Loser of the Week: Gov. Scott Walker
To be honest, we never planned on writing a Scott Walker-inspired “Loser of the Week.” But let’s face it, the governor has had some sub-par past seven days.
Recent assessments of the Wisconsin economy are the source of Walker’s troubles. Last week, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau released amemo alleging that Walker’s new budget plan would result in a structural deficit of $664 million for the state of Wisconsin. One of the factors contributing to this deficit is a tax cut that would put an average of $83 per person back into the pockets of Wisconsinites and cost the state $343 million.
On top of that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Wisconsin ranks 44th in the nation for job creation – quantitatively, Wisconsin’s 12-month percent change in private sector employment currently sits at 0.9 percent.
For Walker, this is singularly bad news – the governor has spent the past two years pushing the message that “Wisconsin is open for business.” Supposedly, he has made improving the state’s business climate priority number one.
And yet, if the data released by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics can be considered an accurate representation of the current state of Wisconsin’s economic affairs, Walker’s economic policies have been mediocre at best – and that’s being generous. For all his ostentatiously budget-hawk tendencies, the state will be losing considerable sums of money next year, and only West Virginia, Arkansas, Maine, Delaware, New Mexico, Wyoming and the Virgin Islands have worse job creation rates than Wisconsin.
If Wisconsin’s business climate were thriving, people could maybe overlook Walker’s more controversial budget decisions – for instance, slashing public school budgets and ending collective bargaining – but the state’s business climate is floundering at best.
That makes Walker the loser of the week.