Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker told The Daily Caller in a weekend interview that President Barack Obama “measures success by how many people are ultimately dependent on the government.”
“What I’ve seen thus far suggests he [Obama] does not care about truly balancing the budget,” Walker told TheDC during the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. “What I think we’ve seen increasingly is more of a political agenda, and one in which he measures success by how many people are ultimately dependent on the government.”
“I think we measure success by just the opposite: by how many fewer people are dependent on the government, not because we kicked them out on the streets, but we’ve empowered them to control their own destiny through the dignity of work that comes from a job in the private sector,” he explained.
Walker told TheDC he attempted to tell the president during the National Governor’s Association winter meeting to prioritize sensible budget cuts if he wasn’t pleased with the “arbitrary nature” of sequestration.
“Why not do what most governors have done over the past two years, and sit down with your Cabinet and put together a more responsible list of alternative cuts?” Walker recalled asking.
“Well, he doesn’t want to do that, because in the end, what he really wants to do is harp on this so-called ‘measured approach,’ or ‘balanced approach,’” Walker said, “which really means higher taxes, unspecified, uncertain cuts somewhere in the future, and more of the same.”
Few details about the president’s “balanced approach” budget have been released, but early last week, Walker’s fellow Wisconsinite Rep. Paul Ryan released a Republican budget proposal that aims for a balanced budget in 10 years.
But even with that goal, the fact that the Ryan budget still grows federal spending by about 3.4 percent year-over-year leaves Walker wanting more.
“Is there more [that can be done]? Certainly,” Walker told TheDC. “Am I pleased with it? Without a doubt.”
Walker praised the Ryan budget as a first step toward slowing the growth of federal spending and reforming the tax code to “promote growth.”
Throughout the interview, Walker loyally emphasized his experiences in Wisconsin, stressing that his state is among those bringing “good news” to the nation.
“Real reform more often than not happens in the states,” Walker insisted. “It’s what we did in the last two years in Wisconsin with collective bargaining reform, budgetary reform and even some education reform.”
Walker said he believes Republicans at the national level should look to Wisconsin’s example.
“How did I get elected last year with more votes in a higher percentage than I did two years prior? How did the Republicans in my state legislature gain seats in the assembly and regain the state Senate? Well, we had a clear, optimistic, relevant message and we had the courage to back it up.”
Video by Grae Stafford