5-27-2012

Ten good reasons not to believe Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker:

Walker tried to create the impression that his policies were working well in creating new jobs in Wisconsin, first by taking credit for “33,200 total new jobs,” then by claiming the numbers he released were the “final” job numbers.

The truth is that the impression is false.  The truth is that the 2011 numbers are not final. They will be reviewed by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and can change.  The truth is that to arrive at his number, Walker had to fudge together two very different sets of data.  The truth is that even if we took Walker’s best numbers, they fall far short of being on pace to fulfill Walker’s top 2010 campaign promise to create 250,000 new private-sector jobs over four years.  As Politifact Wisconsin noted “there is the question of how much Walker is crediting his own policies as leading to the new numbers. A governor — like a mayor — has little control over national economic trends such as a severe recession. And any policy changes implemented in response take time to be felt.” And if Walker is going to take “credit” for what’s happening in Wisconsin’s job market, he’ll also have to take blame when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, as it did, that Wisconsin led the nation in job losses – public and private — over the last year.

Walker, when testifying before Congress, was asked when he came up with the anti-collective bargaining Act 10, and he answered, under oath, “In December, after the elections, but before I was sworn into office.”

The truth is that:  “Records obtained by FOX6 News show it was actually November when the Legislative Reference Bureau – the state office that essentially creates bills – was directed to start drafting what would become Act 10. An internal memo entitled ‘Alternative Approach to Collective Bargaining’ sketched out plans to require unions to recertify every year, and to prohibit them from collecting dues. An email spells out a strategy for ‘prohibiting public employee unions from collectively bargaining over health care benefits.’ This all occurred before Walker had taken office.”

Walker claims he balanced the state budget.

The truth is that the Legislative Fiscal Bureau projects a $208.2 million shortfall by the end of fiscal year 2013.

Walker used Twitter and a Milwaukee conservative talk radio show to blame Democratic Governor Jim Doyle for a jobs creation program that failed miserably and cost millions.  In Twitter he said Doyle “approved” it and on the radio he called it Doyle’s idea.

The truth is the bill creating the program was signed into law five years before Doyle took office and was signed into law by Republican Governor Tommy Thompson.  Even worse:  Scott Walker, then a state legislator, voted for it.

Walker said his new tuition reciprocity agreement between Wisconsin and Minnesota makes college “more affordable for Wisconsin residents.”

The truth is the new agreement made it more expensive, to the tune of $1,400 a year.  Wisconsin used to help with supplemental payments, but Walker eliminated them.

Walker said on national TV that “We gave nearly every, well, we gave every public employee in the state the freedom to choose whether or not they want to be in a union or not and I think that’s really why this is a Waterloo for them.”

The truth is that Walker exempted policy and firefighter unions.  Perhaps that’s what he meant by divide and conquer?  (No one can explain the meaningless Waterloo reference.)

Walker told a national TV show that the recall effort started even before he took office.

The truth is otherwise, says Politifact Wisconsin.  They looked into the history of the movement and rated Walker’s statement as “false.”

Walker, trying to dismiss the damage his administration had done to local schools across the state, told a Milwaukee conservative radio talk show “the overwhelming number of districts saw that staffing was the same or greater, that there were the same or fewer cuts than before, and in the few areas where they did see significant reductions in staffing, it was places like Milwaukee, Kenosha and Janesville…”

The truth is that to reach such a conclusion, Walker had to ignore the rush of school employee retirements – about 4,700 – and include new hires.  School officials attribute the retirement rush to Walker’s push to force them to pay more for pensions and health care.

Walker told a national television show “We had two years ago the largest structural deficit ever in Wisconsin,” putting the blame on Democratic Governor Jim Doyle.

The truth, according to the state’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau, is that the worst was a $2.867 billion structural deficit from the 2003-05 budget under Republican Governor Scott McCallum.

Walker’s office put out a press release claiming that nearly all (98%) of small businesses would be eligible for tax relief under his budget proposal “freeing them to expand and create jobs.”

The truth is that for slightly more than half of business tax returns Walker cited, the average tax savings would be just over $1.  A buck?  That will create new jobs?  Walker also failed to account for businesses that failed to show a profit, further eroding the scope of his tax proposal’s benefit, because unprofitable businesses won’t see a credit.

Here are another 20 whoppers if you can take them….

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