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The Dangers of Ignorance in Fiscal Policy | By State Rep. Rick Gundrum, R-Slinger

July 15, 2022 – Washington County, WI – Wisconsin recently passed its one-year milestone for our 2021-23 biennial state budget. During my time in office, this is the first budget I supported. I believe it is important to understand sound fiscal policy and the painful consequences that can result when fiscal policy is disrupted by stunning ignorance.

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Many of you may recall the pride Governor Evers exuded as he proposed a budget that was teeming with rewards for his special interest friends that won him the 2018 election. These were proposals that would ultimately raise taxes by over $1 billion dollars and would have eroded Wisconsin’s fiscal policies put in place by Republican leadership. The governor sought to repeal significant portions of former Governor Scott Walker’s Act 10 budget reforms.

Governor Evers’ proposed budget was nothing more than a checklist of re-election goals. My Republican colleagues on the Joint Committee on Finance started from scratch and produced a fiscally sound budget. I don’t believe that a smart budget is nothing more than sensational cuts to state programs. The budget must include funding for the important needs of our state.

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Republicans invested over $85 million more into state and local highways than Governor Evers proposed while using far less bonding. This will be appreciated when the next generation of decision-makers and legislators craft their biennial budgets. We also provided over $125 million dollars for broadband expansion, which goes a long way to help improve telehealth services and access for students in Wisconsin’s rural communities.

One of the most important parts of the budget for me was the inclusion of more than $600 million into healthcare, which can be used in a host of sectors including long-term care. As chairman of the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, I continue to be made aware that the status quo is not sustainable. This will be one of my highest priorities, should I be fortunate enough to continue serving the 58th Assembly District in the next session.

We cannot and should not stand for ignorance in fiscal policy. Republicans have proven time and again that we know how to budget efficiently while infusing needed sums of money into important projects. We do not need tax increases, like raising the gas tax and indexing it to inflation, as Governor Evers proposed. It would have been devastating for families and businesses with this Biden-induced inflation of 9.1% in June alone. That’s why we cut taxes by $3.4 billion in the budget, which is the largest tax cut in Wisconsin’s history.

Wisconsin’s economy performs best when you, the taxpayer, are able to keep more of your hard-earned money and give it back to your local economy, whether that’s at your local boutique store, your favorite Friday fish fry, or at one of the many recreational activities in our great state. I will continue to fight tax increases and work to lower the cost of government with my Republican colleagues in the Legislature.

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