. . . but you may be sure they won't. Wisconsin's doing great after cutting spending.
Wisconsin's budget picture brightened Thursday, with new estimates that show a surplus will grow to $484 million, giving Republicans and Gov. Scott Walker even more room to pursue their tax cutting agenda.
The estimate from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau was nearly $137 million better than one Walker's administration released in November.
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In 2011, Walker took office facing a roughly $3 billion budget shortfall and attacked the problem with deep cuts to education, local governments and other programs. He also forced public workers to pay more for health insurance and pension benefits, and effectively ended workers' collective bargaining rights, leading to an unsuccessful attempt to recall him last year.
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Walker said Tuesday that he thought state income taxes could be cut by about $340 million, and that it would amount to a roughly $200 savings per household over the next two fiscal years. Details were still being worked out, he said.
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Walker and Republican leaders have rejected outright the proposed gas tax and registration fee increases. Walker instead has said he would favor tapping the state's general fund, which would be easier to do given Thursday's sunnier revenue projections.
Walker has also pledged to create a venture capital fund to spur job growth and help startup companies, and to put more money into education that is tied to how well school districts perform. The $484 million projected surplus is on top of another $125 million the state has set aside in its rainy day fund, which could also be tapped for one-time spending.
There's more at the link.
I'm not interested in the fact that Wisconsin's currently governed by Republicans. I'm interested in the fact that fiscal discipline, restraint in spending and a taxpayer-first rather than a government-first approach can produce this sort of result, and in fairly short order at that. Any administration, Republican or Democrat, could produce similar results by following similar policies. Chris Christie is leading such an effort in New Jersey, and Bobby Jindal in Louisiana. Why can't more states follow these examples - and why can't our federal government do likewise?