Walker’s Wisconsin jobs record lags behind Democratic neighbor Minnesota

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-11-2013-05-2008

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at CPAC 2013.

Good luck explaining this one, Scott.

Republicans are quick to blame any economic problems in Republican-governed states on President Barack Obama. But political scientist Lawrence Jacobs points out an example that is hard to pin on anything but state-level Republican governance—no matter how hard they try. Wisconsin and Minnesota share a border and a lot of history, but in 2010, Wisconsin notoriously elected hard-right Gov. Scott Walker, while Minnesota elected progressive Gov. Mark Dayton. The results?

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.        

Along with California, Minnesota is the fifth fastest growing state economy, with private-sector job growth exceeding pre-recession levels. Forbes rates Minnesota as the eighth best state for business. Republicans deserve some of the credit, particularly for their commitment to education reform. They also argue that Minnesota’s new growth stems from the low taxes and reduced spending under Mr. Dayton’s Republican predecessor, Tim Pawlenty. But Minnesota’s job growth was subpar during Mr. Pawlenty’s eight-year tenure and recovered only under Mr. Dayton.

Republicans have all sorts of excuses, always, but it’s worth noting that we see similar patterns at the presidential level.

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