Scott Walker

Gov. Scott Walker Looks to Return Budget Surplus Back to Badger State Taxpayers

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Posted by Patrick Gleason on Tuesday, January 30th, 2018, 1:52 PM PERMALINK

The media is abuzz with what President Trump will or won’t say during his first State of the Union Address this evening. Yet a number of state chief executives have already introduced some exciting reforms during the annual speeches to their state legislative bodies.

Take Governor Scott Walker, who has already used his time in office to enact a host of transformative and innovative fiscal reforms that have saved Badger State taxpayers billions. During his State of the State Address last week, Gov. Walker proposed further reforms that would allow Wisconsin taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned income. The spending restraint of previous years, combined with the institution of pro-growth reforms have produced a budget surplus this year, which Gov. Walker has proposed returning to taxpayers with a new $100 per-child tax credit.

Walker’s proposed child tax credit, if enacted, would return a projected $122 million to 671,000 Wisconsin households this year. Also proposed were further entitlement reforms, including the institution of work and training requirements for able-bodied adults receiving food stamps. Gov. Walker used his address to explain how the conservative reforms enacted in previous years have will permit state officials to provide further relief to taxpayers in 2018:

“Our plan is simple. Our reforms are working. Our economy is growing. And because of all this, we have a budget surplus. I want to give it back to you. It’s your money; not the government’s. So, if you’ve got three kids at home under the age of 18, that’s $300 more this year for new shoes, coats, activity fees at school, or a co-pay at the doctor or dentist.”

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, commends Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for being one of the nation’s top taxpayer champions, and for his latest round of reforms:

“Gov. Walker has been a national leader in passing pro-growth, pro-taxpayer reforms. Through the historic Act 10 entitlement reforms alone, Gov. Walker has saved state taxpayers over $5 billion dollars,” Norquist said. “His repeal of inflated wage requirements has also reduced the taxpayer cost of state and local infrastructure projects. Gov. Walker has used savings from these and other reforms to return $8 billion back to Badger State taxpayers through various tax relieving measures over the years, including the elimination of three entire taxes last year alone. With his recent State of the State Address, Gov. Walker has made clear he is not going to rest on his laurels, and is instead going to use 2018 continue building on an already impressive record of pro-taxpayer reforms.”

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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Foxconn Deal Demonstrates Success of Gov. Walker’s Reforms

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Posted by Shane Otten on Friday, July 28th, 2017, 12:30 PM PERMALINK

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) joined President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan at the White House this week to announce that Wisconsin has been selected as the location for Taiwan-based Foxconn’s first U.S. manufacturing plant. Foxconn, the world’s largest electronic manufacturing services provider, will invest $10 billion in a new facility, most likely in Racine or Kenosha county, that could create up to 13,000 jobs in the Badger State with an average salary of $53,875 plus benefits

The deal owes a lot of its success to reforms signed into law by Gov. Walker that have made Wisconsin more attractive to job creation and investment. Wisconsin beat out six other states for the Foxconn factory, which will produce liquid crystal display (LCD) screens. One of the states Foxconn passed over is Illinois, Wisconsin’s neighbor, and a state that is moving in the opposite direction from Wisconsin when it comes to fiscal policy. Illinois lawmakers have repeatedly raised taxes in recent years, imposing a massive 32% income tax hike earlier this month. Meanwhile, Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan and his caucus henchmen refuse to make structural spending reforms that are necessary to rectify the unsustainable growth of state spending or the state’s $130 billion unfunded pension liability.

Actions have consequences, so it should come as no shock that Illinois, given recent policy developments in Springfield, didn’t win this deal. While Illinois has become a less hospitable place to do business in recent years, Wisconsin has enacted reforms that provide tax relief, spending restraint, and regulatory reform, creating an environment that attracts investment and jobs from companies like Foxconn. Some of the top achievements under Gov. Walker include the following:

 

Other states, like Illinois, will continue to lose businesses, residents, and income if they keep stifling growth with higher taxes, heavy regulations, and a structural budget imbalance. Wisconsin, meanwhile, proves how conservative policy reforms that reduce taxes, rein in spending, and reform entitlements translate into economic growth and job creation.   

