Scott Walker’s press release on August 29th fired a shot across the border at Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Illinois from A+ to A with a “negative outlook.” From the Walker press release:
There could not be a more stark contrast between Wisconsin and Illinois. Political leaders in Illinois kicked the can down the road, raised taxes, and ignored fiscal realities. Now, they’re realizing the consequences of their actions: credit downgrades and negative outlooks. Wisconsin balanced a $3.6 billion budget deficit without raising taxes, reducing services, cutting Medicaid, or engaging in any massive public employee layoffs. We enacted long‐term structural reforms, which led to another bond house giving our current budget a “credit positive” outlook.
Walker omits the critical part of the story, resulting in a lie of omission. His attempt to take credit for an already sound fiscal policy has been completely missed by Wisconsin media. The Chicago Tribune gets it right:
The agency lowered the state’s credit rating from A+ to A, citing a “lack of action” on changes aimed at lowering the pension system’s unfunded liability that could hit $93 billion by next summer if nothing is done.
The downgrade was regarding the Illinois pension fund – which had been raided to offset budget deficits over a period of several years. The Walker Administration, desperate to receive positive press, is taking credit for a sound state pension fund which Walker inherited; and whose policies to date have had zero impact on. Walker omits this critical piece of information in his press release. The Wisconsin press corps has yet to call out Walker on this lie of omission.
This is consistent with Walker’s behavior in making public statements throughout his term in office. At the GOP Convention last night, Walker repeated the persistent lie of Barack Obama being responsible for the Janesville GM plant closing. In this case, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, and Al Sharpton call him out on national television; letting Walker paint himself into an uncomfortable corner – all the while maintaining the lie.
The record is clear. GM officially closed the Janesville plant on December 23, 2008; laying off 1,200 workers. A small crew of several dozen workers stayed on to complete a small order of trucks under contract to Isuzu. Yesterday’s Politifact (August 29, 2012) makes this clear, rating Ryan’s assertion false; including the assertion that Obama “promised” to keep the plant open.
Perhaps the Wisconsin media misses this because the status quo is Walker lying. Watch for headlines when he actually tells the truth…or is indicted and forced to admit to the truth.
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