Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Journal-Sentinel shirks its responsibility, blows off Walker's failure

James Rowen wrote a great blog post at the Political Environment calling out the latest disgrace that was placed on the Journal-Sentinel's editorial page, thought he is far from the only one. First off, Rowen reminds us what the Journal-Sentinel said when it endorsed Scott Walker for governor in 2010.
Scott Walker has said repeatedly during his campaign for governor that he will develop strategies to create 250,000 new jobs during his first term.

It's a big promise - one that has been derided by his critics. But for the sake of Wisconsin, Walker had better be right.
Well now we know that we will be lucky if we even end up halfway to Walker's goal by the end of his term. And the J-S made that endorsement without knowing the corruption, divisiveness, and massive budget deficits that have resulted from Walker's policies as governor. So you'd have to think they'd be back before the 2014 to scald Walker's failures, and say "You've had your chance, you failed, and you must go."

Well, not exactly. The headline in yesterday's newspaper reads: "Gov Walker's false promise of jobs growth not that big of a deal."
The Walker critics argue you should care about this. But you shouldn't. It's just not that important. Walker's promise was always more rhetoric than reality, a nice sound bite.

Here's a fact: There isn't that much a governor can do in one term to bend the arc of fortune. It takes more than shoe polish, a grin and a few tax cuts.

What governors do matters, of course — whether they maintain the schools, the roads and the social safety net. And tax incentives, tort reform, reasonable regulation and incentives to raise risk capital all can help create jobs, especially if married to a disciplined strategy that recognizes the state's strengths and deploys scarce public dollars efficiently.
ARE YOU SHITTING ME WITH THAT LINE OF CRAP? The J-S goes from "Walker'd better be right" in 2010 to "Oh, that was just idle talk and it shouldn't have been taken seriously." What a cynical cop-out by David Haynes and company.

Let's not forget what the Walker jobs gap shows- that Wisconsin would have added 190,000 private sector jobs during Walker's time in office if we had merely kept up with the national rate of growth during this Obama Recovery. How can he NOT be held to account for it?

And if there "isn't that much a governor can do in one term to bend the arc of fortune," then explain to me how Wisconsin taking up the rear in this chart?

And why shouldn't the economic geniuses at the J-S editorial page be asked to explain to me how our neighbors in Minnesota can have a lower population base and similar climate to ours, but ended up adding nearly 52,000 more jobs in the same time period, and has an unemployment rate 1.4% below ours? That's not a normal result. And Walker has not "maintained the schools, the roads and the social safety net", as he has presided shared revenues to all of these services, causing the quality of local services to be cut.

Now, the J-S deserves minor credit in the editorial for ripping into Walker's belief in failed supply-side philosophies and tax cuts that do nothing help job growth, but do drive up the deficits that are in the process of exploding in state government. But it's buried late in the editorial, and it further makes their excusing of his failures all the more pathetic, because THEY KNOW HE'S NOT DOING IT RIGHT, but won't hold him accountable for being misguided. While the editorial board says they agree with Mary Burke's thoughts on improving the level of education and start-up of new businesses, they then pull a false equivalence by throwing in a sentence saying her "record at the Commerce Department is less than impressive." And naturally, the J-S editorial doesn't say why it was "less than impressive," other than showing an acceptance of right-wing framing of Burke's 2 1/2 years there.

I have little doubt that Haynes and company are operating under orders of the Journal-Sentinel's corporate owners. It cannot be pointed out enough that Journal Communications CEO Steven Smith sits on the Board of Directors of the Walker-supporting Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, and there is little doubt that the newspaper identifies and is in constant contact with the Milwaukee corporate oligarchy that is Walker's go-to constituency.

But even with the J-S's pro-Walker bias in mind, to blow off his failures as merely "a nice sound bite" after endorsing him because of his "bold plans" is hypocritical weak sauce, and transparent garbage. It exposes yet another reason why the state's largest newspaper is crumbling before our eyes, both in its subscriber base, the quality and experience of their writers, and in its reputation among people who have been paying attention. I don't give it a dime, and I recommend you don't either.

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