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Scott Walker Wrecked Wisconsin’s Economy

Issue of the Week

Apr. 28, 2015
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Photo Credit: Megan McCormick / via Wikimedia Commons

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio got it right when he said, “I’m not saying Scott Walker set out to destroy Wisconsin’s middle class. But if that were his mission, I can’t think of a damn thing he’d done differently.”

De Blasio criticized the undeclared Republican presidential candidate while at a gathering of Democrats in Milwaukee, where the progressive mayor’s sharp remarks got a welcome reception. But outside of that room, people are starting to notice that Walker has ruined Wisconsin’s economy so badly that it’ll take years to recover from his short, disastrous time in office.

Walker embarrassed himself while visiting Minnesota, where he tried to brag about his achievements. But contrary to his fantasies, Walker’s Wisconsin trails Minnesota, led by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, on just about every score. Wisconsin’s unemployment is higher. Our job growth is weaker and one of the weakest in the nation. Dayton turned a $5 billion deficit into a $1 billion surplus. Walker turned a $3.6 billion deficit into a $2.2 billion deficit even as the nation as a whole is recovering from the Great Recession.

It’s easy to see, as De Blasio noted, how Walker killed Wisconsin’s economy. His signature achievement, the public union-busting Act 10, lowered the wages of public employees at all levels, shrinking the economy when the public sector should have been stimulating it. Walker’s irresponsible tax cuts have make his state budgets unworkable. And his economic priorities—big, unaccountable giveaways to corporations while slashing funding for education—are precisely what credible economists tell you not to do when you want to create a thriving economy for the long term.

Walker is spinning his record like crazy as he travels the country pretending not to run for president. But sooner or later his Republican rivals—and Republican voters—will join De Blasio and start calling Walker out for wrecking Wisconsin’s economy during just one term in office.

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