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Scott Walker's Obamacare "Repeal and Replace" Plan Good for Taxpayers

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Posted by Ryan Ellis on Tuesday, August 18th, 2015, 8:51 AM PERMALINK

Wisconsin governor and 2016 GOP presidential hopeful Scott Walker is out today with his version of an Obamacare "repeal and replace" plan. No doubt all the serious candidates will have their own before primary season is over.

The most important part of the Walker plan is the first section, which completely repeals every jot and tittle of Obamacare. For taxpayers, that means repealing the 20 new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Right away, this plan is a large net tax cut as a result.

The plan also creates refundable tax credits for people on the individual health insurance market, uncapped by income but variable by age. The older you are, the bigger a tax credit you get. This reflects what health care actually costs for people as they age. The individual tax credit would be paid for by a very high cap on the tax-excluded value of employer-provided health insurance.

Walker's plan also creates a $1000 tax credit "bonus" for new people opening health savings accounts (HSAs), raises HSA contribution limits, and allows for greater HSA portability.

It makes sense that the insurance plan options these tax credits will apply toward will be cheaper than today, as Obamacare's costly restrictions and mandates are lifted.

Finally, the Walker plan begins to break down the barriers for people buying health insurance across state lines, allows consumers to pool together to purchase health insurance, gives states incentives to enact medical malpractice reform, and gives Medicaid a new mission by splitting it into several smaller goals for states to manage.

The Walker plan is a net tax cut, a net spending cut, and is intended to be budget neutral. It joins several other good Obamacare replacement plans out there, including the House Republican Study Committee plan, the plan advanced by Congressman Tom Price (R-Ga.), and the Burr-Hatch-Upton plan. No doubt more will join in the fun.

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Norquist Statement on Walker Tax Record

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, July 13th, 2015, 4:18 PM PERMALINK

ATR president Grover Norquist issued the following statement today on the occasion of Governor Scott Walker’s entrance into the 2016 Presidential race:

“Walker signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge when he first ran for governor. He has kept that pledge. He has cut taxes repeatedly and significantly. He has seen every challenge as an opportunity to reform government to cost less rather than as an excuse to dig deeper into the pockets of taxpayers.”

 

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Grover Norquist Discusses North Carolina Senatorial Candidates

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Posted by Zoe Crain on Monday, November 3rd, 2014, 12:17 PM PERMALINK

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, wrote an op-ed for the Huffington Post regarding North Carolina Senatorial candidate Sean Haugh.

Haugh is open to higher taxes. Not only did Thom Tillis, the Republican nominee, pass one of the most pro-growth tax relief packages ever to come out of any state, he has committed to oppose efforts to raise federal taxes if elected to the U.S. Senate. Haugh, in contrast, refuses to make such a commitment to North Carolina taxpayers.

Americans for Tax Reform’s director of state affairs, Patrick Gleason, was quoted in a Slate article written by Betsy Woodruff about the importance of reelection Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Patrick Gleason, the director of state affairs at Americans for Tax Reform, said a Walker loss “will scare a lot of governors across the country.”

“That will send a message: Don’t do this, because you very well might not survive,” he said. “If Walker prevails, it’s going to embolden a lot of governors and lawmakers across the country. You’re going to see a lot of governors and lawmakers in other states get spines- or get stronger spines- than they had prior to Walker’s reelection.”

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Grover Norquist Discusses Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (and more...)

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Posted by Zoe Crain on Thursday, October 30th, 2014, 12:54 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist was quoted in a Bloomberg Politics article written by David Weigel about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

“If Walker lost, four or five states would do maybe half of what Wisconsin’s done,” says Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist.

“There’d be some nibbling at the edges, and some postmortems on how he defunded the left. If he wins, twelve to fifteen states would   copy Wisconsin. I mean, who wouldn’t? If the combined forces of the AFL-CIO and all their allies can’t beat him, why not do teacher tenure reform, why not make union membership voluntary, why not phase out the income tax? You get twelve states to do what Wisconsin did, and the Democratic Party would have to find several billionaires to make up the lost revenue.”

Townhall’s Cal Thomas wrote an article about former Gov. Jeb Bush’s comment that he would be willing to raise taxes, and its implications should he decide to run for president in 2016.

