Walker’s jobs agency projected to have $14 million deficit

Not only has Republican Gov. Scott Walker been an absolute failure when it comes to creating jobs in Wisconsin, but a new report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel indicates the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the quasi-private agency set up after Gov. Walker and Republicans eliminated the state Department of Commerce, could have a $14 million deficit this year.

The state’s new flagship jobs agency is projected to spend $14 million more than it’s expected to take in this year, according to its own estimates.

The agency had a sizable surplus after its first fiscal year ended in June but will burn through a big part of that this fiscal year, agency figures show. So far, a Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. spokesman said the agency hasn’t finished its budget for next fiscal year and can’t say whether it will need to raise more money from taxpayers or decrease incentives to businesses to balance the budget.

Earlier this week, Gov. Scott Walker announced a shake-up of two of the top three leaders at the quasi-private WEDC, including its chief operating officer and its chief financial officer. Adding to the transition challenges, WEDC also acknowledged Friday that its comptroller, the agency’s chief accountant, left earlier this month.

It’s important to note that when Republicans dissolved the Department of Commerce in June 2011, that agency had a $21.4 million surplus, a surplus that appears to have been squandered by Republicans in their efforts to help the state lose more jobs than were created in 2011 and thus far in 2012.

On a related sidenote, earlier this week 30 year-old Ryan Murray, Gov. Walker’s deputy chief of staff and a key aide on his campaign and transition team, was named as the WEDC’s Chief Operating Officer following a shakeup in that organization.

So instead of “fiscal responsibility” and “job creation” from Scott Walker and Republicans in legislature, what we’ve gotten is government waste and cronyism. Color me unsurprised.


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3 thoughts on “Walker’s jobs agency projected to have $14 million deficit

  1. Was heading out to lunch, but I just saw this and lost my appetite. How did we allow this group of Keystone Kops to get control of this state?

  2. The money used by WEDC in working their private corporate welfare deals is our tax dollars, money which could otherwise be spent on things like funding the public school system. All the prospective corporation has to do is “promise” to provide jobs, then they get their taxpayer-financed subsidy. Apparently all this money spent doesn’t come with any job-creation timetable strings attached. All the details to these deals are kept private, with little or any scrutiny allowed to the tax-paying public. Scott Walker is now trying to smooth over the fact that WEDC was bid-rigging.
    Scott Walker admitted he used Indiana as his model for the WEDC: see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HZ6z2y_HK8

    Much of Scott Walker’s playbook comes through the Bradley Foundation; Gov. Mitch Daniels is on the Board of Directors. Indiana’s IEDC was caught with numerous corrupt practices there: see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGDuf1MXwoE

    I would bet that these very same companies getting this corporate welfare are holding off on hiring until after the election, this makes Obama’s economic recovery attempts look bad; the GOP is now trying to spin the poor performance of Scott and the WEDC onto Obama. Blaming Obama also distracts the voter from scrutiny on WEDC and its faults.

  3. Last month the non-partisan state Legislative Audit Bureau released a report whose findings raised doubts about the idea of using state tax dollars to finance job creation. This is what Scott Walker’s WEDC does. The report found that businesses often didn’t deliver on their promises to create jobs, although they took the government subsidy.
    If you don’t believe me, then read the report yourself at the LAB site (‘State Economic Development Programs’)@ http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lab/CurrentReportsByDate.htm
    The worst job creation performance by any state. It’s sad to see our tax dollars being spent on things like WEDC, when that very same money could go to help our public school system.

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