The most unsettling prospect with Gov. Scott Walker is the notion that he might actually believe what he is saying about the budget he is proposing for Wisconsin.

When Walker assumed the governorship two years ago, Wisconsin was holding its own economically. Job growth was competitive with neighboring states and the nation.

No more. Since Walker began implementing his austerity agenda, growth has stalled.

The state now ranks No. 42 in the nation when it comes to job creation.

The state trails all of its neighbors when it comes to job growth.

Middle-class wages are declining.

Economic development initiatives, which Walker placed under the control of political appointees rather than professional public servants, are scandal-plagued and staggeringly unsuccessful. The new agency the governor set up has drawn federal scrutiny because it can’t account for the money that has flowed through it.

Major manufacturing industries are struggling— paper plants that have been mainstays of employment in northern Wisconsin are threatened with closure. Instead of worrying about those thousands of good-paying jobs, Walker and his legislative allies have spent months trying to weaken environmental laws as they pursue a mining pipe dream that may never materialize – and that will never replace the high-paying jobs that are being lost on their watch.

It’s tough out there.

So what does Walker propose?

Right-wing social engineering.

Walker’s rejecting federal funds that would have allowed the state to expand access to health care because — by his own explanation — he doesn’t like President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. Walker is sticking to his wrongheaded approach even as conservative governors in Ohio, Florida and other states stop playing politics and embrace opportunities to ensure that those in need are cared for.

Walker is proposing to force voucher programs on school districts across the state because, well, he has taken a lot of campaign money from out-of-state donors who favor privatization of education.

Predictably, Walker says, “I want to cut taxes over and over and over again until we are leading the country in economic recovery.”

The problem, of course, is that Walker’s tiny cuts in taxes – which overwhelmingly benefit those who are already in the economic comfort zone — are accompanied by cuts that further undermine recovery.

Walker has cut and cut and cut. He has attacked public employees. He has reduced school funding. He has squeezed funding for services. And he has done it all in the name of reducing taxes.

That’s gotten Wisconsin down to No. 42 in job creation.

It is hard to imagine how he could make things much worse.

But Scott Walker is trying. And if the Legislature embraces his austerity agenda, Wisconsin might well make it to No. 43 or No. 44.

Who knows, Walker might even be able to displace Mississippi and get Wisconsin into the bottom five.

With so much evidence that he is heading the wrong way, even Walker might change direction. Indeed, the only reason Walker would keep doing what he has been doing is if he actually believes what he is saying.

And that, as noted, is the most unsettling prospect of all.


John Nichols is associate editor of The Capital Times. jnichols@madison.com

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(111) comments

Banjo
Banjo

What the hell is wrong with John Nichols! Everybody knows that every village has to have it's village IDIOT!

Dode
Dode

BTW Johnny, is job-free austerity similar to Present 0bama's job free stimulus?

Norwood44
Norwood44

Anyone notice how Nichols has been all over the Sarah Manski story? . Great job John. You are a shining model of journalistic courage and a great example of what passes for progressivism in Madison today.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

He's not on that story, because he IS the story. Both Manski's work for Nichols at the Liberty Tree Foundation. This story just keeps getting stinkier and stinkier.

http://libertytreefoundation.org/liberty-tree-board-directors

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

The irony here is course that Nichols, the Manski's, Passman and Mertz are actually making Walkers case for school choice for him. The Madison Machine accidentally gave us a peak behind the curtain here. I think an open records request is in order here. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire.

http://www.libertytreefdr.org/fellows.php

196ski
196ski

Good catch. Ethics?

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

I would say so.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

peek :)

bookman21
bookman21

If you can't come up with a rebuttal, change the subject.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

Well, if that subject was being covered, we wouldn't have to discuss it in unrelated threads. There are more than 100 comments in this thread that pretty much hash over the same tired talking points that we've been hearing for 2+ years. The Manski issue is worth discussing as it is actually a more pressing issue. If Nichols was a real journalist, he wouldn't be wheeling out yet another hit piece on Walker, he would be writing about his underlings and their decision to rig a local election.

