He said in 2010 that in his first four years as Governor of the State of Wisconsin he would bring 250,000 new jobs to Wisconsin. Halfway through his four year term last January 5 there were in point of fact just over 62,000 new jobs. The 250,000 job figure was not pulled out of thin air. It was projected by reputable economists as a safe middle projection on the number of jobs that should be expected to be added merely if the economic status quo prevailed over that time period.
Walker ran on the pledge to make job creation the No. 1 focus of his administration. That pledge remains in force and fully in play. Wisconsin is 33rd among the fifty states in job creation. The nation as a whole is creating jobs at a rate of 2.3% not anything in itself to brag about. Yet in Wisconsin it is worse yet. Walker’s stewardship of the State’s economy has Wisconsin job growth expanding at the snail’s pace of between 1.3 to its present 1.5%. Figures just made available this week show that State job growth has slowed still more. The figures for the next economic quarter won’t be good.
All this latest attention to a Walker Presidency in 2017 is based on a poll that showed that among likely primary voters in key states, Walker is No. 1 on any list of likely Republican Presidential candidates. He led the National Governor’s conference here in Milwaukee earlier this summer. Strangely, dozens of Governors chose not to attend as they usually do. Those that did were shown a good time.
What the Governor who has had the added benefit of full control by his party of the State Legislature along with the Governor’s chair has instead focused on is defunding Planned Parenthood, smashing public sector labor unions, passing strict anti-abortion laws, making the largest cut in education in the history of the State of Wisconsin and suppressing voter participation in the State—aimed squarely at his political opponents. He even signed a bill requiring Wisconsin women seeking to terminate a pregnancy to get an internal vaginal ultrasound procedure whether or not it is needed.
Walker even called a special session of the legislature to focus on jobs as he was getting numbers that showed how poorly the State was doing in creating new ones. That session was devoted to minor legislation and the anti-Woman crusade that keeps giving with only a cursory look at job creation in the last day or two of the session. Nothing of any importance was done to create jobs.
Walker has been away from the State in the first two years of office as much if not more than he has been in the State to deal with issues and problems citizens want solved. Nearly all that time away has been devoted to raising a huge campaign war chest that will ensure his re-election in 2014 and give him the necessary platform to run for President in 2016. What about the State of Wisconsin? Isn’t he supposed to devote himself and serve us here first?
But Walker instituted tax cuts you say that will expand the State’s economy and bring jobs to Wisconsin. If so, then where is the indication that these policies are having that effect? In truth, Walker’s jobs policies are a mirror image of those of George W. Bush—leave big tax cuts for the wealthiest people and corporations and let the job creators go to work. It did not produce significant job growth nationally over an eight year period with Bush, and thus far it is producing the same lack of effect in Wisconsin.
Yes, Walker has balanced the State budget as he is required to do as Governor well. He has used some of the boon of $1.6 billion slashed from educating children in the State to put downward pressure on property taxes. That is welcome to taxpayers. Though down the road will the State’s workforce development suffer a blow when the kids of today are not getting all they need?
Then there is foreign policy. Where Hillary Clinton, Walker’s likely opponent, has been a distinguished Secretary of State Benghazi or not, Walker did not even obtain a college degree where he might learn of the outside world. Walker has no foreign policy experience and precious little preparation for leading the nation in a dangerous world.
More shenanigans are likely to surface when national press attention focuses on Walker’s shady operation having staffers in his Milwaukee County Executive Days work on State time in violation of State election law. There is his inability to work well with Democrats in County or State government which leaves you wondering how well he will work with the Democrats in Congress. While Walker apparently did not initiate the scandal in his office he certainly knew of it.
Walker’s first six months in office as Governor of course was met by hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin citizens who did not vote for ACT 10 which took collective bargaining rights away from State employees and teachers. Walker faced a recall election because of his boorish and insider surprises that awaited the electorate here when he took the Oath of Office.
Even back at Marquette University, where he did attend classes for a couple of years, he fouled the nest. Walker engaged in methods of campaigning that openly violated school rules. In short he cheated and got caught. His infamous reputation and churlish response to the good Jesuit Fathers of old Marquette sent him packing and he never went on to earn a degree.
Hillary Clinton on the other hand was a distinguished graduate of Wellesley College, and became a lawyer and advocate for children. In addition to being first lady for two terms with her husband Bill, she served a full six-year term in the United States Senate.
It doesn’t take much imagination to see what the national press would do in the fish bowl 24-hour environment when they look into Walker’s shady past. They’ll filet him like today’s shore lunch. Yes indeed. Voters across the nation ought to be very wary of a Scott Walker presidential bid.