Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Scott Walker’s new budget: tax cuts, spending cuts, school choice, smaller government

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Scott Walker announces some of the items in his new Wisconsin budget.

The Daily Signal reports:

Gov. Scott Walker unveiled his proposal for Wisconsin’s state budget on Tuesday night, and he did not shy away from offering bold ideas.

The second-term Republican governor has proposed a budget for 2015-17 that would cut property taxes again, eliminate the cap on the state’s school choice program, and reform government by merging agencies.

Walker’s budget would also spin off the public University of Wisconsin System as a separate state entity and require those receiving government benefits to take a drug test.

Tax cuts, expanding school choice, smaller government.

Here are the details on the school choice expansion:

The governor also talked about expanding the state’s school choice program.

“I am excited to announce our plans to lift the cap on vouchers so more families … can have the choice to find the best school for their children,” Walker said. “Every child deserves the chance to succeed.”

If passed by the GOP-led legislature, all students living under 185 percent of the federal poverty level and currently attending a public school would have access to a voucher to attend a private school.

This expansion is on top of school choice programs already in place in the cities of Milwaukee and Racine.

Walker’s budget also expands public school choice in the form of independent charter schools. Wisconsin currently authorizes these schools in the city of Milwaukee, but nowhere else in the state. Independent charter schools are public schools, but do not operate under the auspice of the local school board or teachers’ union.

The governor has proposed a statewide board, which would authorize new charter schools statewide. In Milwaukee, the independent charter schools have repeatedly outperformed their traditional public school peers.

Oh no! What will the leftist public schools do when parents can choose not to give them money? WHO CARES!

And welfare reform:

Walker also introduced a plan recently that would build on his previous entitlement reforms.

“Our budget expands the requirement for able-bodied adults to be enrolled in an employment and training program in order to receive food stamps,” Walker announced. “Now, some might claim that we’re making it harder to get government assistance. We’re not. We’re making it easier to get a job.”

He is mean. Mean to lazy people!

The leftist New York Times reports that the streamlining of government will result in 400 public sector positions (some of which are vacant) being eliminated.

The article also reminds us why conservatives love Scott Walker:

Mr. Walker came to national prominence in 2011 largely because of his first statewide budget proposal, which relied on cuts to collective bargaining rights and increased health and pension costs for most public workers to help solve an expected budget gap.

That got rid of the massive $3.6 billion deficit he inherited from his Democrat predecessor.

But there is more. What do you think the deepest, darkest place is in the United States? I think it’s the university.

The NYT article continues:

Mr. Walker’s proposal calls for cutting about $300 million, or 13 percent, in state funds from the University of Wisconsin System, which includes 13 four-year universities and enrolls some 180,000 students. Mr. Walker’s plan would also take the unusual step of removing the university system from direct state control to a “quasi-governmental” authority that could act autonomously on issues of personnel, procurement, capital projects and tuition.

As word spread in recent days that proposed cuts were coming, some in the university system expressed deep concern, likening the focus on the universities to Mr. Walker’s earlier clashes with public-sector labor unions. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Faculty Senate this week condemned the proposal. Students said they intended to organize opposition.

He went after the leftist public sector unions, and now the bloated leftist public universities. He is so mean to them! Oh well. (Fake cry)

Just ask yourself – what if the guy we chose as the Republican candidate for president actually knew what he was doing? Wouldn’t that be interesting? What if our candidate for President could do more than just play golf and read a teleprompter? What if our candidate for President could actually tell the truth instead of saying “let me be clear”, then lying, then saying “period” after the lie?

When the Green Bay Packers play NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, the Green Bay fans understand that he actually knows how to play football – and he is actually good at it, based on past experiences playing football. What if we chose a candidate who could actually do the job? And talk about past experiences doing the job? Wouldn’t that be something? Picking Scott Walker to be president would be like picking William Lane Craig to debate in favor of Christianity.

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Wisconsin governor Scott Walker draws standing ovations at Freedom Summit in Iowa

This story is from The Hill.

Excerpt:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) delivered a fiery speech in Iowa on Saturday, wowing the conservative crowd with a passionate argument for small government and his own lengthy resume.

The Wisconsin governor, in rolled-up shirtsleeves, paced the stage as he blasted big government and touted a long list of conservative reforms he’s pushed through in blue Wisconsin.

The governor also showed a rhetorical flourish that’s largely been absent from his previous campaigns, drawing the crowd to its feet multiple times.

“There’s a reason we take a day off to celebrate the 4th of July and not the 15th of April,” he said, almost yelling as his voice grew hoarse. “Because in America we value our independence from the government, not our dependence on it.”

