In the Weekly Republican Address, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker calls for getting America's "fiscal house on track and our economy back in order," saying that "more big government is not the answer as the President contends. Instead, we need to confront the powerful special interests in Washington and put the hard working taxpayers back in charge of our government." Furthermore, Governor Walker says, "we need to think more about the next generation than we do about the next election." The audio of the address is available here, the video will be available here and you may download the address here. A full transcript of the address follows:
"Hi. I'm Scott Walker from Wisconsin.
"Last fall, my wife Tonette and I had a chance to visit Independence Hall. It was quite an experience. You see, as a kid, I loved history and thought of our Founders as being well, bigger than life...almost like super heroes...so looking at the desks and the chairs where they sat was really pretty amazing.
"Standing there it dawned on me that those who had assembled in these chambers were ordinary citizens who did something quite extraordinary. They didn't just risk their political careers or their business ventures; they risked their lives for the freedoms we hold dear today.
"It reminded me that what has made America great, what has made us exceptional for more than two centuries, what has made the United States arguably the greatest country in the history of the world; is that in moments of crisis--be they economic or fiscal, be they military or spiritual--there have been men and women of courage who thought more about the future of their children and grandchildren than they thought about their own political destiny. We need leaders like that today.
"Sadly, the President and many of his allies seem to measure success by how many people are dependent on government programs. Those policies have failed. In contrast, I and many other Republicans define success in just the opposite way--by how many people we can free from government dependence by growing the private sector.
"Now that doesn't mean we want to throw folks off of unemployment. Instead, we want people no longer dependent on government because they have a job. When more of our fellow citizens have work in the private sector there will be more freedom and more prosperity in our country. That's a good thing a very good thing.
"In Wisconsin, we faced one of the biggest budget deficits ever when I first took office last year. During the three years prior to my tenure, my state lost more than 100,000 jobs and the unemployment rate was above 9 percent.
"Today, Wisconsin has a budget surplus. For the first time in history, we're able to put money into our state's rainy day fund for two years in a row. Since taking office, Wisconsin has gained more than 41,000 private sector jobs and the unemployment rate; well it's below 7 percent for the first time since 2008. My state used to be ranked in the bottom ten of the best and worst states to do business in. Now, we're in the top 20 and climbing.
"In Wisconsin, we made the tough decisions to tackle our economic and fiscal crises. Now it is time to do the same for America.
"We can do it. We can do it--because we've done it before.
"Thirty years ago, the national unemployment rate was 10.8 percent, but once President Ronald Reagan's reforms went into effect, we saw one of the greatest economic booms in U.S. history.
"We need that kind of bold leadership again today to get our fiscal house on track and to get our economy back in order. But more big government is not the answer as the President contends.
"Instead, we need to confront the powerful special interests in Washington and put the hard working taxpayers back in charge of our government. We need to think more about the next generation than we do about the next election.
"That kind of courage may be rare in politics but I see it every day in the moms and dads I meet at factories and farms and small businesses all across my state. These moms and dads work hard for a living for more than just a pay check. They work hard for the same reason my wife, Tonette, and I do: we want our kids to have a better life.
"Isn't that what this is all about? I don't know about you, but I want my two sons, Matt and Alex, to inherit an America at least, at least as great as the America I grew up in.
"The good news is that we can still do something about it. We'll have to make some tough choices--but there is no doubt that it is worth it. Let this be the moment in history where we can tell our children and our grandchildren that we helped restore our country's greatness again. I believe we can because I believe in America."