RecessionSux
RecessionSux

Hard for any Governor to make things better when Obama continues to do nothing to improve the economy.

bookman21
bookman21

Mitch McConnel has been equally successful at making Obama a one term president.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

So when Forbes ranked us at 41st in 2009 that was "holding our own" and now they have us ranked 42nd and we are heading for a disaster? What world does Nichols live in?

pete
pete

nav writes: "Pete I appreciate that you are finally giving President Obama credit for the national recovery..." Where can I send the bill for the water that came out my nose and on to my computer after I read this?

16 million more Americans on food stamps
$3500 loss in take home pay for middle class earners
8+ million people have left the job market, lowest job participation rate in 2 generations.
a shrinking gdp
unemployment at risk of going back over 8%
Too big to fail banks getting bigger, corporate profits at all time highs and Wall St is having weekly toga parties.

Yup, you nailed it nav - this president has really led a recovery for the middle class.

I never thought I would say this but you make me miss aequalitas ;) oh wait....

Nav
Nav

Let me give you some real and verifiable facts, Pete.

The stock market is at a record high.

President Obama has created over 7 million jobs

The housing market is coming back.

Unemployment is down to under 8% from a high of 10%

Osama Bin Laden isn't around any more.

President Obama has ended the Iraq war

President Obama is ending the Afghan war

More Americans have affordable health care

President Obama has kept us safe

Many Republican Governors are coming around and acknowledging that Obamacare is wonderful for their people!

Last nut not least, Pete, President Obama recently gave a crushing blow to your candidate, has a mandate from the American people and enjoys a 55% popularity rating!

If all this is not a good reason for you to become a die hard Democrat, I don't think anything can be!

196ski
196ski

Nav, this is the slowest recovery in our Nations history. Unemployment is not under 8%, that number does not include those who have run out of unemployment or have quit looking. U6 unemployment as of February 2013, is at 14.4% and has been unchanged for 3 months.

As Pete mentioned the Labor Participation rate, sits at 63.6% vs the 65.8% when President Obama took office.

Obamacare? A whole different discussion. Another entitlement that we can't afford to pay for. The Medicare cuts that were supposed to fund a large portion of the Affordable Care Act were instead put off for another year. 16 Democrats in Congress have signed a letter asking for the President to reconsider the 2.3% Medical Device Tax because of the loss of jobs in those industries in their districts. And how are medical device manufacturers dealing with that tax? They just passed the 2.3% tax on to health care providers and hospitals in the form of price increases. And what will those providers do? Pass that 2.3% right on to consumers. Healthcare just got more expensive.

Every year that goes by is another trillion plus we are putting on the backs of our children and grandchildren. Really something to be proud of.

bookman21
bookman21

The right wing has been looting the middle class since President Alzheimers took office in 1981. Consumers account for 70% of the economy. There aren't enough left in the middle class to buy anything.
Walker took $500 per month out of the pockets of 70,000 state employees. That comes to $3.5 million per month. No wonder there aren't any jobs.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Where do you get these ideas, bookman? Do you really think that anyone wants to destroy the economy? What would be gained?

The $3.5 million is money that is either distributed to all taxpayers including State employees or it is not taken from all taxpayers or some combination thereof. The net effect is zero.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

bookman~ Where did you come up with those figures? I tried finding anything remotely close to them and had zero luck. I guess it's cool now to just throw out stuff that sounds like stats and call them stats. Sweet, I will keep that in mind!

pete
pete

Stock Market at record high? Now your a champion of wall st? How does that help the working class family again?
7 million new jobs and 8.5 million people left the job market - you go obama!
Unemployment still around 8 and higher - see 196ski's post - He promised it wouldn't go above 8 and would be back under 6% with stimubust. Appears the ability to talk out of both sides of your mouth is alive and well.
bin laden dead due to policies put in place under Bush
Has your health care gone down in price? Mine hasn't. Keep me posted when you get that $2500 break he promised.
He's kept us safe alright, just as long as you're not an American Citizen in the crosshairs of a drone. Do you remember nav, when the left felt prisoners of wars deserved their day in a US court? Remember all the rights you wanted to give to the detainees in gtimo? Now if obama deems you dangerous, lights out. Judge, jury and prosecution er. Any outrage from you on this? At least a few on the left that still own a backbone and have some courage left, are starting to fight back.

