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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Haunted by Promise to Add 250,000 Jobs

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The Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, is known for something he did three years ago. As he won the governor’s office handily, Scott passed a bill that ended collective bargaining for the majority of public workers and defeated a recall attempt. The defeat of the recall was the first in history, according to The Northwestern.

Now, as he bids for re-election, Walker could lose the race for promising 250,000 private sector jobs back in 2010. He has yet to deliver on that promise.

At a meeting of the Dairy Business Association, Walker said, “I want my cabinet secretaries to have branded across their heads, ‘250,000 jobs.’ I want them to know their job is on the line because my job is on the line to create 250,000 jobs in the private sector.”

Walker is coming up short on his promise three years into his term as governor of Wisconsin.

Walker has been heavily criticized by his Democratic challenger, Mary Burke for that promise.

“In 2010, Governor Walker laid out his jobs plan,” says Burke. “It was four pages long. And if you took out the pictures of himself, it was more like two. Frankly, I’ve seen eighth grade term papers that have more work put into them.”

Wisconsin relies on manufacturing jobs to succeed. Its unemployment rate during the recession hit 9.2 percent, but the state has been adding jobs in the manufacturing sector at a higher rate than its neighbors. On the other hand, the state has created just 75 percent as many jobs in financial and business services, retail, leisure and hospitality.

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh economics professor Kevin McGee said, “the simplest explanation for Wisconsin’s lag in job growth is that a substantial number of Wisconsin consumers were spooked by the changes in the first six months of the Walker administration and reduced their spending. And that lower spending has translated into lower growth.”

Walker has talked about the uncertainty caused by his recall, concerns over the federal health care law and the slow recovery for the nation. He has emphasized the 101,000 private sector jobs added so far and the 5.8 percent unemployment rate in the state.

“We’re turning things around,” Walker said in May. “We’re heading in the right direction.”

Walker has been able to cut taxes by almost $2 billion. He claimed it would lessen the burden on businesses and consumers. Walker was also able to ease environmental regulations in the state.

“There’s no credible evidence that anything state governments do intentionally to create jobs actually work,” said McGee.

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Authored by: Jim Vassallo