MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker is touring the state, making the case that his budget reforms have worked, and now it’s time for further action to cut taxes and reform education. Meanwhile, Democrats say the numbers tell a different story, and it’s time to reverse course.
Speaking at the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce meeting in Madison, Gov. Walker said Wednesday, November 28th he has five priorities for his 2013 budget: job creation, workforce development, tax relief, education reform and transportation investment.
“We’re headed on the right path — we went from 9.2% unemployment to under 7% today,” Gov. Walker said.
Wisconsin Democratic leaders like state Representative Peter Barca say Gov. Walker’s policies have not worked, and he says the proof is in the latest WMC survey, showing one in five employers in the state plan to cut staff over the next six months.
“It’s very distressing quite frankly. 20% of Wisconsin employers are planning layoffs for the first part of 2013. Those are families that are really going to be hit hard by these layoffs,” Barca said.
This, as other states are bouncing back. Gov. Walker says the reason for Wisconsin’s slow growth was the uncertain political situation for much of the year.
“The biggest thing was the recall. Thankfully, it’s over. I can’t do anything about that, but that was something that had an impact and will have an impact out there,” Gov. Walker said.
Gov. Walker said he plans to take a listening tour of the state over the next few weeks to get input on his budget priorities from both business owners and workers. Gov. Walker said he’ll use that listening tour to ask workers and business owners about the kind of tax cuts that would be best for the economy — income tax relief or property tax cuts.