While President Obama continues to set records for private sector job growth, all is not sunshine with the economy.
Naturally a wily Republican Governor whose state’s GDP growth and personal income growth have trailed the national rate felt this situation was an opportunity to troll the President. Cue Governor Scott Walker (R-WI).
On Wednesday, Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, issued a statement after an advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.2 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter of 2015, noting that economic growth was hampered by “tepid foreign demand and harsh winter weather.” Furman made note that the global economy also played a part in dampening economic growth.
Or, as Governor Scott Walker would say, TIME TO CHANGE LEADERS!
The probable Republican presidential hopeful trolled the President’s economy by tweeting, “Q1 GDP growth at 0.2%: Americans deserve better. We need our leaders to promote pro-growth economic policies. – SKW”
Q1 GDP growth at 0.2%: Americans deserve better. We need our leaders to promote pro-growth economic policies. – SKW
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) April 29, 2015
Ah yes, nothing says real leadership like total failure. Why put up with record job growth when you can have a Wisconsin fail sandwich?
Maybe Walker’s feelings are still hurt. In 2014, while campaigning for Walker’s rival, Democrat Mary Burke, President Obama touted the growth in new jobs nationally and hit Walker in his weak spot, “Here’s the problem, Wisconsin lags the rest of the country when it comes to job growth.”
To be fair, Walker knows economic growth. After all, in 2013 he took take Wisconsin to 49th in the nation, leading in economic contraction with negative numbers — Wisconsin was second to last with an index of -.74%. Forbes named Walker’s Wisconsin one of the worst states for business in 2012. Coming in so deep in the hole compared to the rest of the nation isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for Scott Walker’s Koch brothers economy — the one where the regular people pay more while Walker deregulates and subsidizes big business.
Scott Walker has done everything he can to cook the books, including changing the way the numbers are used so as to skew them in his favor and now that he’s on the national stage, he’s taken to blaming state Democrats for his economic failures. In fact, just today PolitiFact rated his claim that Wisconsin Democrats “for many years” controlled both legislative chambers and the governorship before 2011 as “False”, rubbing some salt in Walker’s wounds as he tried to escape his legacy of fail by noting, “Walker, though, is now in year five with Republicans gripping all three levers of authority at the Capitol.”
There is no one to blame but Republicans for Wisconsin’s economic state.
Marc Levine at The Journal Sentinel picked apart the claims in an opinion column laden with facts, concluding, “And now, while the Wisconsin economy continues to stagnate, the national economy is accelerating, with job growth during the final months of 2014 and early 2015 approaching the impressive rates of the 1990s. Wisconsin’s pace of job growth continues to lag far behind the national rate; in 2014, according to the latest BLS numbers, employment grew in Wisconsin at less than three-quarters of the national rate.”
Noting , “Wisconsin’s rate of job growth significantly trailed the national rate during all four years of Walker’s first term,” Levine wrote:
Wisconsin has consistently ranked in the 30s and 40s among states in the rate of annual employment growth since Scott Walker became governor in 2010, a major fall-off from the last year of the much-maligned Doyle administration, when Wisconsin ranked 14th. As I documented last year in a study, not only has Wisconsin’s rate of employment growth consistently ranked toward the bottom of states since 2010, but all of the net job growth in Wisconsin since the end of the Great Recession has been in low-wage occupations, in jobs paying less than $12.50 an hour.
Over the past four years, the state’s economy has consistently lagged behind the national economy on key economic indicators. Since 2010, both Wisconsin’s GDP growth and personal income growth have trailed the national rate. And employment growth in Wisconsin has underperformed the national rate by a staggering 50%.
I bet you want Walker to drive that car now. Lead us into the ditch, Governor Walker!
Wait, before you make up your mind — you might want to check out the details because this isn’t a one-off. Republican governors are associated with lower rates of growth, while state spending has a positive impact on growth.
So, let’s see. Do you want the guy who has proven that he can turn the economy around and has record private sector job growth numbers, or the guy who took a state that was doing okay and under his guidance, failed to keep up with national growth. The fail guy is the one throwing the hot potato of fail blame and trolling the President, you know, like winners do.
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.