As hard as the election was for me to swallow I was able to get over it rather quickly and here's why. obama likely never thought that his health care bill would be there for him to implement or actually figure out. Now, it's his baby. The left would have been howling from the mountain tops if romney won and was struggling to get obamacare implemented. guess what, he's making his bed/legacy and it ain't gonna amount to much when it's all said and done.

But, you get to feel good about yourself for another 3+ years so that has to be worth something.....

tomtom33
tomtom33

On Oct. 12, 2007, the Dow closed at 14,093. While we are close to that mark, how does a return of zero sound since October of 2007? How does this recovery stack up against any since WWII? Seems to me that the economy contracted during the last quarter of calendar 2012.

Affordable health care? By how much has the average healthcare premium increased since Obama took office?

I do believe that the US economy will recover in spite of Obama, not because of anything he has done so far.

Nav
Nav

I have been reading these blogs for a while now, and I can honestly say that our Conservative friends on here have not convinced many to their point of view. We see the same five or six of them do their talking points under duplicate names to make it look like they are more in numbers than they really are.

Those of us who are regulars on here know this. Those who are new on here will soon see this for themselves.

So people who beleive as you do are real, but opposing views must not be? So there is really just 1 or 2 conservatives in all of southern Wisconsin and they just post under different names like a liberal voter? really? I realize I'm probably outnumbered in liberal Dane Co. but my thoughts are my own and I only post under 1 name.

spooky tooth
spooky tooth

mid, I've been reading your posts and you need a new name, how about ilovedavidkoch or totherightofaynrand? But we do have what this guy is talking about, tomtom33, skippie and libsrlooney, all from the same person.

Shake
Shake

Remember, Ayn was an atheist how was on Social Security and Medicare the day she died.

pete
pete

and you have a running list of conservatives that you've brought to your side with your "gum drop and lollipop" posts?

Nav
Nav

Thanks for reading my posts, Pete!

Good Gosh
Good Gosh

So glad that Walker's decided to follow the Greece, Spain, etc., austerity program. I especially like how he took our education system and dropped it to #42 in less than 2 years. What a guy! Those who live near the state's borders - have you had a lot of trouble with corporations trampling your lawns as they pour into Wisconsin? Thanks Governor for a job well done! No new jobs to speak of, education system failing at light speed, less and less money available to purchase anything that will let small businesses grow, fewer and fewer jobs when surrounding states are making good gains on their employment figures. Yeah, so glad you won election - TWICE! Wow, can't wait till you run for your second term - by then we should have as much voter suppression as possible and then just see how good ya do!

Austerity of Greece and spain? Education dropped to #42 in 2 years? I must have missed both of these events. Must have been on page 2 right after the Yeti sightings in Middleton. As for Corps moving in, corps are not moving or growing anywhere, so how and why would they be doing so here? The US economy sucks. wisconsin doesn't exist in a bubble. Facing 4 more years of Obama, so don't expect it change soon. As for Nichols he blames Walker for the paper companies moving out? They were leaving no matter who our Gov was.

spooky tooth
spooky tooth

Nichols didn't blame Walker for the paper companies moving out, he said Walker is doing nothing to keep them here. You should read the article again.

How many times do we have to tell you plutocracy lovers, trickle down doesn't work. All you guys want to do is cut wages and benefits on the middle class and step on women.

pete
pete

brilliant!! how did you ever know

I'm not sure what's more hilarious, that you wrote this or you may actually believe what you wrote.

spooky tooth
spooky tooth

pete, Are you tomtom33?

