Saturday, August 9, 2014

Walker, WisGOP continue the lie -- and hope you forget about the recession

Walker campaign and Republican Party of Wisconsin errantly place job loss blame on Mary Burke, ignoring the Great Recession while doing so

I recently wrote about a dubious claim made by Gov. Scott Walker about the number of jobs lost under former Gov. Jim Doyle.

The Walker campaign, in their latest television advertisement, implied that 133,000 jobs lost during the Doyle administration were that governor’s fault -- with the assistance of his Commerce Secretary Mary Burke, who is now running a neck-and-neck campaign against Walker.

Here's the message that the Walker campaign said in its ad:
Mary Burke served as Jim Doyle’s Commerce secretary. She said, “I support Gov. Doyle’s policies entirely.” And when Doyle’s term ended, Wisconsin had lost 133,000 jobs.

Then Scott Walker took over as governor, and Wisconsin gained over 100,000 jobs.
I pointed out, however, that this line of thinking should cause “anyone with a critical mind to question: just how gullible, how stupid does Gov. Scott Walker think the average voter is? ... To pin the blame on the sitting governor of that period is foolish, and ignores the economic realities witnessed at that time.”

Indeed, those 133,000 jobs that were lost came at a time when the entire country was experiencing the worst economic crash seen since the Great Depression, a fact that is never discussed or even acknowledged by the Walker campaign.

Walker also ignores one more key piece of information: Mary Burke wasn’t Commerce Secretary when the recession began, and thus wasn’t in a leadership role of any kind when those jobs were lost. Why, then, does Walker’s campaign continue to tie Burke to job losses, again an event that coincided with the worst economic recession seen in many of our lifetimes?

These facts haven’t dissuaded the Walker campaign. On Friday, after the ad described above was released, Walker took to Twitter to continue these misleading assumptions:

And later that evening, the Republican Party of Wisconsin joined in:

This campaign of lies isn’t just disingenuous -- it’s also relying on the hope that the people of Wisconsin can’t remember the events of the past ten years. Walker is banking on the average voter -- you, me, your Aunt Irene, and so forth -- of having the memory span of a goldfish in order to win a second term.

Kind of cheapens the electoral process, don’t you think?

Here’s some real facts about the time that Doyle was governor, and Burke was Commerce Secretary, from before the recession, compared to what we’ve seen under similar time spans under Walker:
  • In September of 2007, two months before Burke left the Commerce Department, Wisconsin had 2.42 million private sector jobs -- about 50,000 more jobs than Wisconsin had under Walker in September of 2013. (Granted, there was an economic recession between those two time periods, but these numbers should certainly dissuade any voter from falsely believing that times under Walker are better than they were under Doyle and Burke before the recession.)

  • In January of 2005 Wisconsin had 2.87 million workers in the state. Burke joined the Commerce Department the following month. By the time she left Commerce in November 2007, that number had increased by 74,268 workers. During the same time period under Walker (January 2011 to November 2013) Wisconsin only saw an increase of 43,373, a rate of growth that is more than 40 percent slower than Burke's performance.

  • Like a vast majority of states in the nation, Wisconsin descended into deep job losses beginning in the December of 2007. Most of the recovery from the recession occurred under Gov. Walker’s watch. But there was one full year of recovery, under Gov. Jim Doyle’s last budget, that occurred before Walker took office. That year was the best single-year June-to-June growth of jobs we’ve seen since the recession, better than any other year of the same period of time seen under Walker’s tenure.

What we see above is that the Doyle economy, prior to the global recession, was flourishing while Burke was Commerce Secretary. Furthermore, the last graph shows that the recovery was going great under Doyle as well, and has since slowed down under Walker’s policies. That’s because job growth doesn’t happen under tax cuts for the wealthy alone -- it takes significant capital in the hands of workers and consumers to grow demand, and thus the need for more labor.

But that’s economics, and that might not be something Walker or his surrogates have a full grasp on, seeing as they refuse to acknowledge that job losses in Wisconsin were due to a recession.


  1. I think it's time to check Walker's Eagle Scout oath. He must have had both his fingers and toes crossed when he accepted that oath as he has lied continually since in any and all efforts to gain an advantage for himself and himself only!!!!!

  2. Breaking News!!! Republicans Lie!

  3. just how gullible, how stupid does Gov. Scott Walker think the average voter is?VERY! And his election has proven he is right. I have a new ad for him. "when he was sworn in back in Jan of 2011 the weather was cold and nasty. now after three and a half years it is much nicer, thank you Scooter.