In response to Gov. Scott Walker’s annual State of the State address, We Are Wisconsin executive director Kristen Crowell issued the following statement, as well as appended documentation of Walker’s distortions and outright falsehoods:
“Scott Walker lied his way into office, and continues lying to the people of Wisconsin to this day. Bankrolled by super-rich, out-of-state special interests, Walker and his operatives relentlessly manipulate facts and distort the truth about his first year in office.
“By his own admission, Walker did not balance the state’s books, even though he increased taxes on working families and passed an extreme budget, after which Wisconsin has lost jobs every single month, even though the national economy is adding hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“Walker has spent nearly $10 million on his campaign of deception to convince Wisconsinites his disastrous policies are working, and his speech tonight was simply a regurgitation of those same thoroughly-debunked lies.”
From jobs, to taxes to education, Scott Walker’s speech was filled with lies:
JOB CREATION: “During the past year, we added thousands of new jobs”
- Every month since Walker’s budget was enacted, Wisconsin has lost jobs.
- The most recent report indicates that Wisconsin lost 3,900 private sector jobs in the month of December.
- While the state has lost jobs six months in a row, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been added to the national economy.
- Furthermore, the indirect ripple effects of Walker’s draconian cuts will cause the destruction of about 18,000 full-time jobs.
STATE BUDGET DEFICIT: “And we balanced the state budget”
- By the exact standard Walker promised to use, his budget is unbalanced. As a candidate, Walker pledged to “Require the use of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to balance every state budget, just as we require every local government and school district to do.”
- Walker has a $3 billion budget deficit 2011-2013 by his own accounting standard. This was revealed when a letter was quietly sent to the federal government claiming a budget deficit to justify eliminating healthcare for 53,000 Wisconsinites.
- Yet Walker had stated repeatedly that he has balanced the budget and “eliminated a $3.6 billion budget deficit.”
TAXES: “We balanced the state budget without raising taxes…” AND
“Another important promise I made was to not raise your taxes.”
- Walker’s claim he did not raise taxes is a bald-faced lie. Whether or not he cut taxes in other places for his wealthy friends, Walker’s budget raised taxes by on low-income by over $50 million. In fact, Wisconsin is one of the only states in America to raise taxes on the poor.
- Politifact has called Walker’s pledge to not raise taxes a “Promise Broken,” a judgment they reaffirmed last month.
- Tax burden is an issue where Walker’s agenda becomes perfectly clear: he paid for tax cuts for corporations by increasing taxes on low-income families.
EDUCATION: “Tonight, I want to thank the many teachers and public servants from across the state of Wisconsin. We appreciate your hard work.”
- Scott Walker has launched the most draconian cuts to education in our state’s history. As a result of Walker’s extreme budget, Wisconsin is second only to New Mexico in per-student spending cuts.
- These cuts have had a real and detrimental effect on Wisconsin students. Nine of ten students attend a school district that has experienced a net loss of staffing and 66 percent of districts reported that reductions in staff would be about the same or greater next year. As staff is cut, class sizes go up. This year alone, 57 percent of school districts have increased class sizes.
- And Wisconsin isn’t just a national leader in K-12 cuts; our state is third in the nation in cuts to higher education. This has led to increased tuition, fewer courses, longer time to graduation, fewer staff to advise students, larger classes, and may lead to capping or cutting enrollment at a time when our economy desperately needs more college graduates.