Gov Walker: A Look Ahead

Gov. Scott Walker looks at the upcoming legislative session as lawmakers return to work.

Each week, Gov. Scott Walker delivers a weekly radio address. The following is the transcript from the address titled A Look Ahead.

Hi I’m Scott Walker. 

Two years ago, Wisconsin was facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit and the state had an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent. Today, Wisconsin has a $341 million surplus and we set money aside in the rainy day fund for the first time in two consecutive years.  The unemployment rate is 6.7 percent.

In 2010, a mere 10 percent of employers surveyed said the state was headed in the right direction. Chief Executive Magazine ranked Wisconsin as the 41st state for business rankings.

In 2012, 94 percent said Wisconsin was headed in the right direction.  Chief Executive Magazine moved our ranking up to number 20, while CNBC listed us at 17th and Site Selector Magazine listed as 13th.

New business formations are up 11.1 percent from this time two years ago. Now we’re able to build off of this foundation as we take a look ahead. 

This week, the 101st session of the Wisconsin Legislature began with the inauguration of members of the State Senate and State Assembly.  I look forward to working with all four legislative caucuses to help improve our state for the next generation. 

Congratulations are in order for incoming Speaker Robin Vos, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, and Minority Leader Chris Larson.  Their leadership positions came with responsibilities to leave any lingering disagreements in the past and to look for innovative ways to move Wisconsin forward. 

Working together with both Republicans and Democrats, we will focus on policies that help the private sector create jobs, transform education, reform government, develop our workforce, and improve our infrastructure. 

The state partnered with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association to produce and distribute brief radio address once a week.  Audio files and a written transcript of this radio address can be accessed on http://www.wi-broadcasters.org and http://walker.wi.gov/Weekly-Radio-Addresses.  To download an mp3 file, you can right click the radio address link and click “save link as.”

