Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WisGOP, Walker keeps stepping on their own outsourcing rakes

Instead of talking about the Marquette Law School poll that showed a statistical toss-up on the governor's race (although I might well bring up some interesting figures in it later on), I wanted to go over some of the mega-fail that has been WisGOP's and Gov Walker's strategy to denigrate Mary Burke and Trek Bicycle on outsourcing.

Walker and WisGOP sent out their first ad trying to knock down Burke and Trek a week ago, and the ad was immediately refuted by Burke's brother John, who's Trek's CEO. Not only did John Burke respond to Walker's claim, but he pointed out that Trek currently employs around 1,000 Wisconsinites, and locates in other countries largely to sell bikes in other countries.
"When people make blatantly false accusations about a company you've spent your lifetime building and you have 1,800 employees who are proud about what they do every day, that just isn't right," John Burke said.

Trek was founded in Waterloo in the 1970s by John and Mary Burke's father and is now the second-largest bike manufacturer worldwide. Mary Burke worked as an executive at Trek twice, leaving the company in 2004.

John Burke said all decisions about where to locate jobs were his and not his sister's. Mary Burke worked for Trek as the head of its European division from 1990 to 1993 and again from 1995 until 2004, with her most recent job being director of planning and strategic planning.

John Burke said Trek does not employ children at its overseas plants. He said Trek has manufacturing plants in China, Germany and Holland and they all strictly follow local labor laws.
Walker, being a 21st Century Republican, decided to continue running the ad despite the dishonesty. It was also remarkable to see Walker criticize Trek, as the Walker-created Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation featured John Burke and Trek as a great example of a Wisconsin job creator in a WEDC promotional video in 2012 (well after any outsourcing had happened). Wonder what changed, other than Mary Burke's entrance into the Governor's race?

It's also worth noting that Walker's ads came just days after a report from WKOW Channel 27 showed 2 companies that had received WEDC tax credits for alleged expansion not only failed to create new jobs, but later outsourced the original Wisconsin jobs. And oh yeah, both of those companies had personnel that had donated to the Walker campaign. Which made Walker's ads seem like a classic misdirection play by a struggling campaign to get the topic off of their "dead last in the Midwest for jobs" standing.

And it's not like Walker and his personally-hired CEO of WEDC have a problem with the concept of outsourcing. On the same day John Burke gave his first reply to the ad, WEDC CEO Reed Hall told Madison's WKOW that outsourcing was a fact of life for many corporations these days.
"We are in a global marketplace and some companies, to be successful financially, need to outsource," said Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO Reed Hall.

Hall was responding to questions about a 27 News story from last week, which showed at least two companies that received tax credits from WEDC later outsourced Wisconsin jobs to foreign countries.

A 27 News investigation uncovered that both the Eaton Corporation and Plexus Corporation received financial awards from WEDC, only to later lay off workers whose jobs were taken by employees at the companies' foreign facilities.

"I'm sorry that they temporarily had to outsource some jobs, but I think ultimately over the long-term its gonna be a great win for Wisconsin with both these companies," said Hall.
Walker is now left to spin like a madman to claim the anti-Trek ads aren't related to his beliefs about outsourcing, resulting in word salads that would make Sarah Palin seem coherent.

Guess it's a lot easier on right-wing radio when you can just throw garbage against the wall and not have to explain it and compare it to your record, eh Scotty? This song keeps coming to mind when I think about Walker's act.

John Burke also put his criticism of Walker's anti-Trek ads in print, buying up space in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and other state newspapers on Sunday to give a page-long defense of his company and the philanthropy they take part in. So how did WisGOP respond? By crying like pathetic bitches and filing a complaint with the state's General Accountability Board, claiming John Burke's ad should be treated as an in-kind contribution to his sister's campaign. This is despite the fact that Mary Burke or the Democratic Party aren't even mentioned once in Burke's printed ad, which makes WisGOP's complaint extremely whiny and lame, but that isn't even the best part about why WisGOP's GAB complaint is such a bad move.

No, the REAL FAIL in WisGOP's move is because they've just admitted that the John Doe coordination case against Governor Walker is 100% legitimate. Brandon Fischer at PR Watch points out the insane WisGOP hypocrisy in an excellent article today.
Even if the Trek ad were considered a political expenditure -- rather than a business owner trying to defend his company's reputation -- nothing is stopping Trek from running it independently of the Burke campaign. The U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United struck down laws barring corporations from making independent political expenditures.

