The day after the nation’s debt surpassed $16 trillion, Wisconsin officials announced their state took in more tax revenue than expected — without raising taxes.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, tax collections increased 4.7 percent in fiscal year 2012 to $13.5 billion, beating the Department’s May 2012 estimate by $126.6 million and The Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s February estimate by $320 million.
The MacIver Institute notes that when Gov. Scott Walker came into office in January of 2011, Wisconsin faced a $3.6 billion deficit.
After Walker’s reforms, especially those concerning public sector unions, and spending cuts, Wisconsin started going down the path toward fiscal solvency.
Liberals and unions unsuccessfully tried multiple times to recall Walker, and the same groups that demonized Walker have similarly railed against Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s budget plan.
But Walker prevailed largely in part because the reforms he instituted were starting to work, and Wisconsin voters rewarded him for his bold stances.
Liberal states like Illinois have raised taxes and failed to close budget shortfalls while President Barack Obama has insisted on raising taxes to reduce the country’s debt, but the Wisconsin model shows that the best way to get more tax revenue is to have a thriving economy. And the best way to have a thriving economy is to keep taxes low, institute fiscal reforms, and keep government spending in check.