Gov. Scott Walker promised his State of the State address would provide "updates on the progress our state has made over the last year and on our positive fiscal and economic outlooks.”
But, like most of the governor’s promises, this was a commitment the governor would not keep.
Instead, his third State of the State address was an empty recitation of talking points the governor memorized before his 2010 run for the state’s top job.
Walker has no new ideas, just old proposals for despoiling the environment, gutting public services and establishing “voucher” programs to stream public money into the coffers of the education hucksters who fund his campaigns.
Walker's own budget policies assured that he would not -- indeed, could not -- provide positive fiscal and economic outlooks for Wisconsin.
The governor has used accounting gimmicks to "balance" the state budget so precariously that even his fellow Republicans have doubts about his numbers.
The scandals surrounding Walker's "Wisconsin Economic Development Corp." provide a taste of what is in store. The governor and his cronies have played so many games with the budget that no one who is serious about financial issues trusts the numbers he is peddling.
This provides a partial explanation for why job growth is stagnant in the state, which now ranks No. 42 in job creation -- far behind neighboring states and the national average.
The other part of the explanation for the weakening of the state's economic outlook under Walker can be summed up in a word: "chaos." The governor and his allies have attacked collective bargaining agreements, passed laws without respect for the state or federal constitutions, and undercut funding of vital state and local public services and public education. This has caused deep divisions in communities across the state, wrangling on city councils, village boards, town boards and school boards, and myriad court battles.
In the chaotic circumstance of Scott Walker's Wisconsin, where there is so little regard for the rule of law, for sound budgeting, for public services and public education, the "State of the State" is not good.
For Walker to suggest otherwise is either dishonest or delusional. Or both.
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