Nav
Nav

Well, are you Pete?

pete
pete

are you aequalitas? no, I'm not tomtom33. Thanks for the honor though

markov
markov

One other possible reason for Gov. Doe's actions is that he is the willing puppet of extremist rightwing donors. He will do anything they tell him to do, whether he believes it's good for Wisconsin or not.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Except that the extremists don't have enough votes to elect anyone.

bookman21
bookman21

The inmate have taken over the asylum. The extremists are in power.

ChooChoo
ChooChoo

The federal high-speed rail money and the Medicaid expansion money is tax money too. Walker is throwing my federal tax money away and claiming that I'm getting a "tax cut" of $54/year. No, Walker is not a "tax and spend" Governor, he is a "tax and give away the money to Illinois and California" Governor.

Not spending $$ is not Throwing it away. Only in a liberal's mind is Not spending money a waste!

pete
pete

nickels mentions the ACA act and that FL has even jumped on board with the medicaid expansion. This from the Sun Sentinel:

"TALLAHASSEE Brace yourself for longer lines at the doctor's office.

Whether you're employed and insured, elderly and on Medicare, or poor and covered by Medicaid, the Florida Medical Association says there's a growing shortage of doctors — especially specialists — available to provide you with medical care.

And if the Florida Legislature goes along with Gov. Rick Scott's recommendation to offer Medicaid coverage to an additional 1 million Floridians — part of the Affordable Care Act that takes effect next January — the FMA says that shortage will only get worse."

Heck, in CA they're trying to get optometrists and pharmacists lined up as primary care docs there's such a fear of doctor shortages.

But again, with the federal gov't in control what could possibly go wrong?

witness2012
witness2012

pete, we don't have a government run health care system; we have a government-subsidized private insurance health care coverage system. A single payer system- which is what a govt-run system would be -would probably be cheaper and more efficient than the new system in place under the ACA.

Whether the shortage of physicians you describe is due to the government subsidizing health care costs is debatable. But, we clearly know that without those subsidies, fewer people would be able to afford the premiums, and would pass the costs of the increasing numbers of uninsured onto the rest of the population.

Our health care system is a mess, but it's not the fault of the ACA.

pete
pete

so what did the ACA do to address the "mess"?

witness2012
witness2012

The ACA addresses some of the problems of the current health care system, especially from the perspective of the consumer.

It mandates coverage for pre-existing conditions and subsidizes the cost of premiums for those who can't afford the premiums. It also limits how much a health insurance company can spend on overhead, marketing, etc. and mandates that most of the money must go to actual health care.

It creates the exchanges with the hope that the market competition will drive down costs but will increase coverage which means costs go down if hospitals and local governments don't need to absorb the cost of the uninsured.

I don't know if it does enough to control costs, but with the continued use of private, profit-driven companies to provide health care, there are limits.

I don't think the shortage of physicians has anything to do with the ACA. I suspect the shortage only exists in certain areas which are less desirable to live in and has more to do with the shortage of open slots in medical schools. The number of people who get accepted is only a fraction of the number who try to get in.

To get more physicians in the US, expand the training of them- any additional slots will fill rapidly.

Bluezee
Bluezee

sounds like job opportunities for medical professionals to me.

pete
pete

with the cost of medical school and the doctors take home pay being slashed due to ACA, good luck finding anyone willing jump in.

spooky tooth
spooky tooth

Conservatives posting here are in denial, we're sinking fast because Walker is following the ALEC business plan, which included Divide and Conquer. WI is a state divided by hate and about as unwelcoming as it gets to any business thinking of building or expanding. Being #50 is not out of reach.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Divide and conquer has been around for centuries. And ALEC is not the problem. They are but one voice of many, and many of their proposals are quite sound.

furryguy44
furryguy44

There will be a new manufacturing boom in Wisconsin very shortly
There will be the new signature series of double barrel shotguns by reviving the JC Higgins line of shotguns. It will be sold in the women’s lingere section at Sears. You don’t need to aim it; just go on the balcony or deck and fire it in the air.

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning
how to dance in the rain."

