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Walker Opens Mouth, Readjusts Foot

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on March 5, 2010

Last week, Scott Walker put his foot in his mouth when he made the laughable claim that he would put almost every man and woman in Wisconsin back to work.

He followed this up by continuing the gaffe when he put his claim on facebook, only to reveal he doesn’t know much about Wisconsin history of basic mathematics.

Now it appears that his foot was getting uncomfortable in his mouth, so he readjusted it. In the new MKEpolitics, a joint venture between BizTimes Media LLC and WisPolitics.com, they have Walker quoted as saying:

“To me 250,000 is a minimum. It’s just a base.”
– Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, defending his jobs pledge as he campaigns for governor

It’s just a base? That would mean that he plans on creating many more jobs than just the 250,000 he initially claimed. But as Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now points out, there are 250,900 people in the state that are currently unemployed.

So what does that mean? That he plans on laying off many more people, or driving the business climate down the tubes even further, like he has done in Milwaukee County for the past eight years, so that there is a need for more than 250,900 jobs?

Or does that mean that he expects all of us to work at part-time minimum wage jobs so that we will each need two, three or four jobs just to make ends meet and be able to pay our taxes so that he can give tax breaks to his rich contributors?

While both premises would fit in with what Walker has done to Milwaukee County, neither prospect sounds very appealing.

James Wigderson continues to try to “wig the dog” by defending Walker’s claim (at least this time he cites sources to back his claim)(emphasis mine):

While I agree that it’s silly to promise that the government will create the jobs, David Ward, president and founder of NorthStar Economics and a former finance professor, says 250,000 jobs isn’t unreasonable even if state government does little to change business conditions.

“Two hundred fifty thousand jobs sounds like a big number, but when you spread it out over four years and you know you’re down 180,000 jobs from the recession, you can do it,” Ward said. “But there aren’t any magic wands out there. The key thing is you can do it if the global and national economies move in the right direction.”

As the article in WisPolitics points out,

The winner of the governor’s race this year should benefit during the first two years of his term from what state economists are already projecting to be a significant rebound from the jobs lost during the Great Recession.

Add even modest growth during the final two years, and the next governor could be in the neighborhood of 250,000 more jobs over his first term without doing much to change the state’s business climate.

Mmm.

That sounds a lot like an admission that President Obama’s stimulus package is actually working and restoring jobs.

It also highlights one of Walker’s more major character flaws: Stealing other people’s credit.

Walker has stolen credit from the County Board when he claimed he produced a $7 million surplus in the 2007 County Budget. That was the same budget he tried to distance himself from, claiming that it was just so bad it could never be fixed.

He also tried to take credit from President Obama for the ARRA money that Walker originally did not even want. At the same time, Walker tried to steal credit from the County Board who had to push Walker aside in order to get at the stimulus dollars in the first place.

Either way you look at it – whether Walker would make things much worse for us on the employment front or he is just again trying to steal credit for someone else’s ideas and work – it only goes to show that he lacks the economic savvy, the integrity and the leadership skills that would be needed for both his current job and the one that he dreams about.

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