MADISON, Wis. — Contrary to calls for fiscal restraint in his latest television advertisement, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker voted to increase state spending 84 percent as a member of the state Assembly and has proposed 35 percent in increases to county spending since 2002. Walker voted for $200 billion in total state budget spending, which led to a then-record $3 billion state budget deficit.
“Scott Walker voted to pass the biggest rate of state government expansion in recent history – 84 percent in five state budgets,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Scott Walker’s encore was to propose a 35 percent hike in spending for Milwaukee County, while at the same time dismantling the services that protect children, seniors and those impacted by the economic collapse.”
Walker’s five separate budget votes in the state Assembly grew spending from $26.6 billion in biennial spending in 1993-95 to $48.9 billion by 2001-03. Each biennium, Walker helped grow the state budget by between $2.7 billion to $5.8 billion. [1992 WI Act 269; 2001 WI Act 16; WI Legislative Fiscal Bureau]
Likewise, as county executive, Walker proposed 35 percent in increases that would have increased spending from $1.1 billion to $1.5 billion. In addition, it was under Walker’s tenure that Milwaukee County experienced its first deficits in over a decade.
Walker has recently come under fire for claiming that as governor, he would magically create enough jobs to essentially reduce the unemployment rate to zero – an impossible promise. Conversely, Walker’s latest television ad says government cannot create jobs.
“Scott Walker’s record on fiscal management is clear: huge spending hikes, huge deficits,” said Ross. “Walker appears to be packing a ham sandwich in his latest ad, but his claims are nothing but baloney.”
Walker has already made news with his “brown bag” gimmick, when it was revealed the tactic had been used 12 years ago in an Ohio U.S. Senate race. Walker shares the same consultant as that candidate, SCM Associates, and has paid the group firm over $335,000.
“Looks like when Walker was spending all that money for this campaign gimmick,” Ross said, “he neglected to mention to them all the spending he had already done.”
In addition to these promises, Walker has also proposed nearly $2 billion in tax cuts that would overwhelmingly benefit the rich and corporations, including an income tax cut exclusively for those people making more than $225,000 a year and reopening of the Las Vegas loophole to allow big corporations, like banks, to avoid Wisconsin tax obligations by opening a phony post “office” box in a state without corporate income taxes.