Scott Walker is a big fat hypocrite on Milwaukee job creation/job losses

In what should come as no surprise to anyone who’s familiar with Republican Gov. Scott Walker, he now wants to blame Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, his Democratic opponent in the June 5 recall election, for job losses in the City of Milwaukee, despite Walker previously taking credit as governor for earlier job gains in the City of Milwaukee.

But it turns out that back in 2011, when Milwaukee was adding jobs along with the rest of the state, the Walker adminstration took credit for it and chalked it up to his gubernatorial leadership.

Walker is currently up on the air with a spot that shows footage of newscasts proclaming Milwaukee’s economy in dire straights — and blaming it on tax hikes. “Tom Barrett has failed in Milwaukee for eight years,” the ad says. “Don’t let him take Wisconsin backwards.” A recent ad from the Republican Governors Association made a similar point.

But in the first half of 2011, just after Walker took office, Milwaukee was adding jobs, along with the rest of the state — and the Walker administration rushed to take full credit for it.

“With four straight months of job growth in 2011, metro Milwaukee is reaping the economic benefits of Governor Walker’s successful efforts to improve Wisconsin’s business climate, and make job creation a top priority,” blared a Walker administration press release in May of 2011.

So when Milwaukee was creating jobs back in 2011, Gov. Walker took credit, but once the City of Milwaukee (along with the rest of the state) started losing jobs, Gov. Walker wanted to pass the blame to someone else, in this case Tom Barrett.

If Scott Walker wants to take credit for job creation in Milwaukee earlier in his tenure in office, the least he can do is accept an equal amount of blame for job losses in Milwaukee during that same tenure. After all, it’s mighty hypocritical of Gov. Walker to take credit for positive job growth in Milwaukee while passing the blame for job losses to someone else. If Scott Walker wants to take credit when things go well, then he should be willing to take an equal amount of blame when things go wrong.


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5 thoughts on “Scott Walker is a big fat hypocrite on Milwaukee job creation/job losses

  1. And of course he had nothing to do with the business environment or job development in Milwaukee while he was Milwaukee county executive…he was only responsible for the parts of the county not in the city?

    1. With all due respect, isn’t Barrett doing the same thing as Walker?

      Politicians love to talk about job creation but they have very little control over the macro economic forces that actually create the jobs. If you look at the states lagging in job creation, you’ll notice that they are manufacturing heavy states.

      Specific to Wisconsin, WMC’s Fact sheet states:

      “Wisconsin leads the nation with the single-most manufacturing intensive economy in the United States. In 2008, manufacturing accounted for $48.9 billion in economic output—a 20.3% share of Wisconsin’s overall economy. Wisconsin ranks in the top ten nationwide in exports, and manufacturing accounts for 94% of Wisconsin’s exported goods.”

      In other words, Wisconsin’s largest sector of its economy is export driven. If that sector is weak, that suggest that demand for products outside of Wisconsin is similarly weak. While a Governor may be able to create a favorable business climate for business in his or her state, they would have very little ability to create demand for their state’s products in other states.

      Walker clearly deserves fault for framing the debate around his stupid notion that he could create 250,000 jobs because that would require the national economy to bounce back. The Stimulus package has failed to bring back manufacturing and the manufacturing dependent states have lagged.

      The question in my mind is not whether companies are hiring, I wouldn’t expect them to until the national economy becomes robust. Rather, I question whether companies are leaving Wisconsin for other states. If they are, that can be blamed on Wisconsin’s business climate (and Walker) and would be a function of his leadership. (I suppose the question could and should be asked to Barrett about whether companies are leaving Milwaukee for the burbs). Quite frankly, I don’t have the answers to either of those questions. I have seen only anecdotal evidence.

      For what it’s worth, we hired a half a dozen people at our firm over the last two years. Neither Walker nor Barrett did a damn thing to help us do it.

      1. Ironically Governor Walker has been touting manufacturing job growth in his ads and stump speech this week as a high point of his gubernatorial career!

  2. In fact, the Milwaukee area has held up better than the rest of the state when it comes to Walker’s job losses, so it’s clearly to Barrett’s credit, riiihgt?

    I told you this a month ago, that Scott Walker was the one who’s really screwed up Milwaukee, and Tom deserves credit for allowing the city to stay afloat in spite of Walker spending 2004-2010 posing for talk radio instead of trying to actually improve the quality of life for the state’s largest county.

  3. Indeed, Walker’s policies as county executive stripped resources from the metro area and the City of Milwaukee in particular, and his policies as governor have cost the city and its public school system hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. But we’re supposed to pretend these claw-backs were a good thing for the community, except when Walker opts to portray the negative outcomes as someone else’s fault.

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