Scott Walker – will run on his record by revising history, creating fiction

Scott Walker, while responding to questions at his recent breakfast engagement in Chicago, stated he would defend himself in a recall election by showing the people of Wisconsin “how well his programs have worked.” Adding, he would be happy to use Illinois as a comparison to how well Wisconsin is doing under his Administration.

Badger Democracy wondered exactly what economic measures the Governor was talking about, and emailed Cullen Werwie to find out. A response was received via email from John Dipko, Director of Communications for the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The email received contained a link to the DWD website, and a “marketing” page titled “How Wisconsin Stands Apart.”  Upon review of the tables, it became evident that Governor Walker is engaging in a campaign of pure propaganda, ignoring the facts about the economic situation in Wisconsin. The data displayed in the graphs pre-date Scott Walker’s time in office – the Labor Force Participation rate being from 12/07 – 12/10; the Tax Rates on Capital Investment survey from 2009. Not to mention that Scott Walker has had nothing to do with Wisconsin’s always high labor force participation rate.

Based on a follow-up email, Mr. Dipko revised the argument for the Governor by using the following information:

1. Wisconsin has a lower unemployment rate than Illinois, and has for all of 2011.

2. Wisconsin personal income growth grew at a higher rate than in Illinois.

3. Net per capita job growth in Wisconsin exceeded Illinois – by a mere .71% to .67%

At their base level, these statistics are correct, when confirmed at Wisconsin and Illinois Labor Department Bureau of Labor Statistics websites.  The fiction here, is engaging in a “which apple is the least rotten” argument. Both states have economies that were badly damaged by the recession. Add to that the inherent corruption in Chicago politics (which effect the entire state of Illinois), the anti-labor stance taken by a majority of the Illinois state legislature, and the push to privatization of both Republicans AND Democrats (in name only) in Illinois, and it is easy to see the similarity of outcomes in both states. For Scott Walker to engage in running on HIS record by comparing Wisconsin to Illinois is an act of pure propaganda; as under Scott Walker, Wisconsin government has (sadly) taken a turn toward the style of politics Wisconsinites have long reviled. It is a rotten apple-to-rotten apple comparison. And the Walker Administration will spin any numbers available to their favor in their most desperate time.

Many of Walker’s policies have created greater personal income – at the highest level of earners. His tax cuts and incentives for the wealthy upon taking office created a spike in personal wealth. Again, spinning any numbers that benefit Governor Walker. What about numbers that really matter? Let’s set the record straight about Scott Walker’s record, and what he has brought to Wisconsin. These are the numbers that need to be attached to Scott Walker’s tenure as Governor; along with the lies he engages in to deceive the people.

From Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development statistics:

1. Unemployment in Wisconsin has risen from 7.4% in January to 7.8% in September. The national rate has been relatively steady, at 9%.

2. The average workweek in Wisconsin has increased from 40.8 hours (1/11) to 41.2 hours (9/11). This while overtime wages have dropped. As population increases, the top 1% are earning more, while the average hourly employee earns less while working more hours. A number with great consequence to quality of life for the average Wisconsinite.

3. Initial jobless claims rose from 13,994 (1/11) to 14,739 (9/11). In December 2010, the number of IJC was 11,577.

4. While the number of manufacturing jobs (based on DWD definition-having no relation to wages, benefits, or employment status) rose from 437,000 (1/11) to 442,000 (9/11), the number has been on the decrease since July (450,000). In September 2008, there were  487,500 manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin.

5. Average weekly manufacturing earnings have dropped from $736.64 (1/11) to $718.07 in September.

6. Construction employment has been on a steady decline. From 117,200 (9/08), 94,800 (9/09), 94,500 (9/10), down to 88,200 in September 2011.

Generac has recently announced the creation of over 400 jobs; this has been touted as a success by Scott Walker. Generac has not responded to inquiry as to the ranges of wages for these new positions, stating they do not comment on “personnel matters.” It is interesting to note that over the years, Generac has given nearly $140,000 in campaign contributions to conservative GOP candidates including Scott Walker, Reince Preibus, Leah Vukmir, Mike Gablemann, and Annette Ziegler. It will be interesting to see what Generac considers to be “family supporting jobs.