Fartinthewind
Fartinthewind

I love the juxtaposition of conservatives who love Walker's austerity, but decry the sequester and its defense cuts as wreaking havoc on the national economy.

pete
pete

I think for most conservatives their number one duty by our gov't is to protect it's citizens, so when the cuts are going to affect our national security then it's a big deal. big difference between entitlement reform and national defense. And when I say protect, it's not to protect us from ourselves. We don't need more laws limiting the size of soft drinks or the size of ammo clip we are allowed.

I think what most people are disgusted with is the political gamesmanship on both sides of the aisle and the fact we're having this discussion less than a week out.

witness2012
witness2012

pete, the proposed cuts to defense would return it to 2007 levels- when we were engaged in two war fronts. We spent much more on defense than we ever have on social programs, including programs that are funded by the people themselves- like social security.

pete
pete

if social security was so strong how come it's not supposed to last another 20-30 years? How long until medicare goes bankrupt as well?

I'm not saying the defense budget is off limits, I was answering the question that was posted.

witness2012
witness2012

Pete, the projected shortfall in social security is easy to fix. Either we expand the tax to those who make over $100,000 a year (approximately)- people only pay sst on the first $100,000-, or we raise the age at which retirement kicks in, or we raise the percentage of SST a fraction.

Any of those measures keeps social security in the black. (look it up).

Medicare is a different issue, however. Those costs are going up exponentially and the solution will also be more complicated.

tomtom33
tomtom33

I have looked it up witness. Expanding the tax base will not do the job. It would only increase revenues by about 10% and would result in an increase in expenditures of about the same amount because higher benefits would be required.

If the solution was easy, it would have been done already.

First of all nothing Walker has done could be described as Austerity. Secondly I'm all for the sequestor. No the cuts aren't in all the right places, but come on....we are only tlaking about a 2% reduction in spending. In fact its only a reduction in the amount of INCREASE. If we don't allow these cuts to go through we will Never get better or different ones from the dems or Pres. If not these cuts we will get No cuts and just calls for more tax increasesvfrom the dems.

bookman21
bookman21

Ask any state employee from whom Walker has stolen $6,000 per year about austerity.

farming
farming

Life is fun when I buy whatever I want to and put it on my credit card and as long I keep spending life is good but at sometime bills have to be paid that is not so much fun. johnny and liberals just can't figure that out but I don't think anyone ever accused john of being very bright.

witness2012
witness2012

farming, do you understand that walker's tax cuts will create a structural deficit? That we can't afford them and that, for the most part, they are too small to stimulate the economy?

This is walker doing this. Given what you said, you can't agree with it.

Unless you take into account a rising and improveing economy that rasies revenues. That would solve all ills.

Clever Beatrice
Clever Beatrice

I would like to ask our right leaning friends here: How exactly is your life better? When you look around, what improvements do you actually see? Please spare me the "we're better than IL and CA" platitudes. I want to know exactly how YOUR life is better. Does $2 a week more in your paycheck REALLY improve your life that much?

Dode
Dode

Property taxes are down. My job and those of my siblings are more secure. Government services have not been cut. $2 per week is not much, but to paraphrase Ole Joe Biden, if it saves one private sector job, it is worth it.

Clever Beatrice
Clever Beatrice

I think it depends on where you live. My taxes went up. How is your job more secure? Government services where I live have been cut. How will $2 a week save one private sector job?

look at your tax bill. Did you local district pass a referendum? Are you in Dane Co where we have the MATC referendum? Are you in Mdadison where they rushed contracts through and aren't taking advantage of ACT 10 yet?

Bluezee
Bluezee

yeah super curious...how is your job more secure?

Dode
Dode

Their private sector employers aren't planning on moving out of state, and my government job is funded and no furloughs are needed. Schools are functioning just fine. The sun is shining.

hankdog
hankdog

dode:

Our property taxes went up, at the town, county, voc school and school district. And based on preliminary budget they will again next year as well. And our county is not filling vacancies as they occur in selected areas. It isn't as rosy as you may think out here in the hinterland.