"The only way the ad is possibly problematic is if there is coordination" between the campaign and Trek about the ad, [Wisconsin Common Cause Executive Director Jay] Heck said.

Ads coordinated with a candidate can be regarded as in-kind contributions to the campaign, regardless of whether they expressly tell viewers how to vote. The existence of coordination is an indication that an ad is of value to a campaign, and therefore should be treated as an in-kind campaign contribution, subject to contribution limits and disclosure requirements.

This legal theory -- which has now been endorsed by the Wisconsin Republican Party -- is the basis of the John Doe criminal probe. Prosecutors allege that the Walker campaign was at the center of a "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate with Wisconsin Club for Growth, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, and other independent groups on millions of dollars of ads during the recall elections. What made the alleged conduct “criminal” is the Walker campaign and others misleading Wisconsin voters by knowingly filing campaign finance reports that omitted millions of dollars of in-kind contributions.
Talk about your "D'OH!" moves! WisGOP has now completely undermined Walker and his fellow right-wing oligarchs, by not only admitting that coordination between organizations and candidates should be considered campaign contributions, but also by expanding the definition of "coordination" to include a family member running an ad that doesn't encourage voting for a certain candidate- or even mentioning the election or the candidate that's allegedly being helped!

These absurd, desperate arguments would be embarrassing to Scott Walker and WisGOP, if I believed that these ridiculous lowlifes could feel shame (and I could give you a lot more examples of this silliness, but this article is long enough). But then again, they can't get enough people to actually want to vote FOR them, despite the huge amount of right-wing propaganda that is fed to Wisconsinites every day on the AM radio dials and in the pages of their daily newspapers. So with that in mind, all they can do is go negative and try to keep the majority of Wisconsinites of going to the polls to cast the ballot for Burke.

And in reality, THAT'S what this recent Walker/WisGOP strategy is all about- making the electorate turned off and cyncial, which allows just enough votes from hard-right, angry white guys to carry them to a 51-49 victory. Then the righties can claim a "mandate" that they can steamroll over the other 75% of Wisconsinites that didn't vote for them (the 24% who voted for Burke, and the 51% who didn't vote at all).

Or we can say "Enough!", and kick these adolescent fools to the curb this November. Seems like a better idea to me.

Happy Hump Day!

I was trying to get some items done yesterday (especially in light of the Obamacare decisions), but a family outing intervened. And then this happened later in the evening (they have both the TV and radio broadcasts. Ueck's call starts just after 1:00)

If Luke doesn't watch it, he just might win the MVP. A few more of those makes him an even more serious candidate than he already is.

EDIT: Here's ESPN's Jim Caple getting on the "Luke for MVP" bandwagon.

Monday, July 21, 2014

New home sales show a struggling 262

Today featured the release of the Wisconsin Realtors' Association's monthly sales report, and at first glance it seemed like June was a decent rebound, as the state finally had a year-over-year increase in home sales.
Existing home sales in Wisconsin saw positive gains for the first time this year, and median home prices were up slightly according to the most recent housing market report released by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA). June home sales rose 4.5 percent compared to June 2013, and median prices were stable, rising 0.6 percent to $159,900 over the same period.

“This is a welcome sign since June is our most important month for sales,” said Steve Lane, chairman of the WRA board of directors. “In a typical year, Wisconsin sells approximately 11.5 percent of its homes in June, which is more than any other month of the year, so strong sales in June is important,” said Lane.
Seems like maybe we're bouncing back. Except that we were in such a hole from the first 5 months of the year that we're still well behind where we should be. I'm also going to leave out the absurd pro- Scott Walker happy talk from the Realtors, as we know the state's economy is badly lagging and just ended its worst 6 months of job growth in the 3 1/2 years Walker has been governor.
However, given the harsh winter, Lane cautioned that even a solid showing in June won’t completely erase the weaker winter and spring sales. He noted that during the first half of the year, sales were down 4.9 percent compared to the first six months of 2013. All regions saw positive gains in sales in June with the double-digit growth in the West and the Central regions, up 15.6 percent and 10.1 percent respectively. Home sales in June were up between 3 and 6 percent in three regions — the South central, North and Northeast regions; and sales in the Southeast region were up slightly at 0.2 percent....

