With a collective sigh of relief, we can now look back at the time since Governor Walker and I took office, and size up the accomplishments of the last two years.
Although we've seen things unprecedented and unpredictable, our experiences have made us stronger. We have a lot to be proud of. Our successes give us new perspective, though, and through the lens of a state pursuing economic competitiveness, we see we have a lot of room to grow in our future.
Despite the rampant wrong turns from our federal government, Wisconsin is finally on the path to prosperity. We inherited a $3.6 billion budget deficit that has been balanced without raising taxes. After seeing nearly 150,000 jobs lost under the last three years of the previous administration, we are putting people back to work. We have restored confidence for job creators and are giving them the tools needed to succeed.
We are in better shape today than we were before and we are not done yet. We are moving in the right direction and under the leadership of this administration. We will continue to see our state grow toward a thriving economic comeback.
We are getting it right in Wisconsin, and we are making a difference in the lives of each and every resident throughout the state.
Going forward, we must help the private sector create more jobs. The first thing that we should focus on is fiscally sound and environmentally friendly mining legislation. It is of prime importance to bring these high-paying jobs to the state. By passing legislation that will create thousands of long-lasting mining jobs to grow in the state, we will do just that.
During the last two years we also saw property tax relief for the first time in more than a decade. Going forward we will continue to treat your tax dollars with the respect they deserve and maintain the protections we have instituted for the middle class.
Unlike the supposed leaders in Washington, we have made the tough, but prudent, choices that have put us on solid footing for our future. While taxes are being raised on just about everyone at the federal level, we are committed to lowering the income taxes for the middle class. This relief will ensure that the people of Wisconsin have more money in their pockets — money that can be directly inserted into our continued economic recovery.
We have had great success on the state level, and under the continued watchful eye of this administration and our legislative allies, we will remain steadfast in moving Wisconsin forward.