Conservatively Speaking

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.

Mixed results in Wisconsin’s annual report card

Business, Taxes

I often blog about reports that rank the state of Wisconsin in various categories: taxes, spending, income, business climate, competitiveness. These reports are critical because they provide a barometer of Wisconsin's rankings,  and provide guidance about where we need to go and how to get there.

Unfortunately, more often than not, the reports show Wisconsin’s performance to be less than sub-par.

There is some good news to share. Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. (CWI) is a nonpartisan group of state agriculture, business, education and labor leaders. The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WTA) has prepared for CWI an annual report charting Wisconsin in 33 separate benchmarks. The report, "Measuring Success: Benchmarks for a Competitive Wisconsin," does offer some positive elements.

High school graduation rates increased during 2007 and remain above the U.S. average. Also on the rise, the percentage of Wisconsin’s 25-or-older population with at least a bachelor’s degree, increasing to 25.4 percent.

The number of doctoral degrees earned in science, engineering, computer sciences, and mathematics increased almost 16 percent during 2006.

Exports continue to be strong. As a percentage of output, exports rose more than 12 percentage points during the five years ending in 2007. Venture capital also showed signs of improvement.

During 2007, 8.2 percent of Wisconsinites were uninsured, compared to 15.3 percent nationally. Wisconsin’s uninsured rate was lowest in the region and the third lowest in the U.S. So why do we need state government health care?

That is the good news. Like any report of this nature, there is bad news to report.

Per capita personal income still trails the nation, by a full six percent.

The number of private businesses in the state is down for the second straight year.

Energy costs continue to increase.

Violent crime is up.  So why does Governor Doyle want to release more felons?

WISTAX has more details.

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