Walker Claim Check: ‘250,000 New Jobs’ Would End Wisconsin Unemployment, Cut Rate to 0.03 Percent

Latest in Series of Unsubstantiated Claims by Walker

MADISON, Wis. — Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is claiming he will create “250,000 jobs” in Wisconsin, which if done would essentially reduce the unemployment rate to zero. The lowest recorded unemployment rate in recent Wisconsin history is 2.4 percent in 1999.

“This is just another ridiculous claim by Scott Walker that cannot be backed up with any facts,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “First, he says he’ll give $2 billion in tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy in the middle of a $2 billion deficit, now he says he will reduce the unemployment rate to zero in Wisconsin – which is laughable.”

According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, there are 250,900 unemployed Wisconsinites, meaning Walker’s claim would require him to find a job for nearly every single unemployed man and woman in the state of Wisconsin.

“Instead of coming up with a detailed economic recovery plan,” said Ross. “Walker simply pulled a number out of a hat and his choice of a number reveals how little he knows about the Wisconsin economy.”

Walker has previous called for tax breaks totaling nearly $2 billion without providing any list of the drastic cuts he would need to make in order to fulfill this promise to the wealthy and corporations which would overwhelmingly benefit from Walker’s Bush-style tax cuts. Walker’s “plan”:

  • Slash income taxes for the top one percent of income earners who make more than $225,000 a year – two-year budget cost: $287 million.
  • Reopen the “Las Vegas Loophole,” which allows Wisconsin businesses to shelter their tax obligations to Wisconsin families through phantom “offices” in states without corporate income tax – two-year budget cost: $375 million.
  • Repeal changes made to the capital gains tax deduction, despite the fact 70 percent of capital gains filings are from those earning more than $200,000 a year – two-year budget cost: $243 million.
  • Shelter the assets of the wealthiest Wisconsinites even more by a radical end to tax paid on retirement income, regardless of income – two-year budget cost: $920 million.
  • [Legislative Fiscal Bureau , 2/23/09, 7/8/09, 1/25/10; “Upfront,” WISN-TV, 11/8/09; Appleton Post Crescent, 11/25/09]

“Even for Walker, who has built a career on making promises he breaks, this is staggering,” said Ross. “He owes an explanation to the both the media and the people of Wisconsin how he will end all Wisconsin unemployment – or admit the central part of his economic development plan is big, fat lie.”

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.