Mike_Smith
Mike_Smith

You aren't really waiting for an answer are you? The only way that their life is better is they got to sit back and watch their "Rock Star" Walker vilify and demean public employees and teachers. They all loved that one.

pete
pete

along with what dode had said, my home value is trending the right way again, new homes are being built/sold at double digit increases, vehicle sales are up 10%+ in many areas of the state, school districts across the state saved 10's of millions of $'s thru ACT 10, thus allowing them to maintain staff and resources.....do I need to go on?

Nav
Nav

Pete I appreciate that you are finally giving President Obama credit for the national recovery but in Wisconsin, Governor Walker's policies have weakened the State. He has not created the jobs je promised. Property taxes for most people didn't go down, for some they went up. We are more polarized than ever. What is there to celebrate?

What national recovery? The economy retracted in Q4. But you are right...I give Obama credit for it.

Clever Beatrice
Clever Beatrice

Are there new homes in YOUR neighborhood being built/sold? Did YOU buy a new vehicle? Has YOUR school saved millions?

You DO need to go on. It's not like that everywhere. In fact, I wonder where you live. WHere I live, the roads are reverting to gravel because there's no money to fix them, law enforcement has been cut down to nothing, the streetlights are turned off and the schools are struggling. It's most assuredly NOT working in rural areas.

Good day to you.

pete
pete

and all of this has to do with walker? Please explain

Bluezee
Bluezee

If the schools deteriorate your property value will plummet

pete
pete

The schools are savings million thanks to act 10, I would think the opposite with the schools will happen

TheBorg
TheBorg

@DrivrThru: Every single single-scaled study I've seen has most Wisconsinites as just a hair left of center, which is hardly "liberal." In political jargon those people are called "moderates".

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

I think a fair number of folx who post on this forum are unconsciously subject to the false-consensus effect, in which they assume that their own opinions are typical of almost everybody, in part because they've surrounded themselves with a self-selected group of peers who do in fact agree with them much of the time.

I think here we're also getting a heaping helping of the ecological fallacy. "This fallacy involves ascribing characteristics to members of a group when only the overall group characteristics are known.... A simple example is the suggestion that most individuals in a given census area earn $50,000 p.a. based on the census return figure for the area in question, whereas there may be no individuals at all in this area matching this description (for example, 50% might earn $25,000 p.a. and 50% $75,000 p.a., or many such combinations). From the aggregated data alone is is simply not possible to know."

koala
koala

Richard, not clear to me why the latter should be called the "ecological fallacy". Sounds like innumeracy that has nothing to do with ecology. What is the origin of the term? As a professional ecologist, I have to say that I've never heard it.

tomtom33
tomtom33

We don't need no austerity. We need more taxes and more spending. Then we can follow CA and IL off the cliff.

Nav
Nav

Each state has its own dynamics tomtom, but nice try to confuse the issues.

koala
koala

Because, of course, IL and CA are much worse than, say, Greece and Great Britain. Where the political class has forgotten the lessons of Keynes and drunk the austerity Kool-Aid at just the wrong time.

tomtom33
tomtom33

GB was smart enough to stay out of the Euro. And Maggie Thatcher began a slow turn away from unfettered nannyism many years ago. Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, and Italy have no choice but austerity. They ran out of other people's money.

spooky tooth
spooky tooth

CA financial problems can all be traced to Prop 13, the anti tax measure that passed in 1978. After Prop 13 it took two-thirds to pass any new taxes.

Before Prop 13 CA was booming, building roads, bridges, the aqueduct, the best public schools system in the country. Prop 13 sucked the life out of the state, funding for anything came to a stop and CA continues to crumble.

This is the business plan Walker is following and it's already sucking the life out of WI.

Clever Beatrice
Clever Beatrice

But at a much faster rate.

DriveThru
DriveThru

Most people in WI are liberal, and they better start showing up at the polls in non-presidential election years, or we are going to be stuck with a dysfunctional and incompetent state government for years to come. Democrats are no panacea, but as Walker and his cronies are proving, the republicans are far worse.