Norquist and other anti-tax advocates perhaps see in Bush’s comment a replay of his father’s pledge at the 1988 Republican National Convention: “Read my lips: no new taxes.” He violated that pledge when congressional Democrats promised to cut spending in exchange for tax increases. Bush raised taxes. Democrats did not cut spending. Many have long believed that broken promise contributed to his failure to win a second term.

Steve Byas of the New American wrote about the possibility of former Gov. Jeb Bush running for president, and the reaction of Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist.

“Jeb stabbed Republicans in the back just when they were unified in insisting on major spending cuts with no tax increases,” Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform told the Washington Times.

Norquist was referencing Bush’s comments that he could accept a budget deal in which taxes were raised by $1 for every $10 in spending cuts that the Democrats would agree to. Norquist was enraged, particularly because the Democrats had not even offered any such deal. 

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Wisconsin Democrats Don't Know Much about Taxes

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Posted by Will Upton on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014, 3:18 PM PERMALINK

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has come under fire from his Democrat challenger Mary Burke and the Wisconsin Democrat Party for rolling back the Wisconsin Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Despite passing historic tax cuts, Walker’s Democrat opponents insist that he has raised taxes on Wisconsin’s middle class. It appears that Democrat Mary Burke and her allies need to brush up on their tax policy, because they are flat out wrong. 

The thrust of the Wisconsin Democrat attack on Gov. Walker is that he cut the Wisconsin EITC while in 1986 President Ronald Reagan expanded the Federal EITC. Thus Gov. Walker raised taxes while President Reagan cut them. Unfortunately for Mary Burke and the Wisconsin Democrat Party, there is little truth in their attacks.

Here are the facts: In both instances, the EITC is refundable, meaning that even if a taxpayer is able to zero-out their personal income tax liability, they can still claim the credit and receive money from the state. Simply put, the EITC allows for the government to use the tax code to spend money. The U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation scores all refundable tax credits as spending, not as tax cuts. Democrat candidate Mary Burke, in an ad attacking Gov. Walker, praised President Reagan for expanding the EITC, saying he had a “good idea about taxes.” Burke shows a complete lack of understanding of what the EITC is by tying it to taxes. Again, Congress’s own Joint Committee on Taxation scores the EITC as spending. The Wisconsin Democrat Party takes a similar line as Burke, again showing a complete lack of knowledge regarding the EITC and what it is actually scored as. Gov. Walker did not raise taxes on Wisconsin's middle class, nor was President Ronald Reagan's expansion of the EITC a tax cut for the middle class. The EITC is scored as spending, not a tax cut or a tax increase.

In reality, Gov. Walker – by rolling back the Wisconsin EITC – cut state spending reducing the state’s reliance on taxpayers. Since taking office in 2010, Gov. Walker has enacted over $2 billion in tax relief, while creating a more efficient and effective state government that is not burdensome to taxpayers or a hindrance to economic growth.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds Collective Bargaining Law

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Posted by Blake Neff on Friday, August 1st, 2014, 2:16 PM PERMALINK

Wisconsin’s ambitious collective bargaining law, which sparked a bitter recall campaign against Republican Gov. Scott Walker, was upheld in its entirety on Thursday by the state’s supreme court.

Act 10, passed in 2011, sharply limits the power of certain public employees in the state to engage in collective bargaining with the state government. The law also requires public unions to recertify every year, makes the payment of union dues voluntary, and increases the required contribution by public employees to their pension and health insurance plans.

In a 5-2 decision, the court ruled that Wisconsin public employees ”have no constitutional right to negotiate with their municipal employer on the lone issue of base wages, let alone on any other subject.” The court also ruled that the law did not constitute an illegal restriction on the free speech rights of public employees. The ruling was a reversal of a lower court decision that had found major components of the law to be unconstitutional. It also marks the end of the road for legal challenges to the law, which has also been upheld twice in federal court.

In a statement, Walker called the ruling a victory for Wisconsin’s taxpayers, who he said had saved over $3 billion under the law.