Median prices stabilized in June, with prices up just 0.6 percent to $159,900 for the month compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date, the median price has increased 3.6 percent to $145,000 compared to the median price seen for the first six months of 2013. “Fortunately our price increases have moderated compared to late last year and early in 2014,” said WRA President and CEO Michael Theo. The annual pace of median price growth was 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, followed by 4.4 percent in the first quarter of 2014, and a more sustainable 1.7 percent increase in the second quarter of 2014 relative to that same quarter in 2013.
So the price increases are slowing down as well as sales being slow. And there are few places that have done worse in Wisconsin than the 3 counties around Milwaukee that greatly support Scott Walker. Take a look at how badly the WOW Counties have fared so far in 2014.

Change in home sales Jan-June 2013 vs Jan-June 2014
Ozaukee Co. -6.2%
Washington Co. -12.0%
Waukesha Co. -9.2%

Change in median home sales price Jan-June 2013 vs Jan-June 2014
Ozaukee Co. +0.8%
Washington Co. -4.1%
Waukesha Co. +1.7%

Both of these stats are well below the statewide figures of sales being down 4.9% and prices up 3.6%. And these areas kept sliding in June while the state as a whole was up.

Change in home sales June 2013 vs June 2014
Ozaukee Co. -8.3%
Washington Co. -10.3%
Waukesha Co -2.3%

Yes, the sample size is still somewhat small, but you gotta start wondering if people are simply not choosing to live in areas that stood with Walker at rates between 71 and 76 percent in the June 2012 recall election. By comparison, Milwaukee County was up 0.9% for sales in June, their 5.8% decline in sales for the year is less than any of WOW Counties, and median sales prices in Milwaukee County are up 9.0% for the first 5 months of 2014 (granted, at a lower price point). Maybe new Milwaukee-area home buyers are choosing not to live in areas that choose to live in fear and don't believe in transit and walkable communities. That sure seemed to be a theory from officials in Oklahoma City, Cleveland and Denver in a recent MMAC discussion - a belief that must have alarmed the MMAC's pro-Walker oligarchs, knowing how much their guy disinvested in transit in Brew Town.

I happened to head into Milwaukee this weekend for a family event, and was detoured off of I-94 due to the Zoo Interchange Closure. So we traveled through Brookfield and Pewaukee as part of our detours, and especially along Bluemound Road it was startling to see the amount of vacant store and office space. It's an extremely rare site to see "For Lease" signs every 2 or 3 buildings in Madison like I saw in the 262, and you couldn't ignore the outdated strip malls that seem to have moved downscale from the times 30 years ago when Brookfield and Elm Grove were the suburbs that young families wanted to locate in.

So with the idyllic image of sprawling, safe suburbs collapsing around them, and it bein obvious those places aren't getting ahead in the Age of Fitzwalkerstan, it makes you wonder if at least 35% of the voters in those areas won't want to make a change in leadership this November. And if that happens, there is very little chance Walker can win.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

PBS discusses the divided Milwaukee

Here is an intriguing report from last night's PBS New Hour. It's former presidential debate moderator Gwen Ifill heading to Milwaukee to discuss the huge amounts of red vs. blue polarization that defines the metro area.

A few thoughts.

1. The report itself is relatively even-handed, but outside of Mayor Barrett's mention, avoids discussion of the poisonous role of Milwaukee talk radio and the Bradley-backed right-wing propaganda machine that causes both sides to head to their respective corners, and not trust the other. I also love the interview with the Boomer-aged woman with the Polish name that claimed to be a former Democrat, but now lives in the suburbs and votes Republican. When Ifill asks her why this happened, she says "Because of liberalism," but won't say what about liberalism turned her off. Then again, maybe she doesn't have to say it. racism and AM radio lies

2. Oconomowoc Barbie (aka Lt. Gov Kleefisch) made a comment about how the division "makes for a stronger Wisconsin," which is even more stomach-churning than her usual tripe. Apparently she didn't catch the references made by officials from other cities at a recent Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce roundtable. The goal of the meeting was to pump up support for a new Bucks arena (which the MMAC oligarchs are all about), but instead backfired into an analysis of one of the Milwaukee area's biggest failures.
Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, had the most straight-forward quote of the day. Speaking about millenials she said “this generation wants transit, they want amenities. They want it all downtown.”

The leaders from Denver and Oklahoma City began their remarks by noting all the lists they’re on, and how those two cities are similar. Joseph Roman, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, had a different message though. He noted multiple times how Milwaukee and Cleveland are peer cities, and appear on the same lists (he didn’t mention any specifically, but his attitude indicated they weren’t the same rosy ones Denver and Oklahoma City are on).

