"The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches; we must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time, and eternally press forward for what is yet to get." –Thomas Jefferson
Wisconsin conservatives were faced with a tough decision last week, should we celebrate or reject the recently passed State Budget? Voices have chimed in on both sides and no clear consensus is in sight.
This is a budget that contains many great successes, a massive tax cut, tax reform, statewide school choice and it resisted the federal Medicaid expansion. But on the other hand, it increased spending, jacked up borrowing and added too many new state employees.
Many see the passage of the State Budget as an ending point, a finish line. I see it quite differently; I see the passage of the budget as the starting line. The biennial budget lays out the groundwork for how the state will be funded for the next two years and our work starts right now to continue to improve it.
It is a great thing that Wisconsin has so many dedicated conservative activists who are educated on the issues and hungry for a fight. This is the same passion that helped secure Act 10, turned the page on a failing liberal agenda and fought through the recalls.
However, our quest for the conservative ideal can’t blind us to the victories we were able to obtain.
The School Choice expansion is the chief example. I share the same concerns as many that the caps on the program will severely limit the plans success in the first couple of years. Too few kids will be able to benefit and many private schools won’t be able to participate.
But we can’t ignore the fact that we now have Statewide School Choice and that won’t ever go away. Like every other choice expansion, this one has caps that will eventually be removed. And it will be the hardworking activists of Wisconsin that will get it done.
Wisconsin is making strides that make us an example for the rest of the country and this is because so many people have realized that activism doesn’t just happen in even-numbered years. Hardworking activists realize that we need to be active all year, every year. And this fight will continue well after the Governor signs the budget.
I’m looking forward to the battle and I hope you are too.