Cornelius Gotchberg
Cornelius Gotchberg

@DriveThru;

Anyone that has travelled thru nearly every little nook and coulee in the state (like me) calls BS!

Wearing one's '77 Square Miles" thickened blinders might lead one to agree with your conclusion.

Democrats have showed up regularly (even post-humously) in Chicago, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Boston, Newark, Detroit, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Baltimore, etc. etc. for decades. Nuf said!

The Gotch

Clever Beatrice
Clever Beatrice

Prove it.

Bluezee
Bluezee

There were more Democratic votes in the elections...but somehow we have a Republican majority. Wisconsin also voted Obama....we already have proven it.

Clever Beatrice
Clever Beatrice

@ Bluezee - Thanks for your comment. I was asking Cornelius to prove that dead people voted.

hankdog
hankdog

gotch:

"post-humously" ?

Nav
Nav

Drive thru, while I agree with what you say, it is also OUR responsibility to take 5 people with us to the polls. Some people need to be pushed!

koala
koala

We can speculate all day about who might vote; we know who does vote. Based on that, it would take a radical reshaping of people's voting priorities for Wisconsin to be anything other than a very closely contested state. Dissatisfaction with both Obama and Doyle pushed things several points to the right two years ago; despite that, and the Walker recall win, the state went Democratic for the presidential election. Of course, gerrymandering ensured that the Congressional delegation went hard Republican despite that.

Nav
Nav

In a little over two years, Governor Walker has not only polarized people in the state, but his policies have taken the state backward as pointed out in this excellent article.

We all need to set aside our politics and ask ourselves a simple question. Overall, is Wisconsin better off or worse off than it was before Scott Walker was elected the Governor.
Is there ANY doubt that the state is worse off?

John Nichols is absolutely right when he writes "When Walker assumed the governorship two years ago, Wisconsin was holding its own economically. Job growth was competitive with neighboring states and the nation". These are FACTS.

By 2014 when Governor Walker runs for re-election, he would have built a record that he would have to defend. Acting like he is some champion of Wisconsin's taxpayers won't be enough.

The 250,000 jobs he promised the taxpayers/voters.citizens of Wisconsin have NOT materialized.

The real estate tax cuts he promised to the taxpayers/voters/citizens of Wisconsin have NOT been realized by most.

The superior business climate he had promised Wisconsin's businesses just isn't there, and Wisconsin is NOT open for business.

His pledge to unite the people of Wisconsin was empty as he has so divided the state with his policies.

The deep cuts he made in education are now starting to make a negative impact on our schools.

His "new" promise to cut income taxes by $2 a week is insulting.

His determination to pass a mining bill will cost the State a lot of money in legal costs and will create very few jobs.

The list is unending.

Now I know some righties on here simply adore the Governor, as he can do no wrong. I think more and more taxpayers/voters/citizens of the state are feeling that he has done the State much wrong, and they want to see those wrongs reversed by a Democratic Governor in 2014.

Tophat
Tophat

I find it very interesting that the far left and union leaders take no responsibility for the divisiveness you reference. ACT10 is a reality and working where adopted. Those municipalities and school districts that rushed through or extended union contracts, prior to ACT10, are the only ones struggling... gee go figure. My property taxes didn't go down, but they aren't going up $300 - 500.00 every year like they did under the Doyle/Democrat administration.

The jobs situation won't improve under current federal policies and regulations.

Clever Beatrice
Clever Beatrice

I personally would like to see some proof of your assertion that the only districts struggling are the ones that "rushed through or extended union contracts."

So....are there new businesses opening in your area? Is there a housing boom? Is your local school paying their teachers more now that they have the "tools"?

As far as "the jobs situation won't improve under current federal policies and regulations," how do you explain that Minnesota and indeed 40 other states are doing better than Wisconsin?

Tophat
Tophat

Minnesota has booming mining industries. Minnesota is much more open and friendly towards business and competition. Minnesota doesn't have public unions causing constant chaos and strife like those in Wisconsin.

