Rebecca Kleefisch: Ron knows what it takes to create jobs, shrink government

La Crosse Tribune
By: Rebecca Kleefisch
April 18, 2016

I think it’s safe to say that for the vast majority of Wisconsinites, April 18th (Tax Day) is not the most wonderful day of the year. That’s because it is the time when many of us finalize how much of our hard-earned money we have to hand over to the government in income taxes. This is money that we have worked hard for, money that could be used on our families’ needs and futures. But as we all know, we do not get to keep every dollar we earn. Taxes are a reality, but one we can reduce through common-sense reform: making government smarter and less burdensome.

Since 2010, the Walker-Kleefisch administration has worked alongside our Republican legislators to lower Wisconsin’s tax burden. We’ve lowered the income tax, eliminated an entire tax bracket, and championed real reform to create property tax relief for homeowners across the state. With more than $2 billion in total tax relief, Wisconsin families are actually paying less today than when Gov. Walker and I were first elected in 2010.

It’s important to note that we did all of this without cutting essential services, but instead found effective ways to reduce wasteful government spending. While it meant making some tough choices, we were able to ease the tax burden on Wisconsin’s hardworking families while ensuring that our state’s fiscal future is secure for generations to come.

Unfortunately, this has not been the story in Washington D.C., where for the last eight years, we’ve seen the same approach: more government, higher taxes to pay for it, and very little to show for it. Unlike here in Wisconsin, in Washington, we see politicians asking us for more money to support endless overhead for services that may or may not actually be helping people. The result is irritated taxpayers, more debt and a weaker national economy.

That’s why I give leaders like Ron Johnson a lot of credit. He’s a citizen legislator who gets it. Unlike many of his colleagues across the aisle, he’s been trying to break this mindset that politicians can just go back to working families in Wisconsin and ask them to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for more government in Washington.

Sen. Johnson is from a real small business that employs our real Wisconsin neighbors. He knows what it really takes to create jobs, and that Wisconsin is better off when Washington, D.C., leaves us alone.

Former Sen. Russ Feingold on the other hand, epitomizes the failed tax-and-spend Washington mentality. As a career politician, Feingold has an 18-year record of raising taxes. On at least 270 different occasions, Sen. Feingold either opposed cutting taxes or supported raising them. Time and time again, he voted for high taxes on estates, on income, on investment, and on our small businesses — the driver of Wisconsin’s economy. It seems the man has never met a tax he didn’t like.

Feingold will be the first to tell you that reducing the national debt was at the top of his agenda. However, under Sen. Feingold’s watch, the national debt skyrocketed $10 trillion while our national economy continued to head in the wrong direction. Wisconsin cannot continue to support such a reckless approach to government spending; it didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.

So this November, let’s make the right choice. Let’s stand up for Wisconsin principles by re-electing our Republican legislators in Madison and sending Ron Johnson back to the U.S Senate.