Sen. Bob Jauch respondsState Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, says Wisconsin faces a difficult challenge as the nation faces a potential recession.
Wisconsin can be proud that over the last year we’ve strengthened education, improved our infrastructure, expanded access to health care and made targeted investments in our state’s economy.
However, Wisconsin, like every other state in the nation, is also facing the realties of the national downturn in the economy that is eroding our tax revenue. Naturally, the citizens are anxious about their own economic security, and expect public officials to provide leadership to stabilize the state’s finances.
The best thing we can do at the state level is to put our fiscal house in order. This will require tough decisions. It will require shared sacrifice. It will require bipartisanship. It will require a statesman like approach to manage this problem before it becomes a full blown economic crisis.
Shared sacrifice means that everything is on the table, including the evaluation of both spending and tax cuts. It will take honesty rather than political rhetoric to work together to manage this problem.
We must reexamine all of our decisions that were part of a balanced budget, and need to defer both tax cuts and spending until our fiscal condition is strengthened.
This legislature, as well as those preceding, has adopted a credit card mentality with both spending and tax cuts. That practice has contributed to a structural deficit and a tenuous fiscal position.
As a state that has been digging out from the economic perils of the last recession, we must adjust our spending and tax decisions so that we don’t recreate the economic nightmare of seven years ago.
As we examine our budgetary challenges on both sides of the spending ledger, we must recognize and retain certain targeted tax cuts and investments are necessary to strengthen our economy and balance our books.