THIS is exactly how buffoons like Scott Walker and the rest of the Clowns under the Marble Big Top get elected in Wisconsin.
Along with Govs. Paul LePage of Maine and Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, Walker talked of his agenda in Wisconsin and said that cuts to taxes and regulations would spur economic growth. The U.S. Chamber of of Commerce hosted the event.That's virtually the entire sunny article that appeared in the most widely read state newspaper. Very Important Person, Scott Walker, appearing with other Republican Governors in front of the Chamber of Commerce.
What they WON'T know, however, is that the Chamber of Commerce virtually agrees with me that Walkers agenda isn't working (OMG is that a sign of the apocolypse?). Only a mostly online progressive newspaper in Madison actually carries the real story.
“I participated in a good discussion about what we’ve done, and what we can continue to do, to help small businesses grow and thrive,” Walker said in summing up the trip for his weekly radio address.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Chamber, in a report released at the event, didn’t share Walker’s enthusiasm.
Its annual scorecard on state economies ranked Wisconsin 44th for overall economic performance and 50th — as in dead last — for short-term job growth as measured between September 2010 and November 2012. It also has Wisconsin 39th in “business climate”
Yup, even the Chamber of Commerce, in a report (warning: huge pdf), states that Wisconsin sucks. But unless you subscribe to the Capitol Times or are under the 5 free articles per month limit, you won't know that because only sunshiney stories ever appear about Scott Walker or other Republicans. Bad things get ignored or hidden in blog posts on their sites. Only the truly horrific stores get any ink, and then always couched in the "both sides do it" or similar ass-covering rhetoric.
“What it says to me is that political rhetoric is irrelevant,” says Jack Norman, past research director at the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future.(emphasis mine)
Norman says companies make hiring and other decisions based on demand for their products and whether they can do business better in a different location. The effect of government policies is somewhere on the fringe, he says.
On the other hand, Norman says one could argue the cuts to public worker take-home pay and other cost-savings measures under Walker have actually made Wisconsin’s economy worse.
Over the past couple weeks, we've lost about 1000 jobs in Wisconsin. The newspapers have been filled with announcements of layoffs 50-300 at a time with the biggest at the Milwaukee Caterpiller factory. More unemployment at a time when unemployment is already high due to the continuing layoffs under Scott (250,000 New Jobs by 2014) Walker.
Walkers campaign web site has scrubbed his 250,000 jobs promise and his 2010 campaign ads promising jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs aren't on You Tube anymore. except for this one:
I wonder how long that one will last?
And municipalities and counties, starved for state shared revenue since Walker became Governor with Republican majorities in the Legislature, are beginning to convert paved roads into gravel roads since they don't have the funds to repair them. After applying patches over patches, no more patching can be done. Frankly, I haven't seen gravel roads for decades unless they were roads on private lands.
Sometimes, however, people are given a tiny peek at stories which literally reek of failure, as they are with the private agency, WEDC (Wiconsin Economic Development Corporation) which Walker and his GOP pals set up to replace the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. Walker himself is in charge of this agency he created which has "lost track" of tens of millions of dollars in "business loans" (i.e. taxpayer money) and stinks to high heaven of incompetence.
The hits just keep coming for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. This time, the punch in the face came from the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau, which reported last week that the agency repeatedly failed to follow basic standards in state law for ensuring the clear and proper use of millions of dollars in taxpayer money.
Journal Sentinel reporters Patrick Marley and Jason Stein wrote that the bureau report "found that WEDC didn't require financial statements from companies receiving incentives; gave awards to ineligible businesses and ineligible projects; and awarded nearly $1 million in tax credits to companies for actions taken before they had signed their contracts with the state. The agency didn't adequately follow up to see if jobs were being created and didn't clearly report the jobs numbers that it did have, the audit found."Of course, despite the legion of continuing "problems", they don't suggest that we return to the Department of Commerce we had that functioned quite nicely, but continue trying to "fix" a private creation that seems to exist for the purposes of taking taxpayer dollars and shovelling them in to the hands of corporations without oversight or payback of loans.
For those who think that voters in Wisconsin are "stupid", this is exactly the how and why. GIGO: Garbage in, garbage out. If they're not informed of what's happening, they'll continue to fall for often repeated memes, propaganda, and BS. Getting information to the public is the job of the media and their continual failure to perform journalism is largly responsible for the abundance of incompetent and ideologically driven elected "leaders"
Until this changes we'll continue to have the Clown Show Under the Marble Big Top.