After attacking Burke, Walker shrugged off the deficit saying, “Remember, the economy is better.”
But the economic data tells a different story. The most accurate and reliable jobs data shows Wisconsin is still dead last in Midwest private sector job creation over the last three years, and we trail behind the national rate of growth. Beyond the numbers, Wisconsin’s middle class continues to feel the squeeze as the cost of everything keeps going up, they work harder and harder, but continue to struggle to get ahead.
Governor Walker has already been called out by the Racine Journal Times and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for his failure to create the 250,000 jobs he promised as a candidate in 2010. But as the governor tries to spin his way out of the fiscal mess he created, he cannot escape the cold, hard truth that his shortsighted decisions caused the fiscal mess we now find ourselves in.
The fact is that Wisconsin faces a nearly $2 billion projected budget shortfall heading into the next budget cycle because of Scott Walker’s politically-motivated decisions during his first term. Instead of doing what’s best for the people of this state, Walker did what was best for himself and his political profile. Now, the state has a massive deficit that will likely get worse as additional shortfalls in the transportation and Medicaid budgets will also have to be addressed in the next budget cycle.
Immediately upon taking office, Scott Walker passed a draconian budget that drastically cut critical government services, raised taxes on working-class families, and gave huge tax breaks to big businesses and those at the very top. Walker sold his policies as necessary for economic growth while preaching fiscal responsibility. Three and a half years later, all we have to show for it is a dead last jobs ranking and a huge, growing deficit.
As other states enjoy surpluses thanks to the nationwide economic recovery that has come after the recession, Wisconsin is slated to be one of the few with a deficit headed into the next budget. No matter how you slice it, we owe this shortfall to Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature which supported the governor’s reckless policies.
“Scott Walker built a projected surplus on disinvestments in our future that harm the economic security of the middle class, then hastily spent money we didn’t have on election year gimmicks, and now his poor decisions are hurting us all.” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Mike Tate said on Wednesday. “Wisconsin families cannot bear another term of Scott Walker’s reckless policies. This governor must be held accountable for the fiscal mess he created.”