3 Lies About the Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Recall

Ever since he took on Wisconsin’s teachers unions and denied them collective bargaining rights, Republican Gov. Scott Walker has been Public Enemey No. 1 for public-sector unions all over the country. Walker faces a recall election on June 5th and may well be chased out of the governor's mansion after just one year in office.

Is Walker the heartless budget-cutter his opponents claim - slashing spending, cutting taxes, and driving Wisconsin’s economy into a sinkhole?

Hardly. Here are three lies at the heart of the Wisconsin Recall.

Lie #1: Gov. Walker Cut Spending

Gov. Walker has cut the rate at which Wisconsin's state budget is growing, but he hasn’t actually cut spending. In fact, the state's biennial budget is scheduled to increase by about 3 percent on Walker's watch, rising from $62.6 billion (2009-11) to $64.3 billion (2011-13).

A big reason for that bump is that Walker's budget includes a historic increase in state spending on Medicaid, after the federal government cut its contribution to the state-run health insurance program for the poor.

Walker has been widely vilified for a 7 percent cut in state aid to schools over two years, which he says will be paid for by cost-saving measures such as requiring teachers to kick in more for their pensions and healthcare.

But the bottom line is that Walker hasn’t actually cut overall state spending.

Lie #2: Gov. Walker Slashed Taxes

Gov. Walker's tax cuts will save Wisconsonites about $136 million dollars[*] in the next fiscal year, which is just 1 percent of the total tax money the state collects.

It’s not like Wisconsin is some sort of under-taxed haven. In 2009, the Tax Foundation ranked Wisconsin as having the fourth-highest combined state and local tax burden in the country. If cutting taxes and letting individuals spend their own money is a way to spark economic activity, Wisconsin still has a long way to go.

Lie #3 Gov. Walker Destroyed Jobs

Walker has been battered for a projected drop of 24,000 jobs in the Badger State over the course of one year. His opponents say this is proof that his entire first term has been an abysmal failure.

Walker's supporters are pointing to another jobs survey that shows an increase of 23,000 jobs over the same period.

Whichever's more accurate, these numbers represent neither catastrophe nor triumph since they account for less than 1 percent Wisconsin's labor force.

One thing that both sides can agree on is that Wisconsin's unemployment rate of 6.8 percent is well below the national average of 8.1 percent.

There's no doubt that Wisconsin's economy has plenty of room for improvement. That'll only happen if Gov. Walker can get serious about cutting taxes and spending.

[*]: The Wisconsin's Legislative Fiscal Bureau's June 2011 tally of Walker's tax cuts was completed before passage of Act 212, which brought an additional tax reduction of $1.3 million next fiscal year.

Written by Jim Epstein and Nick Gillespie.

About 3.30 minutes.

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  • HawkinsBeulah||

    my co-worker's mother-in-law makes $62/hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for six months but last month her pay check was $18620 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Here's the site to read more..AloJob2.Notlong.CoM

  • Pip||

    You're too modest about your co-worker's mother. You left out the part about how she licks to finger the dog's ass while she's sucking its bright red cock. The dog just loves it!

  • Lord Humungus||

    so the internet porn cam business does pay off!

  • thirtyandseven||

    Yes, but how does she feel about recalling Governor Walker?

  • DarrenM||

    Yes, she remembers him well.

  • ||

    I'm not necessarily a huge Walker fan, but I really hope he survives the recall, for the simple fact that his ouster will encourage labor unions and scare anyone that stands up to them.

  • RFID||

    I'm indifferent. If he stays, I can enjoy the massive public parasite/union asspain that will likely follow, along with various strikes that will follow that will be a good show of how useless these people are in the real world.

    If he gets ousted, we can see the damage firsthand of what some parasite-worshiping toady will do to the economy of Wisconsin. Win-Win!

  • thirtyandseven||

    Meh, we'll already see the destruction of Cali and Illinois.. more than sufficient in my opinion. They may be cheeseheads, but I hope for their sake they don't follow suit.

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    So he did't cut spending or taxes. Well what good is he then?

  • Killazontherun||

    The focus of animus that is a drain on the resources of some of the worst people on the planet.

    If he wins, they'll likely try it again.

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    I was thinking along those lines after I posted. Exploding heads are fun to watch.

  • thirtyandseven||

    ...collective bargaining rights...

    Come again?

  • Farturo||

    I live in Madison. The vast majority of people here could not tell you how collective bargaining works in a technical or legal sense (well, at least not accurately).

    AFSCME members and supporters around town have signs that say "It's About Freedom". They're right that it's about freedom, but they are on the side that opposes actual freedom.

    I've managed to convince a few friends who are patient listeners that collective bargaining is not a right, but for most people, it's not worth arguing about - their minds are made up.

  • thirtyandseven||

    Yup. Look, I have no problem with employees forming unions and negotiating with employers if it's not against the employer's contract to do so, but it should be against government contracts. This is taxpayer money we are talking about, and every dollar spent paying off union bosses is one less dollar being spent efficiently by the private sector.

    We can't afford that, especially not in this economy.

    It's amazing comparing government spending and economic growth figures between WI and my home state, IL. Depressing, really - if we can't figure this out in IL after having a clear example set for us just north of the border, we really are screwed.

    Like Cali, but without the women and beaches.

  • Kroneborge||

    Not only that but public unions then turn around and spend money to elect politicians to give them bigger raises. So there's an inherint conflicet of interest there.

  • DarrenM||

    Gov. Walker has cut the rate at which Wisconsin's state budget is growing

    Ah. You mean 'austerity'.

  • kevinsmith||

    is the three lie real ? i can't imagine that . Cheap Tory Burch Flats

  • Timrek||

    I moved to Wisconsin in Nov. 2010. This recall is such a bunch of BS. The Unions are a bunch of power hungry liars. Sure what Walker's done isn't much in a libertarian sense and on social issues he's even worse, but any cut in Union power is a good thing. They have a smug sense of entitlement while representing such a small part of the state's (or nation's) workforce. And they by and large represent those sectors of the economy that are failing...largely due to their own behavior. It would be funny to watch their failure after Walker loses, but I live here now. Taxes are high enough so I hope Walker crushes Barrett.

  • Phil_EngAmer||

    I think one of the biggest misrepresentations surrounding this recall is that Walker is responsible for harsh divide that seems to permeate throughout the state. However, this is simply not the case. Wisconsin has always been a divided state (http://bit.ly/KRmScq). The fact is, unions are trying to make it seem as if Walker has introduced some crazy unprecedented legislation when that is hardly the case (http://bit.ly/pXbwCd).

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