The state of our state is historically strong, and we are getting positive things done for the people of Wisconsin. Our Ambitious Agenda for 2018 introduces common-sense conservative reforms to address real issues.
Our historic investments in schools will work because we put in place reforms that empower school leaders to staff based on merit and pay based on performance. That means they can put the best and the brightest in the classroom. Common-sense conservative reforms are ensuring that new resources go to improving educational excellence for students in the classroom.
The liberal alternative is to throw more money at schools without accountability for results. They want to repeal the reforms that put people elected by the local taxpayers back in charge of schools instead of the big government special interests.
Our Health Care Stability Plan is based on helping the market drive down premiums and increase choices for those seeking individual health care plans – that is what most small business owners and their employees purchase. People on these plans are seeing a 36 percent increase in premiums on average this year. And some of the people on plans under Obamacare are seeing increases of more than 100 percent. That is unsustainable and unacceptable. Our plan addresses that issue without putting people into a government program, and we believe that it will lead to lower premiums, more choices, and greater competition.
The liberal alternative is to use more of our tax dollars at the federal level to get increasing numbers of people on government assistance through the Obamacare expansion. Our common-sense conservative reform is a better idea.
Our Wisconsin Works for Everyone welfare reform plan has already helped more than 25,000 people transition from welfare to work. Now, we want to expand it across the state and require more work, more training, and more people being able to pass a drug test before getting assistance. These are conservative reforms.
The liberal alternative is to keep people dependent on the government through more spending on welfare. They are generally opposed to work requirements for able-bodied, working-age adults. And they would remove requirements for people seeking welfare to be able to pass a drug test. They complain that our efforts are making it harder to get government assistance. Truth is, we are making easier to get a job.
Our child tax credit will provide families with $100 for every child, under the age of 18, living at home. Since the tax process for 2017 already started, we will send checks to qualifying families in the mail or via direct deposit before the start of school on September 1st.
Since 2011, we have cut property taxes, income taxes, and taxes on employers. We even eliminated the state property tax and the alternative minimum tax. The cumulative impact of our tax relief through the end of the budget is more than $8 billion.
Recently, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau announced we have a larger than expected budget surplus for the current fiscal year. Sending money back to the hard-working taxpayers when you have a larger than expected surplus is a conservative idea. That is what we are doing with the child tax credit. Plus, it is a visible and lasting reminder of the benefits of tax relief and of our positive reforms. It is the personal Reform Dividend for families all across the state.
The liberal alternative would be to spend the surplus on more government programs to get an even larger number of families dependent on the government.
Overall, our Ambitious Agenda for 2018 is filled with common-sense conservative ideas that address real issues. I am proud that we are getting positive things done for the people of our state. But we’re not done yet.
Let’s keep moving Wisconsin forward.
Scott Walker is the governor of Wisconsin.