Throughout six years of deficit spending and fiscal mismanagement, Governor Doyle left us with a state budget that could not weather even a small downturn in the economy. In a desperate attempt to remedy a $6 billion deficit (4th largest in the nation), the Governor recently signed a budget that raised taxes by over $2 billion and spending by over 6%.
Much of Wisconsin's economic woes have resulted from years of delaying prudent financial decisions while making little effort to implement a pro-growth agenda for the state.
The decisions that our state and local leaders make now will determine the health of our economy for a generation. We cannot afford to perpetuate Wisconsin's fiscal woes by continually raising taxes and fees to avoid making the tough choices to prioritize spending.
Wisconsin deserves a government that puts the needs of citizens first. The following set of reforms will help put state government back on the side of the people:
Start the state budget at zero. Just because a government program has a vocal constituency and a high-priced lobbyist does not mean it should continue, let alone receive automatic funding increases. Every dollar spent should be scrutinized and justified, not simply given a blind percentage increase.
Require the use of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to balance every state budget, just as we require every local government and school district to do.
Strip policy and pork projects from the state budget. The budget process should be about funding essential government services based on the taxpayers' ability to pay. It should not be about horse trading for special interest groups or establishing talking points for the next campaign.
End the practice of raiding segregated state funds to pay for other programs. If taxpayer revenue is collected for a specific purpose such as building and maintaining roads, it should be used for that purpose and that purpose only.
Restore Wisconsin's reputation for clean and honest government through transparency in the state contracting process. Require lobbyists to report all attempts to influence state agency decisions regarding the awarding of state contracts and grants and provide real time disclosure of all contracts and grant awards. Government is spending your money and you have a right to know when, where, and how much.