Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Walker tells a fairy tale on his jobs record, hoping we’re stupid enough to believe him

Governor's dishonesty based on the assumption that our collective memories are erased

I’ve said it before, but it continues to be a problem, so I’ll say it again and again until it sticks:

People need to wake up to the fact that Gov. Scott Walker thinks we’re all suckers.

Speaking on whether or not he will run for re-election, Walker talked briefly about criticisms he had regarding his potential challenger, Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke.
“There are some questions even about Trek and whether or not jobs were sent overseas,” Walker said. “And then as secretary of Commerce under Jim Doyle … those policies when she was part of the administration saw the state losing 133,000 jobs.”
Several on the left have already brought up their reservations about Burke’s record at Trek. Burke has defended her record, saying that the company employs more than 1,000 workers in Wisconsin, more than any other bike company in the country.

But those parts of Walker’s comments aren’t what I’m worried about. What’s more troubling is the second half of his comments, mainly that they distort the reality of what actually happened in the state during that time.

Yes, Wisconsin lost 133,000 jobs during the time that Gov. Doyle was in office. Yes, Mary Burke was Commerce Secretary under Jim Doyle.

Aside from those facts, Scott Walker is creating a fairy tale about what really happened.

The loss of 133,000 jobs in Wisconsin occurred as the world -- not just the state -- was engulfed in a catastrophic economic recession.

Never is that mentioned in the Republican Party’s or Walker’s talking points. They’d rather not mention them, in fact, hoping that you’re gullible enough to believe that the cataclysmic numbers are entirely the Doyle administration’s fault, and that Walker is the “patron saint of jobs” in the state.

Actually, quite the opposite is true: Walker’s policies are slowing us down.

First, some real facts: Mary Burke left Commerce before the recession hit Wisconsin (and the country, world, et al). When she left her cabinet position, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was at 4.6 percent.

The total number of people who were unemployed in the state decreased by two percent overall during that time, with 2,952 less unemployed persons across the state from when Burke started at Commerce to the time she left her post.

The recession officially began about a month after Burke left the public sector.

Not only is Walker not being honest about WHY Wisconsin lost so many jobs, but he’s also being dishonest about WHEN Burke served as Secretary of Commerce. She wasn’t even in office when the job losses occurred...not that it mattered because, again, EVERY STATE and EVERY COUNTRY in the world was hit hard economically.

Fast forward a few years, and we can examine Walker’s record compared to Doyle’s, sans recession. The second year of the last budget passed by the Doyle administration lasted from June 2010 to June 2011. During that time, Wisconsin grew the number of private sector by 39,909 jobs (about 3325.75 jobs per month).

The latest numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Walker’s numbers during the same calendar time are considerably less -- from June 2012 to June 2013, Wisconsin grew 23,963 (less than 2,000 jobs per month).

To sum it up: Scott Walker is attacking Mary Burke for a record he’s created in his imagination. The “myth” of Burke losing jobs for Wisconsin that Walker has crafted ignores a global economic recession as well as the fact that Burke wasn’t in office when it occurred.

Meanwhile, Walker is ignoring his own record and creating another myth, that he’s done better on jobs for the state. In fact, looking at the data above, the numbers from Doyle’s last budget year are 66 percent better than Walker’s current year.

Of course for Walker, storytelling might be his last resort: with headlines like “Wisconsin Ranked 37th in private sector job growth,” it’s hard to sell the case that you’re somehow better than what we had before.

1 comment:

  1. Well stated. And it also illustrates the laziness and gutlessness of our state's media where they allow something this dishonest to go unchallenged.

    After 3 years of Walker failure, the Doyle years don't look that bad, do they? We had less debt and better schools then, too