Welcome to the new Wisconsin – or “Fitzwalkerstan.” Scott Walker has brought the state politics and economy down to the level of Illinois, then holds himself up as superior to the lowest common denominator. The People of Wisconsin deserve better. Wisconsin deserves a Governor who will serve the People, not wealthy donor corporatics such as Generac. Yes, Wisconsin needs the jobs – at what cost have those jobs come to us? And what will be the societal cost of those jobs – and for the future, if we become accustomed to the right-wing mantra of  “just be happy you have a job.”

Wisconsin has always, and should always demand more out its political leaders. More honesty, more compassion, and more accountability to the people. Scott Walker has lied, and continues to spin propaganda to further his ideological crusade in Wisconsin. Share the real economic story in Wisconsin – you won’t hear it on the news.

Five more days, Governor. Wisconsin will say “Forward” with the recall.


10 thoughts on “Scott Walker – will run on his record by revising history, creating fiction

  1. Generac may be creating 400 new jobs, but it is only because of demand for the product, not Scott Walker’s economic policies. There is an increased demand for portable and small generators because of the massive storms that have caused power outages and destruction of local power grids nationwide, such as the east coast halloween storm and the numerous windstorms and violent weather we have had locally. Under such conditions, generators fly off of store shelves.

    Of course the violent weather is a result of global warming, which will continue thanks to Scott Walker’s fossil-fuel soaked energy policies.

  2. Care to show where you came up with any of those figures, or is this more leftist “If I say it, it will be true” crap? Prove it or retract it.

    As to facts I can personally verify, I have been getting calls for a couple months from job agencies that had my resume the last time I was looking for a job, and they are coming more and more frequently as time goes on. Also, the company I currently work at is growing. HR is interviewing people on a daily basis to fill positions in all parts of the company. As far as I can see inside AND outside my company, jobs are being create in and around Milwaukee, and it sure isn’t Barrett doing it.

    • With all due respect (as opposed to your obvious disrespect), if you had merely followed the links, you would have seen the data is from Wisconsin DWD, and US Department of Labor. As for the jobs at Generac, there are firsthand accounts of applicants who have been given pay ranges that are hardly “family supporting.” Generac would not confirm or deny, therefore I will not publish unconfirmed reports. Perhaps you could enlighten – with pay range, benefits, job requirements/education levels, experience references for my readers from your employer – with a contact number to verify. I would be happy to publish facts that show companies are willing to pay REAL family-supporting wages. Until then – feel free to post any commentary, as long as you are open to the facts – not just right wing talking points. By the way, say hi to Senator Johnson for me.

    • @Jonathan Ragatz, unless you name names, verify the type of employment you were/are seeking, or the reasoning behind it, your anecdotal evidence is just that. We had someone on one of the recall Walker facebook pages post virtually the same thing: cut and paste assertions about how many people are hiring. Generac is hiring because all the storms create demand for generators. Fossil fuel interests and privatized utilities are hiring because of Walker’s sell off publicly owned power plants and his pro-highway, pro fossil fuel policies. You trolls certainly are paid well to get around the internets to regurgitate your “facts”.

  3. How can he compare our state to Illinois but at the same time Walker said “Wisconsin is so different from OHIO” the other day after the Ohio labor election results?


    • Must be shaking up the neo-cons with these factual posts…first a former Ron Johnson staffer, now another cookie-cutter response from the far right. David, if property taxes is all that matters to you as we attempt some semblance of a society – you are welcome to your money, and good riddance to you and those like you. Franklin Delano Roosevelt identified the key issues preventing the US from getting out of the Great Depression, and said:

      “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.

      The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living.

      Both lessons hit home.

      Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.

      This concentration is seriously impairing the economic effectiveness of private enterprise as a way of providing employment for labor and capital and as a way of assuring a more equitable distribution of income and earnings among the people of the nation as a whole.”

      Roosevelt also told his millionaire friends, that if they didn’t like paying an increased share to assure economic access to all Americans, he will miss them very much; as they had threatened to leave the country if his “New Deal” was passed. I am with Roosevelt – we require a just society. Those who wish to “take their money and run” from such a society will be missed – but good riddance.

  5. David- do you really want to go there? You’re bragging over $1.50 a month in exchange for screwing up our state’s advantages in education and massive reductions in take-home pay for tends of thousands of Wisconsinites? REALLY, lad? REALLY?

    That’s not even mentioning the increases on your property tax bill that’ll come from fees and increased prop. taxes from other local governments. And that will happen.

    Much like the rest of your dead-end life, you win NOTHING with Scotty’s policies.

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