Roy Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, noted that in Oklahoma City “we all followed Richard Florida.” But he mentioned for a long time most of them didn’t believe in Florida’s creative class gospel. He noted that they’ve now changed their mind and when it comes to attracting millennials, it is all about place. Williams said Oklahoma City has 130,000 college students in the region, and has managed to increase from a graduate retention rate that was below 50 percent to its current rate of 90 percent. He, too, emphasized that young people want transit and amenities, and Oklahoma City has been able to figure that out with their MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects) program.

Following a question about doing projects mainly downtown, Williams offered a line he says his mayor often uses: “you can’t be a suburb of nothing.” Noting that the health of its downtown is good for a region as a whole, Roman said “downtowns are what makes our regions thrive.”
Compare that to the situation in Wisconsin, where the Lt. Gov/Oconomowoc Barbie won the 2010 GOP primary by running ads that claimed Wisconsin didn't need high-speed rail and transit because she could take her kids around in her mini-van. Suburban Milwaukee legislators (like Barbie's fool of a husband) do everything in their power to weaken the city of Milwaukee, tying the city's hands through shared revenue cuts and unfunded mandates. And you wonder why brain drain from the area seems to be speeding up, especially to more open-minded and transit-oriented areas like Madison, the Twin Cities and Chicago?

3. Having Dimwitted David Brooks comment on anything is worthless. This is especially true when he tries to state that the polarization has to do with "diminishing resources, including pensions." Obviously, Dimwitted Dave didn't check the fact that Wisconsin's pension system is fully funded, making it Number 1 in the nation. And that situation had nothing to do with Scott Walker's Act 10 "reforms", because Act 10 merely changed how much public employees paid into the pensions vs all taxpayers - "savings" that were later used to give rich people tax breaks. The result in 2014? Wisconsin has lost jobs in 4 of the first 6 months of the year, and now has revenue shortfalls that will lead to massive budget deficits over the next 3 years.

But it's good to see the national media give attention to this unsustainable level of polarity (the J-S's Craig Gilbert notes the only other place you see something like this is in the South). They beat around the bush on the racial angle (unlike Alec MacGillis' excellent article in the New Republic on Walker's "toxic racial politics"), but it doesn't take a genius to watch that piece and see it's a significant factor. And as the old "white flight" Archie Bunker-like racists die out, the 262 trailer trash and their boy Scotty get shriller, dumber, and angrier, probably because they know their time is starting to run out.

Now here's the question. Will JournalComm care more about its community, see the damage it is causing, and clean up their act in both their newspaper and their broadcast stations. Or will they care about the millions in ad money that might come in from a heated and closely-contested Walker-Burke race, even if it makes the Milwaukee area decline into a hateful area that no one wants to move to? We need to watch them, and keep the dollar signs from blinding them to the reality that's right in from of their faces.

Friday, July 18, 2014

National numbers make Wisconsin's June loss even worse

As mentioned, I wanted to take a look at the state-by-state monthly jobs report to follow up on yesterday's news of more Wisconsin private sector job losses.

And the nationwide numbers make Wisconsin's report look even worse. When combined with May's job losses (which were revised up to 900 in yesterday's report), it makes Wisconsin the only state in the Midwest to lose private-sector jobs in both months. In fact, Wisconsin was at least 15,000 JOBS BEHIND 4 of our 6 Midwestern neighbors, as we thawed out from the polar vortex winter.

Private sector job change, April-June 2014
Mich +34,300
Ind. +17,200
Minn +13,500
Ohio +12,900
Iowa +3,000
Ill. +2,800
Wis. -2,100

But these horrible stats didn't mean the Walker Administration has given up trying to convince people that somehow "It's Working" in Wisconsin. Which means it's time to destroy yet another lame pro-Walker cheerleading attempt by DWD Secretary Reggie Newson. I'll start off with the DWD spin, and respond with the context and reality in italics.
Highlights of today's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report of state-by-state employment and unemployment estimates include:

Wisconsin's unemployment rate had a statistically significant decrease between June 2013 and June 2014. (2014 5.7% v. 2013 6.8%). Wisconsin's unemployment rate has not risen for 19 months.
So freaking what? The US rate has only gone up one time in the last 18 months, and has dropped from 7.5% to 6.1% in the last year - a bigger drop than Wisconsin’s (1.4% vs. 1.1%). In the Midwest, 4 of the 6 other states had statistically significant drops in unemployment, and their drops were between 1.4% and 2.1%. In addition, the 2 states that didn’t make the “statistically significant list” (Iowa and Minnesota) already had unemployment down to 4.8% and 5.1% in June 2013, and currently are even lower than that today.