Madison’s teachers union, which brought the suit, released its own lengthy statement calling the decision “morally bankrupt” and blaming the outcome on a “coalition of the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, and the Wisconsin Club for Growth.” The group’s executive director, John Matthews, said that many members of the court should have recused themselves from the case due to the financial support they had received from business groups while running for a seat on the court.

“How those justices could not have seen that their participation in this case was unethical boggles my mind,” said Matthews.

Act 10 has sharply divided Wisconsin politics in the three years since it was first proposed. During the debate over its passage, thousands of protesters, including teachers skipping work, amassed in the state capitol, while Democratic legislators fled Madison in an effort to prevent a quorum needed to pass legislation.

After the law was successfully passed, a recall effort began against Gov. Walker as well as several Republican legislators. While Democrats eventually succeeded in retaking the state Senate after unseating several Republicans, Walker himself survived, and Republicans retook the Senate following the 2012 general election.

Thursday’s decision, along with another ruling by the supreme court upholding a state voter ID law, could bolster Walker’s effort to win reelection and a third endorsement from Badger State voters.

 

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

 

Photo Credit: Gateway Technical College

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Gov. Walker Not Phased by Opponent's Lies

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Posted by Zoe Crain on Thursday, July 10th, 2014, 11:13 AM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform director of state affairs Patrick Gleason wrote an op-ed in Forbes highlighting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s opponent, Mary Burke, who has been misleading her supporters with falsehoods about Gov. Walker’s tax policy.

Gov. Walker signed $650 million worth of income tax cuts into law in 2013, reducing all rates and consolidating the state personal income tax from five income tax brackets to four. Contrary to what Burke claims, low and middle income Wisconsin households actually saw the greatest relief from Walker’s 2013 tax cuts. The top rate was only reduced by one percent, whereas the bottom three tax brackets were reduced by anywhere from three to five percent.

Mike Godfrey of Tax-News.com wrote an article regarding a coalition letter sent to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, discouraging members from short-term tax reform measures.

The coalition, including such associations as Americans for Tax Reform, National Taxpayers Union, R Street Institute and Americans for Prosperity, pointed out that, “while the clock is running out on the legislative calendar for 2014, with the August recess fast approaching and the midterm elections around the corner,… there’s still not much taxpayers are seeing out of Congress on comprehensive tax reform.

Wall Street Daily ran a piece by Floyd Brown discussing “Cost of Government Day,” an initiative developed by Americans for Tax Reform’s Cost of Government Center.

Now, the Cost of Government Day had never fallen past June 27 before our current president’s tenure. But for the sixth consecutive year, it’s fallen in July.

This time, the official date was July 6, as calculated by Americans for Tax Reform.

In 2014, the government’s share of GDP has climbed over 50%. Our backpacker (the economy) can’t regain his momentum, and he’s struggling to make progress. You’ve probably noticed that the economy has been unable to reach pre-2008 growth levels. Instead, we’re having difficulty growing productivity, employment, corporate earnings and personal income.

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Gov. Scott Walker Signs Historic Tax Cuts into Law

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Posted by Will Upton on Monday, March 24th, 2014, 11:05 AM PERMALINK

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker today signed Senate Bill 1, legislation that provides $504 million in tax relief over the next two years to hardworking Wisconsin taxpayers. SB 1 reduces income and property tax rates, and eliminates income tax rates for manufacturers in the Badger state.  Gov. Walker signed the bill at Horsens Homestead Farms in Cecil, Wisconsin.

SB 1 represents the third significant piece of tax relief enacted by the Walker administration, bringing the total amount of tax cuts to $2 billion. Workers, families and homeowners will now have more money in their pockets thanks to the efforts of Gov. Walker and the Republican majorities in the legislature.

"I want to congratulate Governor Walker for designing, promoting, and now signing Senate Bill 1 into law," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

"Scott Walker inherited a state budget that falsely promised to spend more than Wisconsin citizens could afford.  He avoided the 'easy' and traditional path of yet again raising taxes and slashing budgets across the board.  Instead he reduced taxes to create more jobs and opportunities and therefore more tax revenue while reducing  spending by reforming government to perform better at lower costs: specifically Act 10.  Reducing the tax burden and reforming government to cost less is the path forward for Wisconsin and the nation."

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