The following is an opinion column from Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director:
Turns out the worst news of Gov. Scott Walker’s week wasn’t that one million people signed papers to recall him from office.
It was that for the sixth straight month, the state of Wisconsin lost jobs.
After all, with much of the nation gaining jobs over the last year, Wisconsin sits alone as an island of failure in a sea of recovery. The country has gained 3.2 million private sector jobs over the last 22 months, including 2 million jobs last year alone.
This continuing job loss under Gov. Walker comes after a full year in which he was given carte blanche by his fellow Republicans controlling the state legislature to pass any corporate tax break, gut any important public investment, amass as much power into the hands of the executive as the state of Wisconsin has ever seen.
And after all this: It’s not working.
We’ve lost nearly 36,000 jobs during this six-month free fall in the wake of Gov. Walker’s economic policies taking effect.
We know the state of Wisconsin was torn apart by Gov. Walker’s attack on the collective bargaining rights of 175,000 workers. It was made worse by the Governor’s systematic assaults on public education ($1.6 billion less available for schools including the largest per-pupil cuts in state history), health care (65,000 Wisconsinites to lose their coverage including 29,000 children) and seniors and the working poor (a $70 million tax hike through the Homestead Property Tax and Earned Income Tax Credits).
Gov. Walker’s solution: More of the same failed trickle down policies.
Worse, instead of offering new and innovative job creation policies, Gov. Walker is crisscrossing the country sweeping up unprecedented and unlimited campaign cash for the nearly $5 million in television ads he’s run.
One ad features a Monona Grove educator claiming the school district is not in such bad shape because of Walker’s cuts.
Not so, says the district’s superintendent, who told the media a different story: “The numbers in Monona Grove clearly don’t work. We made significant cuts in terms of programs, laying off teachers, and we’ve closed a building. Next year, quite frankly, will be brutal.”
Stories like this are happening all over the state and it has left the Governor will little credibility in the collapse of his central campaign promise to create 250,000 jobs.
And as long as Gov. Walker continues his policies of starving the people’s needs to serve the endless greed of corporate special interests, the people of Wisconsin will endure the harm.
In fact, the only way Gov. Walker could be less credible is if he stood on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln like George W. Bush in front of a banner reading “It’s Working, Wisconsin.”
Scot Ross is the Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now, a statewide progressive advocacy organization on the web at www.OneWisconsinNow.org.