This claim actually makes Wisconsin look worse, not better.

Wisconsin has a statistically significant private-sector job (Current Employment Statistics) increase between June 2013 and June 2014 at 33,800, which ranked 23rd nationally.
This is damning with praise again. Wisconsin is 20th among all the states in population, so being 23rd in total job increase means if anything, we’re underachieving.

Wisconsin had a statistically significant total nonfarm job (CES) increase between June 2013 and June 2014 at 45,400, which ranked 16th nationally.
This sounds good on the surface, but leaves out the 2 ½ years of bottom-third suckitude before this, and leaves out the fact that over ¼ of these jobs are in GOVERNMENT. (So much for “small government conservative Scott Walker.”)

Wisconsin had a statistically significant manufacturing job (CES) increase between June 2013 and June 2014 at 8,300, which ranked 5th nationally and above Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota.
Again, so what? We’re just behind Indiana for Number 1 in the U.S. when it comes to the highest percentage of jobs in manufacturing. It would be like if Wisconsin bars took credit for selling the most brandy per capita in the nation. Of course we’d do well in this stat when manufacturing employment is growing in America.

No matter how they try to dress it up, the Walker Administration can't hide from the fact that Wisconsin is still worst in the Midwest for job creation. This statement is true both in the first 3 years of the Age of Fitzwalkerstan (as shown by the "gold standard" Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages report), and in the 2 months since the grass started to grow. I understand that a Common Core opponent like Walker might find math to be a liberal plot, but it doesn't change the fact that this state has badly lagged since his radical policies were put in place, and there is little evidence this will change until new leadership is installed.

P.S. For more information, please check out UW-Madison professor Menzie Chinn's recent post on Econbrowser, where he contrasts the failure of ALEC states like Kansas and Wisconsin with growing, Dem-led states like California and Minnesota. Worth noting- those Dem-led states have more jobs now than they did before the Great Recession hit, while Kansas and Wisconsin still have yet to get back to that level.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

With bad June jobs report, Wisconsin completes worst 6 months (so far) under Walker

With the June Wisconsin jobs report looming for release today, I wondered if that was playing a role in Scott Walker's sudden desire to deflect and distract the media with lame anti-Mary Burke ads that are now being called false by Trek's president, and constant (taxpayer-funded) trips to campaign contributors to announce "future expansions." And it turns out I was right to be suspicious.

Turns out that the state lost 1,200 private sector jobs in June, and May was revised to show an extra 500 jobs lost in that month. This now means Wisconsin has lost private sector jobs in 4 of the 6 months of 2014- a time period that the US as a whole GAINED 1.33 MILLION private sector jobs. The only reason Wisconsin's unemployment stayed even at 5.7% was because 7,400 people dropped out of the workforce, and now Wisconsin is only 0.4% below the US rate of 6.1% (it was 1.4% below when Walker took office in January 2011).

With the bad June report coming while the rest of the country was thriving (263,000 private sector jobs added, and 288,000 overall), the Walker jobs gap has jumped quite a bit higher. Wisconsin is now nearly 66,000 private sector jobs below what we'd have if we'd kept up with the US pace, and 56,000 jobs in the hole overall.

Remarkably, while most of the rest of the country seems to be adding jobs at the best pace in years, Wisconsin is getting worse the longer Walker stays in office. The paltry 8,500 private sector jobs added in the first 6 months of 2014 is the lowest half-year total in Scotty's 3 1/2 years in office, and it shows that the strong end of 2013 numbers were a fluke that didn't break the state out of its Walker-led doldrums.

It's also worth mentioning that this 2014 job failure has come in a year where two rounds of income tax cuts have taken effect. Do you need any more proof you need that tax cuts don't create jobs, and that Scott Walker's corporate cronysim and "austerity for those outside of the inner circle" policy isn't the way to go? Well, it shouldn't, but I supposed it won't stop some paid-off hacks and gutless fools from claiming "the jury is still out."

Soryy guys, the jury's back, and this debate doesn't take too long among honest folks. The trickle-down, anti-education Fitzwalkerstanis have failed, and I bet tomorrow's state-by-state jobs report will make them look even worse, if possible.

