Article courtesy of Urban Media News
For politicians, election cycles are a year-long job interview.
Candidates campaign non-stop, visiting big cities and small towns alike, all to convince voters that they’re right for the job.
Scott Walker formally announced his re-election bid this week, but even a passing glance at his record from the first term shows he doesn’t deserve the job for another four years.
During the 2010 gubernatorial campaign Walker issued a promise to the people of Wisconsin to create 250,000 jobs by the end of his first term in office. Walker backed up his claim on the campaign trail, responding to his critics by saying it was floor, not his ceiling, and that he could and would bring 250,000 jobs to the state.
That promise is now infamous, as Walker hasn’t even passed the halfway mark with just months to go in his first term. His failure to create jobs is so terrible that he’s had to use every excuse and trick in the book to walk back that promise – blaming the recall election and vague descriptions of uncertainty in the marketplace for slow job growth. Most recently, Walker tried to weasel out of his promise and move the goalposts, spinning his failed promise as an “ambitious goal” that would be met only if he was re-elected.
But excuses won’t do, and Wisconsin families struggling to get by can’t take the governor’s claims on faith alone – especially when Wisconsin is near the bottom of important economic indicators four years later.
The state currently ranks 35th in the nation in job creation, 45th in future job prospects, and 46th in new business start-ups. According to the latest data, Wisconsin is 9th out of 10 Midwest states in job creation since Walker took office in 2011. Jobs in Wisconsin have grown at only half the rate of the rest of the country; if we had grown at a rate just equal to the average of 49 other states since 2011, we’d have almost 50% more jobs added.
Adding insult to injury for workers and Wisconsin families, the most recent jobs numbers from the state Department of Workforce Development show unemployment increased in all but three Wisconsin counties last month – enough losses to rank second in the nation.
Walker announcing his run on Tax Day is fitting, since his first term seems to have been marked by more tax giveaways to wealthy corporate donors who fill his campaign coffers than jobs created for working families. Walker’s 2011 – 2013 budget included a $2.3 billion tax giveaway to corporations and the super-rich, while leaving the least able to afford it with the bill through $133 million in fee increases, and a nearly $70 million tax increase on working families.
According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Walker’s trickle down tax gimmicks give 60% of tax cuts to those making over $100,000 – which doesn’t create jobs or strengthen the middle class. For a typical family with a household annual income between $50,000 and $60,000, Walker’s top heavy tax cuts amount to $2 per week in 2014, at a cost of failing schools, crumbling infrastructure, and mounting debt.
In his first term, Walker’s done more harm than good for workers and Wisconsin families. His first budget included draconian cuts to public education to the tune of $1.6 billion from public education and in the face of a dire skills gap, Walker’s first budget cut vocational and technical colleges, which administer jobs training programs across the state, by $70 million – a 30 percent reduction in funding that left the tech college system funded at 1989 levels.
Most striking, Walker’s most high profile bill signings have had nothing to do with job creation. In his first term, Walker has defunded the state’s successful BadgerCare Family Planning Program, repealed Wisconsin’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act, pushed through extremely partisan voting restrictions, and made it easier for lobbyists to make campaign donations to politicians.
While Wisconsin workers try to make their dollars stretch to provide for their families, Scott Walker showed his contempt for the working class by vehemently opposing a commonsense proposal to provide relief for workers by raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Despite overwhelming support across the state, Walker panned the proposal as “political grandstanding”, even though an increase would give 406,000 Wisconsin workers a raise.
Walker’s lip service to job creation is an absolute disservice to the state. We know how to create jobs and strengthen the middle class, because we’ve done it before in Wisconsin and we can do it again if we commit to real investments in education and job training. We can grow the middle class by giving people the opportunity to earn more and reinvest those dollars in their community by finally being able to afford the things they need.
Scott Walker’s record is abysmal, he doesn’t deserve to keep his job for another four years, in truth, he doesn’t even deserve a chance to sell his spin and broken jobs promise to Wisconsinites. As governor he’s run our state’s economy into the ground and let down Wisconsin time and time again. Walker shouldn’t be given the chance to dig a deeper hole for Wisconsin families and workers. Voters will look at his failed job creation promises and their own personal struggles as more than enough reason to reject him in November.