Reality Check: Mary Burke Out of Touch with Wisconsin’s Progress

[Madison, Wis.] – Last night, Governor Scott Walker put forth a bold vision for Wisconsin. Building off successful reforms and a near one billion dollar surplus, Walker was able to propose a major tax reduction directed at middle-class families. The tax relief would come in the form of income and property tax cuts, totaling over $800 million. If passed, Wisconsin families would see the total tax reduction under this Governor surpass $2 billion. In addition, Governor Walker is proposing a $35 million increase in worker training programs to match worker skills with employer needs, building off the 100,000 Wisconsinites we’ve already put back on the job.

Millionaire Mary Burke seems to think that giving back the middle class their own hard-earned money is a bad thing, but taxpayers would suggest otherwise. Burke’s record under Jim Doyle also tells a different story – the contrast between her time in the Governor’s office and where we are now couldn’t be clearer.

When Mary Burke was a key member of the Doyle Administration, the first proposed budget she was a part of (2005-2007) included:

  • Major tax hikes on the middle-class
  • Increased fees and taxes on vehicle registration, internet downloads, fees for veteran’s burials, and hunting and fishing licenses
  • No deposit made to the rainy day fund, while Walker has taken steps to continually add to the fund
  • The proposed budget contained 2.3 billion in new spending, and would have left the state with a 1.8 billion deficit, an increase over the 1.6 billion deficit they already had

The Doyle-Burke Administration consistently used gimmicks to fill bloated budget holes, and raided from the state’s transportation, patient compensation, and rainy day funds to pay for it.

“The clear difference between Governor Walker and the Doyle-Burke Administration is that Walker actually balanced the budget without raising taxes or using gimmicks,” said Joe Fadness, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “Mary Burke can try to dodge her record, but as someone who said ‘I support Gov. Doyle’s policies entirely,’[1] it’s clear what direction she would take the state – backward. While Scott Walker is returning the middle-class their hard-earned money year after year, Mary Burke and Jim Doyle made the middle class foot the bill in a reckless Administration. Now, Wisconsin has a government that works for the taxpayers, not against them.”

Read the release online here:


[1] (“Q&A With Mary Burke Commerce Department Secretary,” Wisconsin State Journal, Tom Sheehan, April 1, 2005)

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