Don't Drink the Tea. Think With the WE.

With His 4th Straight Month of Job Losses, Walker’s Arch Nemesis May Now Simply Be…Facts

Since making sweeping changes to his state in the name of job creation, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has often compared his reforms to that of neighboring Illinois, a state that, in the face of economic downturn, decided to create a fairer tax system and save public programs. Just last May, Walker said:

“They didn’t fix the problems. In contrast, we’ve done that. And I believe that’s going to help us attract not only businesses coming in from Illinois (but) reassure employers here in the state of Wisconsin that this is the place, now is the time, to grow.”

Unfortunately for Walker, there are people officially keeping track of these things and while his talking points may be convenient they are patently false. Illinois is leading the nation in job growth, while Wisconsin leads the nation in job losses. In October the state of Illinois gained 30,000 jobs while Wisconsin lost 9,700. Most of the jobs lost in Wisconsin were in the private sector. Walker detractors argue that his radical reforms to state employees’ benefits and programs have a ripple effect into the private sector while supporters, ever dwindling, say that the Gov. is making bold choices. “Bold choices” are not always good choices, though. 

Walker may not have shown much class, creativity, or compassion during his early reign, but he has shown consistency. Wisconsin has lost jobs in every month since July, right around the time his policies began to take full effect. The recall of the Governor is not all based on jobs numbers, however. Many people in Wisconsin are angered that when running for election Walker said he would do one thing and then when elected he did another. This is a feeling shared by voters in other states (Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania) who saw their state trend red in 2010 during the height of the Tea Party’s political influence.

Despite the numbers, Walker continues to say that things are getting better for Wisconsin workers. Recently, while speaking in Chicago, Walker was confronted by protesters who wanted their voices to be heard at a meeting of Republican supporters. Their chants of “union busting – it’s disgusting” were met by this response from the Gov.:

“Nearly every week I’ve got a new opening up in Kenosha County, in Pleasant Prairie Industrial Park and places like that,” Walker told the business owners and civic leaders. “Any of you looking to grow and expand your business and get to a safer state, come on up.”

While Walker chooses to live in a pretend world where he is popular and his policies are succeeding, facts are increasingly becoming his arch nemesis; because even though he is inviting businesses in Illinois to come to Wisconsin — what many might consider an undignified way to grow Wisconsin’s business community — they seem to be doing fine in their own state, working with fair policies that respect unions, workers, and the voters that elected the politicians who promised to fight for them. 

You can’t help but get the feeling that Walker is not a man who admits defeat, apologizes or considers changing course. It is this stubborn, abject blindness that may leave him the last man standing, mumbling his own praises next summer while voters sing the recall song to right Wisconsin’s recent wrongs.



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