The bad news keeps coming for Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), who ran as a conservative who was going to save the state and create 250,000 jobs. Instead, he’s thrown the state into what’s looking now like a long term economic contraction.
In the latest numbers from the Philadelphia Fed, which is a monthly state-by-state index of leading economic growth indicators, Wisconsin ranks 49th in the nation.
Out of the 50 states, only five are in contraction. Alaska, Louisiana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are all projected to decrease growth, with Wisconsin second to last with an index of -.74%. These numbers shouldn’t be a huge shock, as Republican governors are associated with lower rates of growth, while state spending has a positive impact on growth.
The other forty-five state indexes are projected to grow over the next six months. For comparison purposes, the Philadelphia Fed projects the US coincident index to grow 1.4 percent over the next six months.
Sure, these numbers might be a fluke. But Walker has developed a consistent record for failure. Republicans try to blame the economy, but these measurements put his state at the bottom with a projected decrease in growth, compared to others that indicate growth.
And then there’s the other data. In March of this year, Wisconsin plunged to 44th in private sector job growth. Also, Wisconsin came in as the fifth worst in terms of the erosion in private-sector wages.
Forbes named Wisconsin one of the “worst states” for business in December of 2012. Wisconsin is 44th for overall economic performance and 39th for business climate.
In May of 2013, the Chamber of Commerce rewarded 2016 hopeful Scott Walker for making Wisconsin last in job growth, noting that he made Wisconsin an “enterprising state”. FYI, an enterprising state is one that embracing right wing ideology, based on the premise that tax cuts will lead to growth, jobs, and general greatness.
However, the Chamber’s own study placed Wisconsin dead last for short term job growth from September 2010 and November 2012.
“Wisconsin clearly is not leading the recovery,” William Delwiche, an economist in Milwaukee at Robert W. Baird & Co, told the Journal Online. That’s an understatement if ever there were one.
Nobody does failure better than Scott Walker. Having narrowly escaped a criminal investigation that took down his closest advisers and tainted his current and former administrations and squeaking through a historic recall election, Walker has a lot to prove. So far, it’s not happening.
Walker better hope for a miracle if he thinks he’s running for President in 2016, especially with his shady past and consistent brushes with the law. But there’s one thing Scott Walker truly excels at, and that’s being less than honest about his record. His infamous attempts to spin his job numbers into something less horrific are only an admission that his ideology can’t compete with other states.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.