When Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin surfed into office on the wave of Tea Party pout-rage in 2010, he promised that he would add 250,000 new jobs to the state economy.
Thus far Governor Walker has failed to meet that goal, and economic data for 2011 suggests it could be a really long time before he does.
Recent jobs figures show that Wisconsin is making only minimal progress towards Governor Walker’s goal of 250,000 new private sector jobs. If Wisconsin continues to create jobs at the same rate as it has over the first 11 months of 2011, it would take more than 14 years to create that number of jobs in the private sector.
The number of private sector jobs in Wisconsin has been growing at a snail’s pace, but the total number of jobs has grown even more slowly. Wisconsin has been shedding jobs in the public sector, leading to layoffs and job loss for our teachers, librarians, and bus drivers. The result is that it would take more than half a century to add 250,000 jobs – public or private – to the Wisconsin economy at the current pace.
Wisconsin would be on track to meet Walker’s goal of 250,000 new jobs sometime over the next 14 years, but Walker’s clamp down on unions, education, and other public employees is shedding jobs faster than the state is adding them therefor tripling the number of years it would take to reach that goal.
The corporate tax cuts instituted by Scott Walker and his loyal henchmen in the state legislature, which were billed as part of his job creation package, hasn’t lead to a dramatic rise in job creation. Meanwhile, corporate tax increases in the neighboring state of Illinois has lead to job creation.
When Illinois raised taxes on corporations in early 2011, Governor Walker trumpeted Wisconsin’s new tax cuts and welcomed Illinois businesses that might be interested in leaving the state. But Illinois added private sector jobs at a rate far faster than Wisconsin in 2011, even adjusting for the relative size of the state’s economies. If Wisconsin’s economy had grown at the same pace as Illinois’, Wisconsin would have added an additional 22,000 private sector jobs in 2011. That’s enough jobs to put every unemployed job seeker in Green Bay and Appleton back to work.
Governor Scott walker continues to be one of the best campaigners Democrats could ever hope for. Unfortunately, his failure comes at the cost of hurting the residents of Wisconsin.