Walker’s speech had something for every element of the activist crowd. The governor touted his three victories over Democrats and recall win as well as his state-level education reforms. Each new policy he helped pass drew cheers: Voter ID laws, education reforms, tax cuts and defunding Planned Parenthood.

The biggest question for Walker as he ramps up for a race is whether he has the fire in the belly and political skills to stand onstage against the other candidates. And in his first major Iowa address, he may have done a lot to dispel notions that he lacks charisma.

When he said he won reelection as Milwaukee County Executive in an area where President Obama won by a two-to-one margin, some in the audience gasped.

“If you get the job done the voters will actually stand up with you,” he said before contrasting his record with Washington’s deadlock.

The preacher’s son also showed a personal side — and spoke in religious terms to thank Iowans who prayed for him as he faced death threats during his fight against the public sector unions, including one that promised to gut his wife “like a deer.”

Walker made sure to establish his Iowa roots — saying he’d lived there until third grade until his father got a job as a minister in Wisconsin — before promising to return “many more times in the future.”

More from a different article from The Hill:

Scott Walker’s stock is soaring after a triumphant return to Iowa.

The Wisconsin Republican governor delivered a pitch-perfect speech to a room packed with influential Hawkeye State conservatives on Saturday, walking them through his robust resume and ideology with a passion that surprised many.

Activists say Walker came out on top after 10 hours of candidate speeches.

“It was a clear Walker victory. He had expectations coming in here, he was on everyone’s shortlist and he had to meet those expectations and I thought he far exceeded them,” said former Iowa Republican Party political director Craig Robinson. “I thought his speech was just perfect, and I thought his delivery was perfect. The delivery really surprised me.”

Walker held his own against Ted Cruz, the event’s other star. While the Texas senator always turns in commanding performances with conservative crowds, the governor next door helped himself the most by making a strong first impression with many Iowa activists who simply knew him from his showdown with the unions.

He offered something for almost every type of conservative, rolling through his record of both social and fiscal accomplishments, drawing big applause by knocking “radical Islamic terrorists” and touting legislation he backed to relax gun control laws and cut taxes.

He spoke about his faith in a natural way, and in one sentence managed to mention that he was both the son of a pastor and had Iowa roots (Walker spent his early years in the state before his dad moved to a church in Wisconsin).

Most importantly, he did it all with a folksy yet fiery delivery that had observers gushing and brought the crowd to their feet.

The biggest question surrounding Walker heading into the weekend is whether his charisma could stack up against the other White House contenders. It was a worry Walker shared — one Republican who talked to him backstage said the governor expressed concern that people would view him as “bland.” But as the strode onstage with his shirt sleeves rolled up and paced about the floor, those worries vanished.

“Walker found a way to talk about himself, talk about the country and talk about Iowa in perfect proportionality, and he did so with a style that was very easy and engaging,” said Republican pollster Frank Luntz. “He connected to these people — you could see it.”

[…]But Walker made a big splash in his first Iowa appearance of 2015, stealing the spotlight from his likely foes.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever heard him live and he was tremendous. It was a great speech,” said Sam Clovis, a conservative kingmaker and the GOP’s 2014 nominee for state treasurer. “That was something special.”

Since we are ramping up to the 2016 election, I took some time to list out my 6 favorite candidates for the GOP nomination.

Here they are:

  1. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker
  2. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal
  3. Texas governor Rick Perry
  4. New Mexico governor Susana Martinez
  5. Indiana governor Mike Pence
  6. Texas senator Ted Cruz

Five out of six candidates are governors, because I really think we need to prefer people who have executive branch experience – experience at building consensus with Democrats in order to get sensible bills passed that will help middle class Americans. I would like to see Ben Carson run, but I think he would make a better HHS secretary than President. Ohio governor John Kasich is a good choice, but he doesn’t have the same accomplishments that the governors in my list have. Walker is my first choice because he took on the public sector unions and won.

There are also some people I don’t think should be President. I like Marco Rubio, but his support for amnesty disqualifies him as a candidate. Jeb Bush is disqualified because he is too supportive of amnesty and Common Core. Mitt Romney’s record is too supportive of abortion and gay rights. Romney also supports global warming alarmism. I think Romney is a better Democrat than he is a Republican. Rand Paul is only good on fiscal issues. On social issues Paul is a moderate. And foreign policy, Paul is a Democrat. Chris Christie is really a conservative Democrat.

If you want to learn more about Scott Walker, I recommend Walker’s new book. I actually got the audio version, and it’s read by governor Walker himself.

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Wisconsin Health Board declares that wind power is a public health risk

From the Green Bay Gazette.