Ask yourself how many businesses and jobs left the state under Doyle's reign?

Clever Beatrice
Clever Beatrice

@ Tophat - At some point you have to quit blaming "public unions." That time is now.

How do you explain that 41 states are doing better than WIsconsin? You failed to answer the question. Maybe you didn't understand it, so I am giving you another opportunity to answer it.

dAnconia
dAnconia

Tophat.
Not true. Our school district enacted Act 10 and saved a lot of money; those savings are now part of our fixed overhead and will nor be repeated. Now we have a looming $3.6MM school district budget deficit for 2013-14 school year and no tool/trick to use next year. And a spending cap. Our property taxes also went up $248 last year and there is no end in sight. Schools need more money or education quality will deteriorate, and, we don't need to borrow $1 billion to give me a $2 a week tax cut.
BTW, I always vote republican but am now reconsidering my future votes.

Nav
Nav

DAnconia, I do hope you and many like you will reconsider voting for this current crop of Republicans because they have little or nothing to offer the people of Wisconsin.

Tophat
Tophat

Did your county and municipality take advantage of ACT10, or did they renegotiate/extend public union contracts prior to ACT10 becoming law? Sounds like your school board isn't fiscally responsible.

ACT10 is a tool for counties, municipalities and school boards to better forecast and control their budgets. If they don't capitalize on the many provision afforded them - your taxes will continue to go up.

Bluezee
Bluezee

I wouldn't say "far left" more like middle of the road.

First of all John Nichols is never right. You will have a great talking point to fall back on for the next few years due to Walker's 250k jobs pledge, but I will continue to point out that there is No Way any state is going to significantly outperform all others when the overall US and global economy sucks. It will never happen. As for how did minn and ill make bigger gains last year? Well when you are further down you have more room for improvement. Some of the companies and industries that left Wis were failing and falling for years. They were going down no matter who the gov was or what they did. Nothing Scott Walker or John Nichols says in the next year is going to make a big difference either way.

Nav
Nav

Sorry middleoftheroad, but when Governor Walker promised us 250,000 jobs the economy was a lot worse than what it is now. That did NOT stop him from promising the taxpayers/voters/citizens of Wisconsin that he, using conservative policies, would create 250,000 jobs.

We are still waiting.

spooky tooth
spooky tooth

Walker's waiting for a few more Walmarts to open.

Harry Bennett
Harry Bennett

The majority of Wisconsinites love Scott Walker and elected him TWICE, so stop your belly aching.

Mike_Smith
Mike_Smith

Please tell me why you think Wisconsinites love Scott Walker. Do you love the fact that he is giving a $400 million tax cut back to the people? You are aware that in his new budget he is borrowing close to a billion dollars. Does that make any sense to you? How can you say we have this extra money to give back to the tax payers, and then turn around and take out a loan to cover it and then some? I would certainly hope that all of his followers are smarter than that. People have to wake up and see what he is doing.

witness2012
witness2012

exactly, Mike Smith. People of all ideological backgrounds need to start to read the fine print and stop believing the sound bites.

For example, can we all agree that it's a mistake to sell the state-owned power plants? And then, can we work to stop it?

Bluezee
Bluezee

They don't care what he does they cheer for "their" side like it's a sports team......Charlie Sheen kind of "winning"

Nav
Nav

Harry, in politics things don't remain the same. They change. The people of Wisconsin know Governor Walker more. They are now beginning to feel the paid resulting from his policies now. They didn't feel that earlier.

Richard Nixon was also elected twice. George W was also elected twice (some say he stole the election the second time around). The fact that a politician has won an election twice means nothing!

Bluezee
Bluezee

I think the people that voted for him were mostly traditional, reasonable Republicans....I don't think they realized they were getting an extremist corporatist puppet of the fringe right.

geo_
geo_

At least I can take my $2.00/week taxcut and spend it to see him defeated.

Clever Beatrice
Clever Beatrice

The $2 a week tax cut will quickly be absorbed by the price of gas.

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