State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
With campaign propaganda at full throttle, we see Democrats completely ignoring Act 10, the impetus for recalls, and instead hitting the airwaves about jobs. With less than a year under Walker and Republicans, it is a stretch for Democrats to criticize and claim the economy was better off during their reign.
Democrats base employment claims on monthly surveys prone to massive revision. The state released just such a revision showing a gain of nearly 60,000 jobs over previous estimates.
Nonetheless, Democrats continue to attempt casting a shadow over Wisconsin’s economy.
Economic times were tough during the 2009-2010 Democrat reign. However, the decisions made during difficult times speak volumes about leadership ability.
When faced with soaring deficits and monumental private sector job loss, Democrats took more taxpayer dollars to expand programs, create unsustainable financial burdens, and turned a blind eye to millions in fraud and waste. They used millions of dollars in temporary federal stimulus money to fund ongoing and newly-expanded programs, rather than use it to stimulate the economy.
Democrats neglected to pay a debt to Minnesota, costing greatly in interest payments, took $200 million from the Injured Patients Compensation Fund, resulting in a court ruling the money must be returned, and opened the state coffers to waste and abuse through reckless expansion of social programs.
Yet Democrats claim the Republican budget - the budget that paid our debt to Minnesota, repaid the Patients Compensation bill, reined in over-generous collective bargaining benefits, and limited state assistance to only those experiencing need, is somehow bad!
When it comes down to it, perhaps the greatest fact discrediting Democrats’ clamoring about the economy is that they presided over the loss of 150,000 jobs during their time in power.
Democrats resort to arguing the Walker budget fails because it takes money from public sector workers to fund tax breaks for wealthy corporations.
The Republican budget requires state employees pay 12.6 percent for health insurance, an amount less than half the national average for private sector family coverage. Act 10 requires public employees provide less than six percent of earnings toward a guaranteed pension, while fewer than one in five private sector employees receive a pension.
The Republican Governor and Legislature had a laser focus on private sector employment growth. We approved laws aimed at incentivizing job creation for Wisconsin residents.
The Democrats’ argument that we took money from workers and gave it to rich corporations is illustrative of a larger philosophical disagreement about the role of government.
During 2009, Democrats authored and approved a billion dollar tax increase without public hearings. Rather than responsible spending cuts, they simply took more money from businesses to fund benefits for government workers that were more generous than taxpayers had for themselves. In defense, Democrat legislators claim well-paid government workers are good for the economy because they spend more money.
Therein is the major difference in economic philosophies between the two sides. Given the chance, Democrats increased the size of government and increased taxes to fund it. They claim government positions as job creation, despite the fact the jobs are funded with taxpayer dollars during a lagging economy.
In contrast, Republicans just finished a responsible session that keeps taxes, spending, and government smaller, and provides stability for private sector job growth.
Nonetheless, after less than a year under the new budget, Democrats claim it is a failure. Not only that, they are using it as the reason for only the third gubernatorial recall in US history.
Act 10, the budget, and job reforms are resulting in improved education and business growth. More than premature, the recall attempt is downright reckless.
Recently updated figures reveal a net gain of nearly 60,000 Wisconsin jobs over previous estimates. This correlates with positive revenue numbers and a projected state budget surplus, declining unemployment numbers, and skyrocketing job creator satisfaction in our state.
The Republican reforms are big, fundamental shifts that will leave a remarkable legacy. With the end of the political turmoil in sight and the table set for private sector growth, Wisconsin will prosper.