Inflation… it's only temporary, right? That's what the Biden Administration told us in July 2021. According to experts, inflation would be “transitory” or short-lived. However, the latest record-breaking rate of 9.1% inflation tells a very different story.
If you drive, and shop for goods, services, or groceries, you have felt inflation's sting on businesses and families. In other words, if you are alive, you are feeling it.
It is getting harder and harder for many families, single adults, and senior citizens to buy enough food and gasoline. It is harder to pay the rent and utilities. It is harder to afford healthcare and prescriptions.
Interest rates are rising, from mortgages and car loans to credit cards. Inevitably, Americans will be in deeper debt because of the runaway inflation.
With the rising cost of so many goods and services, you probably have not thought about the increasing cost of state government. Did you know that the budget for state government has increased by 15% or $11.5 BILLION since Governor Scott Walker left office? That is the equivalent of $2,000 more in costs for every man, woman, and child living in Wisconsin.
The State of Illinois—with nearly 13 million residents—recently approved its annual budget for $46 billion. What's Wisconsin's annualized state budget? Is it almost $44 billion to serve fewer than 6 million residents?
Wisconsin has more state government than we need or can afford. For instance, five state agencies offer economic development programs and services…FIVE. We don't need five agencies providing similar services; one accountable economic development agency would be sufficient.
Wisconsin has at least three state agencies involved in job training and other workforce development programs and services. Again, we do not need three; one will do.
The same is true with housing. Wisconsin has at least three state agencies dealing with housing. One state agency would be sufficient.
All the overlap causes confusion and, more importantly, is costing Wisconsin taxpayers who are paying for more state staff, facilities, and pension liability than is necessary. It is time to rein in state government's cost, size, taxes, and regulations, so we can give taxpayers some of their money back and let them keep more of their paycheck in the future.
Let's start by reducing the amount of redundancy and overlapping programs and services. We should consolidate agencies, which will allow us to reduce the number of state staff. Reducing the number of staff employees will also allow us to reduce the number of state-owned office buildings, which are tax-exempt and costs taxpayers to maintain.
Would you believe, in several cases, it is more expensive to house staff at a state-owned building than to rent privately owned space? We should sell off unnecessary properties to the private sector, put them back on the tax rolls, and retire debt.
The next Governor and I cannot reduce the prices of other items, but we sure can rein in state government, so it costs less and is more accountable. State government needs to be reformed, and I have the experience to help our next Governor make smart cuts and streamline agencies so that you can keep more of your money.
Will Martin is a candidate seeking the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor. In addition to being a small business owner for 20 years and advising government and private-sector agencies in Great Britain, The Netherlands, and Israel, Martin has served in multiple senior leadership roles for Governors Thompson and Walker.
Learn more at: will4ltgovernor.com
*Paid for by: Will Martin for Lt. Governor*