Excerpt:

Brown County health officials have declared wind turbines a public health risk, but they haven’t determined how to put their declaration into action.

The county’s Health Board this month declared the Shirley Wind Farm operated by Duke Energy Renewables poses a health risk to its neighbors in the town of Glenmore. Three families have moved out of their homes rather than endure physical illness they blame on the low-frequency noise the wind turbines generate, according to Audrey Murphy, president of the board that oversees the Brown County Health Department.

[…]Whatever happens, residents “are grateful to the Board of Health for reviewing the research and listening to the people of Brown County,” said Susan Ashley, who also lives in the Shirley area and who has helped rally opposition to the wind farm through the years.

Twenty families in the town have documented health issues since the wind farm started operated in 2010, Ashley said.

Duke Energy Renewables was not invited to the health board’s discussion and would have cited tests that determined sound levels from the wind generators were low and could not be linked to adverse health impacts, company spokeswoman Tammie McGee said. The company has not received any formal word about the board’s declaration, McGee said.

Dr. Jay Tibbetts, vice president of the Brown County health board and its medical adviser, said he knows of no science that proves there isn’t a link between health problems and the low-frequency noise the giant fans produce.

“There’s been nothing that’s debunked anything,” he said. “As far as what’s happening to these people, it doesn’t make a difference whether you’re in Shirley or Denmark, or Ontario, Canada. Forty people have moved out of their homes, and it’s not just for jollies. In Shirley, three people have moved out of their homes. I know all three. They’re not nuts. They’re severely suffering.”

People might not be able to hear the sounds the Shirley turbines produce, but Tibbetts said he knows of a teenager living in the area who can tell when the turbines are off or on without being able to see them. Area residents or former residents report headaches, nausea and other symptoms they say are brought on by the turbines, and those symptoms clear up when the residents move elsewhere for a time, Tibbetts said.

Previously, I blogged about how wind power is a threat to birds – even rare, protected birds.

Excerpt:

Wind energy facilities have killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles in the last five years, but the figure could be much higher, according to a new scientific study by government biologists.

The research represents one of the first tallies of eagle deaths attributed to the nation’s growing wind energy industry, which has been a pillar of President Obama’s plans to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming. Wind power releases no air pollution.

But at a minimum, the scientists wrote, wind farms in 10 states have killed at least 85 eagles since 1997, with most deaths occurring between 2008 and 2012, as the industry was greatly expanding. Most deaths — 79 — were golden eagles that struck wind turbines. One of the eagles counted in the study was electrocuted by a power line.

The vice president of the American Bird Conservancy, Mike Parr, said the tally was “an alarming and concerning finding.”

And this is not only something that Democrats know about – they are actually protecting these bird killers.

Look at this article from ultra-liberal PBS:

The Obama administration said Friday it will allow some companies to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty, an effort to spur development and investment in green energy while balancing its environmental consequences.

The change, requested by the wind energy industry, will provide legal protection for the lifespan of wind farms and other projects for which companies obtain a permit and make efforts to avoid killing the birds. An investigation by The Associated Press earlier this year documented the illegal killing of eagles around wind farms, the Obama administration’s reluctance to prosecute such cases and its willingness to help keep the scope of the eagle deaths secret. The White House has championed wind power, a pollution-free energy intended to ease global warming, as a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s energy plan.

In other areas, too, such as the government’s support for corn-based ethanol to reduce U.S. dependence on gasoline, the White House has allowed the green industry to do not-so-green things. Another AP investigation recently showed that ethanol has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.

Under the change announced Friday, companies would have to commit to take additional measures if they kill or injure more eagles than they have estimated they would, or if new information suggests that eagle populations are being affected. The permits would be reviewed every five years, and companies would have to submit reports of how many eagles they kill. Now such reporting is voluntarily, and the Interior Department refuses to release the information.

Just because something is called green, it doesn’t make it good for nature.

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Republican Scott Walker beats Mary Burke to win Wisconsin Governor race

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

The man Dennis Prager calls “the nemesis of the left” wins again.

Read it:

With less than one-third of precincts reporting, ABC News and Fox News project that incumbent Republican governor Scott Walker has defeated Democratic challenger Mary Burke. While most of the polls showed a tight race (except for the Marquette poll that showed Walker winning by 7 points), Walker will likely win by a commanding margin.

With a lot of votes left to be counted Walker leads Burke 58 percent to 41 percent. Walker’s lead will shrink considerably as the votes are tallied, but he may be on track to win by a greater margin than he did during the 2010 Republican wave.

