I just saw a thing on the intertubes… OK…. Facebook, posted by some of my liberal friends, where Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker is getting dinged for saying this:
Governor Walker promised Wisconsin 250,000 new jobs again and again while campaigning in 2010. He said he’d accomplish that in his first term as governor. But the latest Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report puts Walker less than a third of the way there. He has less than a year and a half to create nearly 170,000 jobs to keep that pledge.
On Monday in Merrill, he carefully backed away from the specific number.
“My goal wasn’t so much to hit a magic number as much as it was, in the four years before I took office, when I was campaigning, I saw that we lost over 133,000 jobs in the state. I said, ‘it’s really not about jobs, it’s about real people, real jobs like those here, and more importantly, affecting real families all across the state,'” Walker said.
It’s politics, and since Walker seems to be positioning himself for a run at the Presidency in 2016, I think it’s a fair criticism concerning the quote.
Wisconsin is ranked 20th in unemployment, from lowest to highest, with a current rate at 6.8 percent. 20th isn’t too bad when you consider the state I’m typing this in is near the bottom of that list at 45, with a rate of 8.7 percent.
But what about the numbers? One single snapshot doesn’t tell the story. It’s the trends that counts here.
In the case for California, its worst showing was at something like 12 percent a few years ago.
For Wisconsin, since the issue is with the unemployment rates since Scott Walker enacted his controversial union busting packages, we don’t need to go back to the worst part of the recession, but only to look at the progress since Scott Walkers policies have been implemented.
Again, Wisconsin’s unemployment rates are currently at 6.8 percent. From where I’m sitting, that looks pretty good.
But, if you go back a year and look at the 2012 numbers, the unemployment rate and the improvement in employment numbers has been stagnant.
- Jan 6.9.
- Feb 6.9.
- Mar 6.8.
- Apr 6.7.
- May 6.8.
- Jun 7.0.
- Jul 7.3.
- Aug 7.5.
- Sep 7.3.
- Oct 6.9.
- Nov 6.7.
- Dec 6.6.
When you go back to the beginning of the whole deal that put Scott Walker in the national spotlight in the first place, which would be the passage of the controversial “Budget Repair Bill” in March of 2011, the Wisconsin unemployment rate was at 7.6 percent. This chart shows the progress since. While there was some decrease in the first year, with march of 2012 hitting the 6.9 percent, there has been little improvement in the year and a half since. At this point, it’s easy to make the case that his policies are not matching the hype that surrounded them. You often hear Conservative pundits say that”Conservatism works everywhere it’s tried”. Well, we seem to see a pretty good case here that, no, it doesn’t.
So yeah… It’s little wonder Walker is walking back from his predictions of a few years ago. And if you don’t see some real improvement in the next year or so, there’s likely to be a bloodbath in the next election cycle in Wisconsin.
PS. What concerns me a lot more about Walker, is that he chose pro-torture advocate and “True Conservative” bigwig Marc Thiessen to help him out with his book.