In Minnesota, a combination of divided and liberal governance has resulted in major tax hikes and expanded union rights. In Wisconsin, four years of conservative governance has led to the largest income tax rate cuts for taxpayers in over a decade, the marginalization of public sector unions and their stranglehold on the state budget and the expansion of school choice and voucher programs.
Minnesota is suffering the consequences of liberal, economically-hostile, anti-business policies while Wisconsin is reaping the benefits of the tough choices made and reforms implemented by Governor Walker and Wisconsin’s legislative leadership.
Since 2010, Minnesota has suffered embarrassing credit downgrades by three of the country’s largest credit ratings agencies, has increased taxes by more than $2 billion and has seen its rankings in CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business index drop nine places since 2009.
Wisconsin’s 6.8 percent unemployment rate is down 2.4 points since January 2010. A full 94 percent of Wisconsin job creators believe the state is headed in the right direction as opposed to 10 percent in 2010, according to Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, and the state has climbed four spots in CNBC’s ranking system.
The Minnesota-Wisconsin story is not over, but the key differences highlighted by the Journal-Sentinel between the two similar, neighboring states once again demonstrates that elections have consequences. And the early but clear success of the bold, fiscally conservative reforms implemented by Governor Walker and the Wisconsin legislative leadership once again demonstrates that free markets and personal freedoms continue to benefit society more than calls for bigger government and more regulation. From our perspective, someday the diverging paths taken by Minnesota and Wisconsin after the 2010 election will make a fascinating political science case study proving the importance of electing Republican representatives to office and demonstrating the effectiveness of commonsense, fiscally-conservative Republican policies.