Walker, who survived a 2012 recall election, which was spurred by backlash to his budget reforms, has now won election in Wisconsin (a state Obama carried twice) three times in four years. He now stands poised to be a serious contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

At my time of writing, it’s 55-44 with 55.4% counted.

Read a little more about him:

Scott Kevin Walker (born November 2, 1967 in Colorado Springs, Colorado) is the current conservative Governor of Wisconsin and a member of the Republican Party. Previously he was Executive of Milwaukee County and a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, and while in college he ran a student pro-life organization. He faced a recall election on June 5, 2012 and won it by a landslide. By late May liberals were already beginning to blame each other for Walker’s lead in the polls: “Top union officials are lashing out at Washington Democrats, claiming they haven’t done enough to help them unseat Gov. Scott Walker (R) in Wisconsin’s recall election.”

Scott Walker became a leader of conservatives nationwide when he supported and then signed into law a repeal of the collective bargaining rights of most government workers. Walker took this historic step to prevent the State from continuing on a path of financial ruin.

Perhaps due to bad political advice, Walker first focused on union issues first and accomplished virtually nothing meaningful on the abortion issue in 2011, despite having overwhelming majorities on his side in the legislature. But in 2012 Walker began signing into law pro-life legislation, which earned him the support of many in the working class, and he then swept to a massive victory in the recall election.

He’s my pick for the Republican nominee in 2016, and he is the most vetted Republican we have. They have tried EVERYTHING to beat this man in Wisconsin. Nothing sticks. All he does is win.

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Wisconsin Democrat Mary Burke would veto bill to ban “pain capable” abortions

There is a big race right now to choose the governor of Wisconsin. The Republican candidate is Scott Walker. He is the current governor. The Democrat is a woman named Mary Burke. They are pretty much tied in the polls, but their positions on abortion are quite different.

First, let’s remember that Scott Walker is pro-life – and not just in word, but in deed.

Here’s a story from Fox News.

Excerpt:

Gov. Scott Walker quietly signed a contentious Republican bill Friday that would require women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound and ban doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing the procedures.

Opponents contend legislators shouldn’t force women to undergo any medical procedure and the bill will force at least two abortion clinics where providers lack admitting privileges to shut their doors.

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the bill in mid-June.

[…]Under the bill, any woman seeking an abortion would have to get an ultrasound. The technician would have to point out the fetus’ visible organs and external features to the woman. Abortion providers would have to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles to perform the procedures.

Republican supporters argue the ultrasound requirement is designed to help the woman bond with the fetus and convince her to save it. The admitting privileges mandate is meant to ensure an abortion provider can follow up with a patient at the hospital if an emergency arises, they say.

The bill is part of national GOP push to curtail abortions. North Dakota’s governor, Republican Jack Dalrymple, signed a law this spring that outlaws abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, making North Dakota the most restrictive state in the nation to get an abortion. The state’s lone abortion clinic has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block the law.

Republicans in Arkansas this spring passed a law that bans most abortions after 12 weeks. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Center for Reproductive Rights. A federal judge has temporarily blocked that law. A trial has been tentatively scheduled for next year.

Republicans in Alabama passed a law similar to the Wisconsin bill in April requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit contending the law would shut down three of the state’s five clinics because doctors at the clinics haven’t been able to get admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. A federal judge temporarily blocked the law in June.

The Wisconsin bill sparked a fierce debate in both the state Senate and Assembly as minority Democrats tried to push back. Republican leaders in the Senate abruptly halted a floor debate in that house. Senate President Mike Ellis, R-Neenah, flew into a rage as Democrats protested, pounding his gavel so hard he broke the base. Assembly Democrats, for their part, did a slow burn, complaining about the bill for hours. Republicans still rolled the bill through both houses.

The law eventually passed, and it reduced the number of abortions in Wisconsin, as you would expect.

Now let’s see what Mary Burke thinks about saving unborn children.

Life News reports.

Excerpt:

Wisconsin has made huge strides in the protection of unborn babies and mothers in our state. In just 2013 alone, our new lifesaving laws gave mothers more information about their unborn children and helped save 465 babies, who now sleep peacefully in their beds. But we still have far more work to do.

That’s why so many Wisconsinites are concerned by Mary Burke’s recent statement in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interview about her position on legislation that would protect unborn babies who are capable of feeling pain.

When asked what she would do with legislation that would “ban abortions after 20 weeks” (when unborn babies can feel pain), Burke responded, without a moment of hesitation,

“Yeah, I would veto it.”

Wow,  even if the unborn child can feel pain, she would veto the bill to stop their suffering. You can’t get much more innocent than an unborn child.

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