What the Governor Did NOT Say in 2014 SOTS Speech

[ Scott Walker gave his State of theState speech on Tue 21 Jan 2014.  The following “Talking Points” are provided by Melissa Baldauff, Communications Director, Democratic Party of Wisconsin.  Although these were written before the speech was given, they are still valid points.  If you did not hear it, you can both listen to and read it.]

Talking Points

–As he prepared to give his State of the State address, there were three numbers Scott Walker would not talk about — the numbers 37, 45, and 48.

–Those numbers represent some hard truths about the state of Wisconsin under Scott Walker’s failed leadership:

  • 37 is for Wisconsin’s 37th in the nation ranking in job creation, according to the latest and most accurate federal jobs data — the “gold standard” numbers, per Scott Walker — down from 11th in the nation the day Walker took office.
  • 45 is for Wisconsin’s 45th in the nation ranking in job growth prospects, according to Forbes magazine.
  • And 48 is for Wisconsin’s 48th place ranking — almost dead last — in new business start-ups.

–But it’s not just about numbers and rankings – Scott Walker’s inattention to jobs and the economy has a real, harmful effect on Wisconsin families.

–Recent public polling shows that only 35 percent of Wisconsinites describe the state’s economic performance in positive terms and 70 percent say their personal financial situation has stayed the same or gotten worse since Scott Walker took office.

–And the latest Wisconsin Economic Scorecard poll shows that, among working-age residents, only those from households with a total annual income of $80,000 or more are likely to describe their personal financial situations in positive terms.

–Meanwhile, just to the west, our neighbors in Minnesota have added twice the number of jobs we have over the past year, and the jobs they’ve added pay more.

–They’ve also invested in public education, made tax reforms that ask the wealthy to pay their fair share so that working families can feel the relief, and even passed marriage equality — the polar opposite of what we’ve done in Wisconsin and with polar opposite results.

–These are some very sobering numbers about our track record on job creation over the past three years and the dismal job growth prospects on the horizon.

–Clearly what Scott Walker is doing in Wisconsin isn’t working and it’s time for a change.

–But, there is some potentially good news in our projected surplus.

–The national economic recovery has led to higher than expected tax revenues and projected budget surpluses in nearly every state in the nation, including Wisconsin.

–Everyone likes the sound of a surplus, but the reason this is only potentially good news is that all signs point to Scott Walker and Republicans in the legislature spending our unexpected windfall in the same irresponsible way that caused Wisconsin to fall to 37th in the nation in job growth.

–Walker’s first budget cut nearly one billion dollars from public schools and our technical college system that provides critical job training programs. It gave corporations and the super-rich more than two billion dollars in tax cuts while raising taxes on seniors and working families to the tune of nearly $70 million.

–And between his two budgets Walker can also claim record borrowing, a massive increase in debt servicing that kicks the can down the road, and a multi-billion dollar structural deficit.

–To be clear, this surplus isn’t built on prudent financial decisions — it’s built on disinvestments in our future that harm the economic security of the middle class.

–Scott Walker’s tax plan finally provides some targeted relief for those who need it most, but it’s too little, too late. Relief for working families is where Scott Walker should have started. Instead, faced with the prospect of a tough re-election, he is pandering to working families with a plan that gives them a fraction of what he gave special interests

–Scott Walker’s proposed tax plan is done in a way that is fiscally irresponsible, adding $100 million to our structural deficit. And it doesn’t begin to repair that damage that has been done to education and jobs training programs.

–The people of Wisconsin cannot afford to have our state fall even farther behind Minnesota and other states on economic recovery, job creation, fair wages, health care and education.

–Instead of doubling down on the same failed ideas of the past three years, Scott Walker and Republicans in the legislature should use this opportunity to put aside partisan political games, repair the damage they’ve done, and attempt to make life better for Wisconsin families.

–Many of the same families have seen their tax bills go up while Republicans gave big corporations and the wealthy elite so many breaks that many of them no longer pay any state taxes at all.

–And what about affordable healthcare? Scott Walker decided to forgo billions in federal funding that would insure 85,000 more people, save taxpayers more than $100 million, and create up to 10,000 new jobs.

–All of these decisions have ignored real people’s needs, priorities and long-term economic security. Scott Walker and the Republicans are all talk and no action when it comes to helping Wisconsin’s middle class.

Sample Social Media Posts

On Facebook:

It’s easy to claim you’ve got a budget surplus if you don’t pay for anything: Scott Walker’s 1st budget cut nearly $1 billion from schools while creating record borrowing that kicks the debt can down the road.

Scott Walker’s reckless budgeting has hurt Wisconsin’s future by taking from job training programs and public education in favor of tax cuts for corporations and the super-rich. As a result, Wisconsin now ranks 45th in the nation in prospective job growth. It’s time for Scott Walker and legislative Republicans to put politics aside and repair the damage they’ve done to Wisconsin families.

ICYMI: The State of Healthcare in Wisconsin — Scott Walker refused billions of dollars in federal funding that would have insured 85,000 more people, saved taxpayers more than $100 million, and created up to 10,000 new jobs.

On Twitter:

ICYMI: @GovWalker gave $2B in tax cuts to corporations and the super rich while raising taxes on seniors and working families by $70M. #wisots

As @GovWalker jet-sets around the country raising $, WI falls more behind MN in economic recovery, job creation, health care, and education. #wisots

Despite promising to create jobs, Walker has cut $ from job training programs and caused WI to fall to 37th in the nation in job growth. #wisots #WalkerFail

RT if you agree: It’s time for @GovWalker @WisGOP to put politics aside and repair the damage they’ve done to WI families. #wisots

.@GovWalker refused billions in federal funding that would have created up to 10,000 new jobs. Now WI ranks 45th in the nation in prospective job growth. #wisots

.@GovWalker called federal #QCEW jobs data the “gold standard.” Too bad since he took office WI has dropped from 11th to 37th by those numbers.

 For More Information:

Please feel free to contact Melissa Baldauff at melissab@wisdems.org or Brandon Weathersby at brandonw@wisdems.org.

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