As the Journal Sentinel recently explored in-depth in a piece entitled “Wisconsin missing out on US jobs gains,” Wisconsin holds the worst private-sector jobs record in America during the six months since Scott Walker’s—in his words—“successful reforms” became law. (Walker and his aides seem to think by inserting “successful” in front of “reforms” that the abysmal jobs record corresponding precisely to the time they’ve been in effect magically disappears.)
The reality is that America has experienced 23 straight months of job growth, an economic climate from which Wisconsin was benefiting before Walker’s “successful reforms” were signed into law. And sooner or later, strong job growth nationally will continue to spill into Wisconsin at a pace that will make job growth numbers a net positive, despite the negative impacts of Walker’s policies.
Consider the case of Stoughton Trailers, who announced recently they’d be adding more than 100 jobs over the next quarter. Are they doing so because they’re inspired by sloganeering about Wisconsin’s business climate or feel confident now that Scott Walker has busted public-sector employee unions? Of course not. They’re adding jobs in response to national demand from their clients all over the country, according to the company’s president.
In fact, Walker sought to blame the very national economic forces that are helping nearly every state in America post monthly positive jobs numbers, even as his policies began to dampen demand and kill jobs here in Wisconsin. From his radio address in late September:
“Even though the problems in the federal government have slowed things down with the economy, we are looking to find new ways for our state to lead the way to recovery…we are looking for ways to break through the challenges brought on by the problems in our national economy and help Wisconsin lead the way to recovery. “
And from a jobs forum on September 22nd:
“With the national economy slowing and Washington facing more potential gridlock we will be talking with job creators across the state…Wisconsin has outperformed the nation this year, but we aren’t immune from what’s happening nationally. As Washington plays politics with jobs, my administration will continue to listen to ways we can create stability and confidence in our state.”
Or best yet, here’s what Walker’s spinner-in-chief at DWD said in August:
“Wisconsin is not immune to the national economic slowdown this summer, and we are seeing the effects of the national economy in our July numbers. The wild market fluctuations during the debt ceiling negotiations, the European debt crisis and other factors contributed to a great deal of uncertainty, which may very well have affected Wisconsin’s job numbers given our state’s ties to the national economy.”
In reality, the American economy was actually adding jobs at that point, but Walker and his aides certainly didn’t let the facts get in the way of his efforts to pass the buck.
The bottom line is this: America’s economy is gaining hundreds of thousands of jobs monthly, while Wisconsin continues to shed them. Sooner or later, the effects of robust job growth nationwide will (hopefully) overcome the job losses being caused by Walker’s policies that economists say are sapping aggregate demand.
Scott Walker has been remarkably consistent in the way he talks about job creation. If a report contains bad news, Walker cherry-picks a stat and blames someone else for the overall bad economic climate. If a report contains good news, he attributes it directly to his policies—even when he clearly had nothing to do with it.
Let’s all hope tomorrow’s numbers finally show some positive job growth, but let’s not forget the last 6 months, both in Wisconsin and nationally, and Walker’s past statements about the relationship between the national economy and job growth in Wisconsin – regardless of the spin coming from a desperate Governor’s office.