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Thoughts on Scotty?

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  • Waukesha, WI
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    What are your guys' thoughts on Scott Walker (R) from Wisconsin?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I think this New York Times article says it all:

    Lawrence R. Jacobs, New York Times, November 23, 2013: Right vs. Left in the Midwest

    Jacobs makes a comparison between the policies of Wisconsin's Governor Walker, a kind of Tea Party Republican, versus that of Mark Dayton, a staunch Democratic Party Governor in the adjoining state of Minnesota. Dayton's policies have resulted in Minnesota being one of the top 5 in economic growth. On the other hand, Walker's policies have stymied growth. According to Jacobs:

    "Three years into Mr. Walker’s term, Wisconsin lags behind Minnesota in job creation and economic growth. As a candidate, Mr. Walker promised to produce 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first term, but a year before the next election that number is less than 90,000. Wisconsin ranks 34th for job growth. Mr. Walker’s defenders blame the higher spending and taxes of his Democratic predecessor for these disappointments, but according to Forbes’s annual list of best states for business, Wisconsin continues to rank in the bottom half."

    I think that is a good summary. If Walker wants to run for president he will run on a record that Democrats will love to push to the forefront of the campaign. I hope he runs. He will lose.
  • Waukesha, WI
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    Schmidt Wrote: I think this New York Times article says it all:

    Lawrence R. Jacobs, New York Times, November 23, 2013: Right vs. Left in the Midwest

    Jacobs makes a comparison between the policies of Wisconsin's Governor Walker, a kind of Tea Party Republican, versus that of Mark Dayton, a staunch Democratic Party Governor in the adjoining state of Minnesota. Dayton's policies have resulted in Minnesota being one of the top 5 in economic growth. On the other hand, Walker's policies have stymied growth. According to Jacobs:

    "Three years into Mr. Walker’s term, Wisconsin lags behind Minnesota in job creation and economic growth. As a candidate, Mr. Walker promised to produce 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first term, but a year before the next election that number is less than 90,000. Wisconsin ranks 34th for job growth. Mr. Walker’s defenders blame the higher spending and taxes of his Democratic predecessor for these disappointments, but according to Forbes’s annual list of best states for business, Wisconsin continues to rank in the bottom half."

    I think that is a good summary. If Walker wants to run for president he will run on a record that Democrats will love to push to the forefront of the campaign. I hope he runs. He will lose.
    As I do agree that Walker's 250k jobs claim was WAY too exaggerated for four years and the current overall sluggish economic climate is making substantial job creation in most places difficult, what about the positive milestones on Walker's record? He turned a 3.5 billion dollar deficit into a half billion dollar surplus practically overnight (for the most part-consult first link at bottom), unemployment has been going down steadily and still remains beneath the national average (ranked 17 for unemployment at 6.5%, Minnesota is ranked 9 at 4.8% which is good) and if Walker is re-elected as governor he may hit his 250k jobs mark in 8 years...

    As for the business ranking by Forbes...

    It does help that Minnesota has several large corporations in the Twin Cities area to help contribute to the economy (Target and General Mills to name 2 that Forbes listed), Walker and the Republicans have suggested many plans for mines all around the state (what the state was originally settled for) that all fall within EPA regulations but have all been stopped by the democrats in a polarized effort to stymie job growth. On top of that, it is also hard to create new companies or have existing ones move here when the Unions are still fighting against Act 10 in an effort to reestablish their power over the labor market. As noted in the Forbes report, the overall score for Wisconsin was pulled down by high labor costs (implemented by Governor Doyle (D)) and labor supply due to the high union membership and workplace skills. (Link 2)

    So, it doesn't seem like everything is Walker's fault, but rather, the extremely polarized political climate that exists in the state of Wisconsin disallows actual bipartisanship to exist.

    1- http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2013/nov/15/scott-walker/gov-sco...
    2- http://host.madison.com/news/local/writers/mike_ivey/wisconsin-ranked-st-best-s... 8d9f-0019bb2963f4.html)
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    reaganlover2 --

    In reading the Politifact article, I note that the so called $3.5 billion deficit was not a real deficit, but rather a "wish list" of expenditures by various departments. Groups within corporations, government agencies, and academia all play the game of "high balling" their budget requests knowing full well that they are going to be sliced as they go up the line. As Politifact states, Walker is comparing apples and oranges.

    Also, Walker's half billion dollar surplus is largely the result of cuts to public education at all levels. In fact, Walker's cuts to public education of $1,038 per student since 2008 are the second largest in the nation. Alabama had the distinction of having the largest education cuts per student. Two of your neighbors, Minnesota and Iowa, increased spending per student.

    Furthermore, Walker's decision to not expand Medicaid as a part of the Affordable Care Act denies some 235,000 Wisconsin residents access to health care. While BadgerCare has generally been a success story over many years, Walker has even bumped people off BadgerCare to seek health care on the federal exchanges. It's another way of hiding cost reductions.

    The initial problems with the Affordable Care Act federal health care exchanges put Wisconsin behind your neighbor Minnesota in getting health insurance for the uninsured. Minnesota opted to build their own exchange. Wisconsin did not. Minnesota's exchange is being heralded as one of the big success stories, along with states like Kentucky and California. Wisconsin was well positioned to build its own exchange using their experience with Badgercare, but Walker followed the other Republican governors and left this to the federal government, perhaps hoping that it would fail.

    In the meantime, those Wisconsonites signing up for health insurance on the federal exchange are finding premiums 2-3 times higher than in Minnesota. That says something.

    Finally on the matter of unions. Union membership in Wisconsin was 11.2 percent in 2012 and declining rapidly due in part to Walker's Act 10 initiative. By comparison, in Minnesota, union membership was 14.2 percent and also declining but at a lower rate. So I don't agree that unions are a deterrent to economic growth.

    In my view, significant future obstacles for attracting entrepreneurs to Wisconsin are the trends in education and the cost of health insurance. According to Enrico Moretti, economics professor at Berkley:

    “Since 1980, data show that the economic success of a city has been increasingly defined by its number of highly educated workers. Cities with many college-educated workers and innovative employers started attracting more of the same, and cities with a less educated workforce and less innovative employers—such as traditional manufacturing—started losing ground."

    "My research shows that scientists and software engineers are not the only ones who thrive as a result. Using data on nine million workers in 320 U.S. metropolitan areas, I found that for each new innovation-job in a city, five additional jobs are created—not only in professional occupations (lawyers, teachers, nurses) but also nonprofessional occupations (waiters, hairdressers, carpenters). For each new software designer hired at Twitter in San Francisco, there are five new job openings for baristas, personal trainers, therapists and taxi drivers. The most important effect of high-tech companies on the local economy is outside high-tech.”"


    So I maintain that a state or community that wants to attract entrepreneurs needs to be highly competitive in turning out an educated workforce. Wisconsin hasn't done too badly in the past, but the future doesn't bode well for them as Walker slashes investments in public education. Of course he has also increased funding for school vouchers, but at the expense of public education for the greater good.

    You can't cut taxes and balance the budget with spending cuts on essential social services and expect your communities to attract young skilled workers...not when there are better options in the neighboring state.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Piqua, OH
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    Is Scott Walker a .... cross-dresser? He has heaped a lot of" dirt" on Mary Burke with the" help" of his Republican friends. His record and demeanor are ludicrous but his record is more so. I'd rather vote for a bad ..dog catcher than Scott Walker. How can you lose?