Even by his own, unverified numbers, Walker's performance a dismal comparison to his predecessor'sA couple of job graphs to remind you that Walker didn't save the state, that his reforms aren't working for Wisconsin, and that any way you look at it things are worse under his watch.
First, some background. When Walker took over Wisconsin, the state was in the midst of a recovery. Like much of the nation, Wisconsin had been hit hard by the effects of the global economic recession, and had lost a lot of jobs as a result.
Gov. Scott Walker, in defending his record, wasted no effort in pointing this out, stating in no uncertain terms that his predecessor had lost 150,000 jobs during the three years before he (Walker) took office.
Again, to reemphasize the point here: during a catastrophic, global economic recession, Walker erroneously placed the blame solely on the governor's office. That isn't just spin -- it's irresponsible campaigning.
But Walker's point -- even if you look past the absurdity of it all -- ignores the fact that Wisconsin was in a recovery the final year of Gov. Jim Doyle's term.
That recovery continued even into Walker's term, up until March of 2011. At that point, however, Walker's rubber-stamp legislature passed his controversial Act 10, stripping state workers of their collective bargaining rights. Other "reforms," such as tax breaks for corporations and changes to tort laws, were passed in the early part of Walker's first year as well.
What's interesting to note about this graph is that, following Walker's budget being introduced, the number of jobs in the state never recovered to Doyle-budget era numbers.
There's no doubt, looking at these graphs, that Walker's reforms have failed to produce the jobs that Wisconsin desperately needs. Tom Barrett's criticism of the Walker administration's failure to focus on jobs is entirely warranted.
But perhaps you buy into Walker's claims that the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers are off, that the new numbers Walker is trying to tout are more accurate indicators of his job performance.
Despite these numbers being as yet UNVERIFIED by the BLS, allow me to humor you -- let's assume Walker's incredibly optimistic numbers, which would indicate the biggest discrepancy in BLS history, are accurate. Even with that assumption -- a big leap to make -- Walker's job gains come at a slower rate than his predecessor's.
And yet, we're led to believe that things "are working" in Wisconsin under this governor? A slowdown of more than 10,000 jobs isn't an improvement. It's a sign that things are failing, or starting to fail, under Walker's rule.
That's where we find ourselves on jobs, one day before the recall election is set to commence. Walker has either done worse for Wisconsin as governor, or he's done A LOT worse. Either way, it's definitely NOT working.