The Wisconsin Values Budget: Better Choices Based on a Balanced Approach

Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 5:21 PM by

WCCF, in collaboration with Citizen Action of WI, the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, and the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, has unveiled the Wisconsin Values Budget, an alternative to the Walker budget proposal based on a balanced approach to the state’s fiscal challenges. The Values Budget rejects the notion that the state has “no choice” but to make draconian cuts, and demonstrates instead that there are better options that preserve Wisconsin’s remarkable record of progress and innovation in such key areas as education, health care, mass transit, and support for low-income workers striving to join the middle class. The Wisconsin Values Budget maintains the state’s investment in the future without sacrificing our gains of the past. Over 20 other groups have endorsed the Values Budget, with more signing on every day.

Instead of relying on spending cuts alone, the Wisconsin Values Budget addresses the deficit through a combination of spending cuts; targeted revenue increases that require corporations and the wealthy to contribute their fair share; improved revenue collection efforts; and public employee concessions.
The Capital Times’ coverage of the release focused on the comments of Linda Ketcham, executive director of Madison Area Urban Ministry, who noted that there is a moral component to fiscal policy. She said, “A budget that is balanced on the back of workers and the poor is not just, it is not moral, and it is certainly no solution.”

Also speaking at the press conference was Madison business owner Brad Werntz, founder of Boulders Climbing Gym. Brad noted that while Gov. Walker continues to pitch his budget as being designed to benefit businesses so that they can create jobs, it fails to support the sorts of entrepreneurial activity that drives small business success. According to Brad, what small business owners need above all is a well-educated workforce, middle class buying power, and the kind of strong infrastructure and excellent schools that attract top talent to the state and boost property values.

“I’m not convinced that Walker has enough understanding of business – particularly about the small businesses that employ the bulk of us here in Wisconsin – to have established the right priorities,” Brad said. “I support the Wisconsin Values Budget. It’s good for Wisconsin, and good for business.”

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