DHS finally releases Obamacare numbers, and it magnifies the #Walkerfail

1. After weeks of delay, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services finally released numbers showing what happened to the near-poverty group that was thrown off Badgercare as part of Gov Walker's 2013 decision to try to avoid complying with the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). And contrary to what the Walker Administration claimed last year, most of these people didn't end up getting medical coverage from the exchanges.
The data match that the Department completed with data received from CMS determined how many BadgerCare Plus members who needed to transition into the federal Health Insurance Marketplace because they no longer met program rules as of April 1, 2014 chose to select a qualified health plan through the Marketplace for their private health insurance coverage and were eligible to receive an Advanced Premium Tax Credit.

When CMS and the Department of Health Services finalized Wisconsin’s approach to operationalizing the Affordable Care Act in December 2013, both agencies agreed to establish a way to track the number of people who made the transition to securing coverage through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace. This data match fulfills this requirement.

Below is a summary of the 62,776 transitioning BadgerCare Plus members included in the data match:

24,660 selected a qualified health plan through the Marketplace as of June 13, 2014 or are now eligible for BadgerCare Plus or Medicaid.

18,801 selected a qualified health plan through the Marketplace.

4,867 are on BadgerCare Plus or Medicaid.

992 were flagged as being on BadgerCare Plus/Medicaid and selecting a qualified health plan.
In other words, more than 60% of those parents and caretakers that were kicked off of Badgercare did not get covered by Medicaid or the Obamacare exchanges. That's not a good ratio, if you ask me.

In the AP story on the Medicaid numbers, DHS Secretary Kitty Rhoades and Deputy Secretary Kevin Moore mention that many of the 38,000 others may not be uninsured, but instead could have ended up on other health insurance coverage through work and/or a spouse, and there's some truth to that statement. It's why I'm going to be very interested in the Census Bureau's annual release of uninsured figures, which usually happens around September. Those figures only run through the end of December 2013, so it won't account for the full effect of receiving coverage in 2014 under Obamacare, but we can at least see how we were shaping up before then.

That being said, even if those parents and caretakers were able to get coverage through their work or spouse, it doesn't mention the added out-of-pocket costs that will result from kicking them off of BadgerCare, and the extra strain and reduced spending that causes to other parts of the state's economy.

And the Rhoades and Moore claim that they parents and caretakers with incomes between 133-200% of poverty HAD to be thrown off of BadgerCare isn't quite true. If you look at the Legislative Fiscal Bureau's paper from February 2013 that described options available to the state for health insurance under the ACA, you'll notice that BadgerCare Plus (which most parents and caretakers were covered under) was not affected by the ACA, only the BadgerCare Plus CORE plan, which is for childless adults with incomes between 100-200% of the poverty line- it's a separate program.

The BadgerCare Plus plan was just fine under the ACA, as long as the state chose to pay their share of it. In fact, the LFB paper shows the state would have spent less money if they would have taken the expanded Medicaid funding in the ACA, and continued to cover the 133-200% group of caretakers under BadgerCare Plus, compared to the costs of Walker's plan. Let's use the LFB projections that were made in February 2013, and use Option 4B as the base, because that assumed the highest number of people being covered under the ACA, and therefore the highest state costs for maintaining BadgerCare Plus.

Comparative state costs of Medicaid plans

Option 1- Take expanded Medicaid, cover parents/ caretakers with incomes 133-200% of poverty

FY 2014 $15.5 million
FY 2015 $32.3 million
FY 2016 $33.6 million
FY 2017 $35.1 million

Option 2- Walker plan, don't take expanded Medicaid, don't cover parents/caretakers with incomes 133-200% of poverty

FY 2014 $2.0 million (a low estimate, as we found out)
FY 2015 $56.2 million
FY 2016 $70.6 million
FY 2017 $73.3 million

Difference in costs of taking Option 2 vs Option 1
FY 2014 -$13.5 million
FY 2015 +$23.9 million
FY 2016 +$37.0 million
FY 2017 +$38.2 million
TOTAL +$85.6 million more expensive under Walker plan

So we would have been covering many more people for a lower cost to Wisconsin taxpayers, and without those individuals having to go through the disruption of being kicked off of BadgerCare and having to search for insurance through other means. It is yet more proof that Walker's decision to TeaBag Obamacare is a massive failure on both a fiscal and humanitarian basis, and reason enough to remove this guy from power this November (leaving out all the corruption and the "worst job growth in the Midwest" thing).