is try to get people not to like me," Thompson said.

Baldwin responded by labeling partisan name-calling "crazy."

Source: Wisconsin State Journal on 2012 Wisc. Senate debate Sep 28, 2012

Mark Neumann: Full audit of the Federal Reserve

Question 6. Would you support a full audit of the Federal Reserve?

Mark Neumann: Yes

Tommy Thompson: Yes

Source: 2012 Wisconsin Tea Party Senate Debate Questionnaire Aug 13, 2012

Tommy Thompson: Full audit of the Federal Reserve

Question 6. Would you support a full audit of the Federal Reserve?

Mark Neumann: Yes

Tommy Thompson: Yes

Source: 2012 Wisconsin Tea Party Senate Debate Questionnaire Aug 13, 2012

Scott Walker: Growth agenda: ease tax burden & regulatory burden

Q: Will you raise taxes, or cut state spending to close the budget shortfall gap?

WALKER: Clearly, Wisconsin faces a major challenge. We're going to push a growth agenda. It's about our focus in creating 250,000 jobs. The states that have lowered the cost of doing business, by easing their tax burden, easing their regulatory and litigation burden, gets you not only more job growth in the past couple of years, they've actually seen greater revenues coming in as more people are working. So part of our agenda is to cut the costs of doing business and getting more people working. On top of that, it's clear we're going to have to reduce state spending. To me, one of the prime examples is we can't have the public employees being the have's and the taxpayers who foot the bill being the have-nots. So I'm going to ask more of public employees, simple things like asking state workers to make the employee contributions to the pension system, 5%, exactly what the national average is.

Source: 2012 Wisconsin gubernatorial recall debate on 620-WTMJ Jun 1, 2012

Scott Walker: Eliminating collective bargaining created $154M surplus

For a moment Thursday, the campaign returned to the issue that sparked the historic recall in the first place. The two rivals spent the first 15 minutes of the debate sparring over the governor's decision to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Walker framed his budget bill as a bold but necessary action taken to get the state's finances in order and pointed to a $154 million surplus and the addition of 23,000 jobs this year as evidence his reforms had already produced results. "The mayor has said repeatedly throughout the primary he wants go to back and restore collective bargaining," Walker noted.

Barrett acknowledged as governor he would restore collective bargaining rights, but pushed back on the assertion that he would be a pawn of the unions. "The difference is I'll allow them to be at the table. He doesn't even want to have a conversation with them. They know that I'm not a pushover, but the difference is I respect them to be at the table," he said.

Source: on 2012 Wisconsin gubernatorial recall debate Jun 1, 2012

Tom Barrett: Put Madison on a diet: trim budget without raising taxes

Q: Wisconsin faces major budget shortfalls in the coming years. Will you raise taxes, or cut state spending to close the gap?

BARRETT: It's true that we have a pending budget deficit of $2.7 billion. So this is not the time to raise taxes. It is certainly the time to cut state spending and I've put forth a plan to put Wisconsin and Madison on a diet. That includes consolidating the ability for local and state employees to purchase health insurance, eliminating the office of Secretary of State, and cracking down on Medicaid fraud. Those are places where I know we can cut spending and that's what I'm looking for. In terms of taxes, I'm not looking to raise any taxes because I think particularly in the first budget, our focus has to be on doing everything we can to get our budget under control.

WALKER: We're going to push a growth agenda, by easing their tax burden, easing their regulatory and litigation burden

Source: 2012 Wisconsin gubernatorial recall debate on 620-WTMJ Jun 1, 2012

John Schiess: Get rid of federal reserve system

Candidate John Schiess says the last time he ran for US Senate was 28 years ago. "And my platform hasn't changed--get rid of federal reserve system and department of education and get rid of the communist United Nations, it's a trojan horse on our soil," said Schiess. All the candidates do seem to agree on the key issues--getting the budget under control, and creating jobs.
Source: coverage of 2012 Wisconsin GOP Senate Debate Mar 25, 2012

Mark Neumann: Balance the budget by eliminating Obamacare

Former Congressman Mark Neumann touted experience. "I've written a five year plan to balance the budget by eliminating Obamacare, cutting $1.4 trillion out of the budget," Neumann said raising a printed copy of his plan. All the candidates do seem to agree on the key issues--getting the budget under control, and creating jobs.
Source: coverage of 2012 Wisconsin GOP Senate Debate Mar 24, 2012

Scott Walker: Wisconsin's once strong economy is in need of repair

We have an economic crisis in this state that demands our immediate attention. The solutions we offer must be designed to address both job creation and our budget problems. Wisconsin's once strong economy is in need of repair. Too many of our people are hurting and too many of our employers are struggling. As I travel the state, I hear too many stories of families struggling to put food on the table; and I learn of too many small businesses who are forced to layoff workers because of the economy.
Source: 2011 Wisconsin State of the State Address Feb 1, 2011

Ron Johnson: $184B stimulus drove the country deeper into debt

Feingold voted for the $814 billion economic stimulus measure last year, saying it would create jobs and stabilize the economy. He has defended the vote by saying it created jobs, pointing as proof to the abundance of "under construction" signs on highways across the state. Johnson says the vote drove the country deeper into debt without providing any meaningful benefits.
Source: Chicago Tribune coverage of 2010 Wisconsin Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

Tommy Thompson: Vetoed 255 spending bills totalling $43M

The 1999-2001 Budget made historic investments in Wisconsin families, provided over $1 billion dollars in tax relief and made unprecedented commitments in education and health care.

Gov. Thompson strengthened the budget by making 255 vetoes to cut a record $43 million in unnecessary spending. The governor also used his veto pen to eliminate $43 million in tax hikes on business, including $31 million in recycling taxes on companies.

Source: Wisconsin Governor’s web site, “Budget” Dec 25, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Wisconsin Politicians: Archives.
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