Bob McBride January 12, 2013 at 05:08 PM
morninmist January 12, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Hey @GovWalker You forgot this stat!---and all the WI taxpayer $$ you wasted!! Spud Lovr @SpudLovr Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker gave $1.6 billion in taxes breaks to corps. For that, we rank 42nd in job creation. #wiunion#wiright #p2
The Anti-Alinsky January 12, 2013 at 06:25 PM
AND THEY'RE OFF!!! morninmist takes an early lead, but Bren should be coming up on the outside any moment. John Wilson is probably still asleep, but expect something daring and off the wall.
Richard Head January 12, 2013 at 07:20 PM
morninmist - Please answer this question: 1. How does a private Corporation obtain the revenue on which it is required to pay taxes? Please note: Answer the question specifically and please avoid any mention of executive compensation - which is a separate matter - one at a time.
C. Sanders January 12, 2013 at 08:14 PM
I am shocked that no one has pointed to Scott Walker with daily offerings to the ultra all powerful organization bent on stepping on the little man ... ALEC ALEC ALEC
CowDung January 12, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Don't worry, Bren should be along soon to make the obligatory ALEC/Koch accusations...
Steve ® January 12, 2013 at 10:11 PM
I'm going to name my kid Alec with a middle name Koch
Greg January 12, 2013 at 10:21 PM
This is leadership! The Democrats have done NOTHING! Tax cuts: On production earnings of manufacturers and agricultural businesses. The cuts would apply to small businesses as well as large corporations. The production tax cuts are by far the largest of the breaks, according to the fiscal bureau, resulting in a reduction of an estimated $874 million over 10 years. "Combined reporting": A partial rollback of a tax increase that was adopted two years ago on multi-state corporations. The fiscal bureau estimates the rollback would reduce tax revenue by $366 million over 10 years, making it the second-largest tax break. Tax deduction: For hiring new full-time employees. Ross argued that regardless of the size of a company, the money from the tax deduction "is not going to average individual taxpayers." The new-hire deduction is the third-largest tax break, with an estimated loss in revenue of $335 million over 10 years. So, many of the tax breaks are geared toward corporations and business. That’s not surprising. The focus of the Walker-called special session of the Legislature in January was on improving the state’s business climate.
Greg January 12, 2013 at 10:30 PM
A tax break is not spending or a "cost" to taxpayers. It is money that stays with taxpayers.
Dirk Gutzmiller January 12, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Wisconsin ranked 42nd in job creation during the 12-month period from July 2011 through June 2012. This according to the latest comparative data from the Quarterly Census on Earnings and Wages (QCEW), which is the measure the Walker Administration said during the months leading up to the recall election we should be using.
Greg January 12, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Suggested nickname: Nerb
Dirk Gutzmiller January 12, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Wisconsin's relative unemployment and lack of jobs is a serious topic. ALEC and Koch have failed to help us. Leave it to the usual Patch village idiots to make light of it.
Bob McBride January 12, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Knock it off you guys. @SpudLovr has spoken.
Greg January 12, 2013 at 11:11 PM
I am going to name my next bowel movement "Dirk".
Bren January 13, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Is the $341 million surplus after the $500 million borrowed was repaid to avoid the additional $150 million in interest over 20 years? If so, that wouldn't be so bad except for all of the public employees who lost their jobs this budget cycle. But I haven't seen or heard anything that indicates the $500 million was already repaid, has anyone else? So if it hasn't been, instead of a $341 million surplus, we're at -$159 million and still looking at $150 million in interest charges over 20 years, or -$309 million. Am I incorrect?
Richard Head January 13, 2013 at 03:53 PM
And the Boomers continue to ignore that Generation Screwed - whose lives are being ruined by non-dischargeable student debt and tax increases - MUST repudiate that debt and that palliative care must begin immediately! "As a newly-graduated person, someone coming straight out of college, I don’t like the idea of having less money coming to me due to the selfish interests of people in Congress who don’t have any interest in reducing our financial problems. This is an impediment for future economic growth. It’s going to make it harder for young people like myself to get married, find a better job, you name it." Boomers - the day of high living is quickly coming to an end! http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/01/12/Payroll-Tax-Hike-Sparks-Shock-And-Outrage
Richard Head January 13, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Generation screwed Taking money from our kids’ future to fund the present. "One thing that bugs me about democracy is how it favors the old and shafts the young. While the older generation gets to vote in huge numbers, tens of millions of citizens younger than 18 are frozen out of the process. Since these kids have no right to vote, they have no say in choosing a candidate who will best serve their future. But rarely do we hear about another form of redistribution: taking money from our kids’ future to fund the present. This is the silent tax — the tax we ram down our kids’ throats whether they like it or not. “Today’s youth, both here and abroad, have been screwed by their parents’ fiscal profligacy and economic mismanagement,” writes Joel Kotkin on The Daily Beast. By the time these youths reach voting age, the damage is already too deep. “No generation has suffered more from the Great Recession than the young,” Kotkin writes. “The unemployment rate for people between 18 and 29 is nearly 50 percent above the national average.” As Gen-X writer Kirsten Powers of The Daily Beast writes: “We were the first generation to be told we would never get Social Security or Medicare, even though we would be forced to pay into these programs.” http://www.jewishjournal.com/david_suissa/article/generation_screwed_taking_money_from_our_kids_future_to_fund_the_present
