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Wisconsin is back on track

Gov. Scott Walker

Remember four years ago in Wisconsin? It had gotten pretty bad.

More than 130,000 jobs were lost during Gov. Jim Doyle’s last term. The budget deficit was more than $3 billion. Taxes were going up.

Wisconsin’s future was looking pretty dark.

Thankfully, things are different now. Wisconsin is turning around.

The deficit is gone, and we turned it into a nearly $1 billion surplus.

Taxes are lower, too. We’ve reduced the burden on you — the hard working taxpayers of Wisconsin — by some $2 billion since we took office. That’s a big deal, and it’s why Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and I kicked off our campaign April 15.

As I travel our state, I don’t hear many people say to me, “Scott, we don’t send enough money to Madison.” I don’t hear people say their taxes are too low or even that they are just right. What I hear people saying is that if you want to keep the recovery going — put more money back in the hands of the people who earned it: The hard working taxpayers of Wisconsin. As consumers and employers, you will put that money to work to continue building a healthy economy.

With that in mind, property taxes for a typical homeowner will be more than a $100 lower this December than they were last year and lower than they were in December 2010. That’s great news for working families, senior citizens, farmers and small business owners.

Best of all, more people are going back to work. More than 100,000 new jobs have been created since we took office. In fact, Wisconsin had the largest private sector job growth last year since the 1990s, but we’re definitely not done yet — and that’s one of the biggest reasons we’re running again.

Wisconsin is moving forward. Our four-year tuition freeze will help more students and working families afford a great education at one of our UW campuses. As the parents of two sons in college, Tonette and I can definitely relate.

Families are planning vacations as tourism spending is up. And more are going to bed at night knowing that they have access to health care. For the first time in the history of the state, everyone living in poverty will have access to health care under Medicaid.

On top of all of that, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is now below 6 percent. That hasn’t happened in more than five years. Wisconsin’s rate is below the national average and more than three points lower than it was at the start of 2010.

We’re investing in worker training. In the past year alone, we added more than $100 million for the education needed to fill positions in high demand — so that everyone who wants a job can find a job.

Our vision is simple: less dependence on government, more dependence on hard work and pride. That’s progress.

Sure, over the past several years, we had to make some tough choices, but they are paying off as things are getting better in Wisconsin.

I see it each week as I travel this great state. When I visit factories and farms and small businesses, hospitals and clinics and schools, I meet some incredible people who are doing some amazing jobs. And I see that things are improving in our state.

Four years ago, I got into the race for governor because Tonette and I were worried that our sons might grow up in a state that wasn’t at least as great as the one we grew up in. Four years later, the success of our reform is giving us real hope for the future.

Now, I’m asking for your vote again so that every son and daughter, and every grandson and granddaughter, can grow up in a state that’s even better than the Wisconsin we grew up in. With your help, we can do it, because working together, we are turning things around. We are moving Wisconsin forward.

Today, I’m proud to say Wisconsin is back on.