"I intend to provide effective and diligent 'customer service'
to the constituents of the 60th District in all
areas of the State Government...I will work for you!"
Act 10 Budget Repair Bill
As a result of the prior administration, Wisconsin had a $137 million predicted shortfall in June of 2011 and a $3.6 billion shortfall in the two year budget. Increasing taxes, especially in our current recessionary economy, would have been devastating. Increasing taxes was NOT an option! A huge portion of our state’s budget pays for wages and benefits. Asking the recipients of these funds to pay 12.4% of their health care premium and contribute 5.8% of their salaries to their pensions are figures that are unheard of in the private sector, and more generous than even those of most federal employees.
Act 10 continues to allow state employees to collectively bargain for wages, a privilege most federal employees do not have. Eliminating collective bargaining for benefits will again put us in line with most federal employees. Benefits have been way out of line with the private sector. Wisconsin taxpayers can no longer afford these levels. The elimination of collective bargaining on benefits is an issue of fairness for all, not just public sector employees. To quote Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be translated into the public service.”
Local governing bodies are now provided the tools to control costs. How they use these tools will be up to each local governing body and their voters.
Jobs and the Economy
Quality of life is related to jobs and the economy. All government action must be viewed through this prism. Government does not create jobs or wealth–this is the function of the private sector. Lower taxes allow businesses to re-invest and grow. This multiplier effect on the economy is powerful, creating more jobs and more investment. We are in a world economy. We have seen how an anti-business attitude has damaged our economy. Wisconsin must be pro-business. Look at what Reagan did in the early 80s–reducing taxes created never-before-seen economic and job growth. As a result, tax receipts to the federal government actually increased.
"Starting and running a successful business
in the district for the last 24 years
has provided me a firm foundation to apply
common sense thinking and problem solving
to the politics of Madison."
Government spending with the prior administration was of control. Like its citizens, government must learn to live within its means. A balanced budget is essential, and accounting gimmicks are unacceptable. Taxes in all forms are consuming more and more of our resources. Government cannot, nor should it, be all things to all people. Excessive government size and spending suffocates the private sector and depresses our economy. We must continue to strive to reduce spending, reduce taxes and reduce the size of government. Not taking steps now will limit the opportunity of future generations by burdening them with excessive debt.
"Government spending has been out of control.
Like its citizens, government
must learn to live within its means."
Education is one of the foundations for success in our state. All children have the right to a quality education. Teachers have a profound impact on the education of our youth. Therefore we must seek and retain only the best for these important jobs. Effective teachers must be rewarded and less effective teachers must improve or be replaced. History has shown that the typical union structure is not conducive to providing the best educational opportunities for our children. Results-oriented creativity and flexibility must be fostered. Competition always improves the product, and school choice, charter schools and virtual schools should be allowed to flourish. Local control of education is paramount.
"High quality education is paramount to the success of our state.
I believe innovation and flexibility in education will be
fostered by the Budget Repair Bill, making more efficient
uses of finite taxpayer resources to continue and improve
Wisconsin's tradition of high quality education."
I am a firm believer that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental freedom. Individuals must retain this right to be considered a free society. I also support the right of law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm and would support legislation to accomplish this. As a lifetime sportsman, conservationist and hunter, I value the importance of these traditions as part of our Wisconsin heritage.
I am pro-life. I believe in protecting life from conception to natural death.
A strong technical college system is vital to the economic success of our state. The need for reform is evident at MATC. Look at actions by the MATC Board in pushing a new 3 year union contact that started July, 2011. The contract preserves full pension benefits at no cost to the employees and a generous health insurance plan with minimal employee contribution. Benefits like these are unheard of in the private sector. Allowing implementation of the Budget Repair Bill would have begun to curb these and other unsustainable wage and benefits that make up the majority of the MATC budget.
MATC’s governance is an appointed Board with no direct accountability to the taxpayer. Making the Board more accountable to the taxpayer would further insure the focus on education, not employee compensation.