Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Neumann promoted his platform on the financial situation facing the state at a luncheon hosted by WisPolitics Tuesday.

Neumann dined with the WisPolitics staff and members of the public at the Madison Club and outlined his position on important issues such as the economy, taxation and education while answering questions from the audience.

Neumann spoke extensively about the current economic situation in Wisconsin and his strong stance against tax increases and government bailouts.

He said he believes reduced government spending and tax breaks are the best method to balance the state budget and aid the ailing economy.

“We need real reduction in taxation in the state of Wisconsin and the way you get real reduction … is you control spending,” Neumann said.

He cited his extensive experience as a private businessman, former congressman and member of the House Appropriations Committee as examples of what set him apart from the other contenders for the Republican candidacy.

While he was in Congress, Neumann said the government was able to reduce the deficit by lowering government expenditures and reducing taxation.

“Those two strategies really go hand in hand,” he said.

Neumann said he believes the federal government cannot fix all of the problems of the economy by themselves and states must take responsibility for their own budgets.

He also said the federal stimulus package passed by President Barack Obama was not a good strategy to help the economy, as the government was spending trillions of dollars it does not currently have.

Another major issue brought up by Neumann was the state of education in Wisconsin, in particular that of the Milwaukee public school system. Neumann said he believes the goal of Wisconsin should be to have the best-educated students in the world.

“I’m a very strong proponent of public education in the state of Wisconsin. I think we have some great public schools in our state,” he said.

He proposed charter and public schools as being a viable option to failing public schools throughout the state and also advocates increasing the charter school system. Charter schools are schools that receive public funding but are held accountable for the performance of students.

Appleton businessman Mark Todd and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker are the other two declared Republican candidates for governor. Walker announced his candidacy in April and has been campaigning and garnering more support ever since.

“Scott Walker’s message of limited government, personal freedom and economic growth continues to build momentum across Wisconsin,” Walker spokesperson Jill Bader said.

Through his campaigning efforts, Walker is expected to attend events similar to Neumann’s.