Richard Head January 13, 2013 at 03:56 PM
She adds: “No amount of coddling by their well-provided-for Boomer parents can save Generation Y and the Millennials from the dire economic conditions they face, including criminal levels of educational debt. Pensions have gone the way of the horse and buggy. You want to retire with health-care benefits, as both my professor parents did? Good luck. As the 1994 movie turned Gen-X mantra has it: Reality Bites.” The reality that bites America today is simply this: There is no chance to repair the havoc we have wreaked on our kids’ future unless we reform entitlements. “Entitlement spending is crowding out spending on investments in our children and on infrastructure,” Brooks writes. “This spending is threatening national bankruptcy. It’s increasing so quickly that there is no tax increase imaginable that could conceivably cover it.” BOOMERS - The gravy train is nearing the end-of-the-line. http://www.jewishjournal.com/david_suissa/article/generation_screwed_taking_money_from_our_kids_future_to_fund_the_present
Randy1949 January 13, 2013 at 04:50 PM
GOVERNMENT -- the gravy train you had from the Boomers FICA taxes is nearing the end. People like Mr. Head who point to Social Security as adding to our deficit are lying. Flat out lying.
Randy1949 January 13, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Oh boo-hoo, whiny Gen-X ingrates. My generation was also told not to count on Social Security for retirement, but we paid in like good little soldiers to support the Greatest Generation that Gen-X seems to worship. Kirsten Powers needs to get a clue. As for the young suffering in the Great Recession, I'm sure they have. But getting laid off at the age of fifty-something is no walk in the park either. Many people that age don't find new employment and are just hanging on until retirement, only to see the prospect of that social contract being reneged on.
Dave Koven January 13, 2013 at 07:19 PM
Scott Walker's Wisconsin...Number one in job cremation.
Bucky January 13, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Well of course your right Bren ... but no one here needs to know that.
$$andSense January 13, 2013 at 09:57 PM
With all Mr. Walker's statements about these purported millions in surplus, why have my wife and I not seen a check in the mail or decrease in our state with holding tax, or state portion of our property tax? Lucid and accurate responses would be appreciated.
CowDung January 13, 2013 at 11:19 PM
To get a check in the mail, wouldn't there have to be a law passed to allocate the surplus as a 'refund'? I suspect that there would have to be a similar action to change the state tax rates as well.
$$andSense January 13, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Uh........... Dung Remember Tommy Thompson's sales tax rebate checks in 2000? We received $271. What did you get? Don't keep good records?
Bren January 13, 2013 at 11:53 PM
Yup. Unless unfunded wars and massive tax cuts are "entitlements." Well we know the tax cuts are entitlements.
CowDung January 14, 2013 at 02:32 PM
What is your point? I'm not saying that it cannot happen, I'm saying that the governor alone cannot create tax rebates. The sales tax rebate you mention was made possible through a bill passed by the state legislature. http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lrb/pubs/Lb/99Lb2.pdf
morninmist January 15, 2013 at 05:28 PM
This IS WRONG! "Wisconsin's electricity rates in 2012 were above the national average and second-highest among eight Midwest states, both for residential and industrial customers. At 13 cents per kilowatt-hour, Wisconsin's residential rates were about 12 percent above the national average, while industrial rates averaging 7.5 cents a kilowatt-hour were 11 percent above the U.S. average. Big Wisconsin energy users get rate hike breaks http://www.journaltimes.com/news/state-and-regional/article_4779a418-c2be-58fc-a89d-27de1157cf0e.html#.UPTNYuADf6k.twitter Big energy users in Wisconsin are getting breaks on rate increases at the expense of other businesses and homeowners.
CowDung January 15, 2013 at 05:40 PM
It usually pays to buy in bulk. Why should electricity be any different?
morninmist January 15, 2013 at 05:46 PM
A very good article! http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2013/01/11/murphys-law-robin-hood-in-reverse/ Republicans’ tax plan assures that Wisconsin follows other states in the race to the bottom. ..... In short, Wisconsin’s tax system is Robin Hood in reverse: it rewards the rich at the expense of the middle class and poor. Yes, Wisconsin’s system is less regressive than most states, but the difference is not huge. In essence, you have a situation where state taxes are increasing the wealth inequity in America, and Vos wants to make sure Wisconsin’s poor people don’t fall behind other states in this race to the bottom. Consider what the Republicans and Gov. Scott Walker did to taxes in their first legislative term. They passed $36 million in capital gain taxes and 46 percent of those breaks will go to the top 2 percent of earners in Wisconsin, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. They also passed $49 million in tax breaks for those with Health Savings Accounts, again benefiting the well-to-do: the average income of someone with such an account is more than $100,000, according to the Government Accountability Office...


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