ICYMI: Wisconsin Families Left Holding the Bag on Scott Walker’s Deficit

Sep 14, 2014

Scott Walker ran for governor in 2010 on a central campaign promise to create 250,000 new jobs, and he said he’d get it done using his “Brown Bag Guide to Government.”
Walker’s first “Brown Bag” principle? “Don’t spend more than you have.”

We know that Walker has failed miserably at job creation, as the latest, most accurate federal jobs numbers show Wisconsin ranked dead last — 10th out of 10 states — in the Midwest in private sector job growth under Walker and trailing most of the rest of the nation. And now in the past two weeks, Walker’s own administration and the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau have revealed that Walker’s fiscal mismanagement has led to a nearly $2 billion budget shortfall; Walker is spending more than Wisconsin has.

While Scott Walker has spent the past three and half years in office blaming everyone and everything from the weather and unrest in Syria, to healthcare reform and the unemployed for Wisconsin’s jobs failure on his watch, there’s no one else to blame when it comes to this fiscal mess — and editorial boards all across Wisconsin are taking him to task.

The Wisconsin State Journal yesterday editorialized on the state’s nearly $2 billion projected budget shortfall, “It’s a disappointing turn for the worse that should have been avoided,” but Republican leaders got “too careless” with the state budget at the start of an election year.

And the Appleton Post Crescent is joining in, calling out Walker for downplaying the nearly $2 billion budget shortfall on his watch. While Walker and legislative Republicans say that projected deficit doesn’t matter and worry over their fiscal mess is akin to “looking for dark clouds on a sunny day,” the Post Crescent points out that, “A 1 percent decrease in revenue and a structural deficit that has increased more than $1 billion in four months, along with a record state long-term debt of more than $14 billion, is more like seeing darker clouds rolling in on a partly cloudy day.”

But perhaps the sharpest criticism for Walker’s budget failure came from the usually-friendly Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which cited Walker’s “politically motivated” policies, like rejecting federal funds to strengthen BadgerCare and tax cuts that “went too far,” as factors in the state’s nearly $2 billion projected budget shortfall — a shortfall Walker “has to own.”

So what about Scott Walker’s “Brown Bag” principle to not spend more than you have? With the news of a staggering budget shortfall due to Walker’s policies, it looks like working Wisconsin families are left holding the bag.