Monday, November 10, 2014

No Scotty, recalls did not hold Wisconsin jobs back. You did.

I headed down to Indiana this weekend to see Bucky take home another win and see some friends, and also so I could decompress from a bad week for my home state and the country at large. And fortunately, I was busy hanging out with friends on Sunday, so I didn't have to watch our fair governor desperately try to get national ink with an appearance on "Meet the Press" with Chuck Todd (not that I'd watch those DC shows anyway).

On Sunday's show, Todd asked Gov Walker about Wisconsin's bad jobs record, and Gov Walker tried again to claim that “uncertainty” before the June 2012 recall elections caused Wisconsin’s job growth to be so below-par during his tenure in office. But a quick check of the actual numbers shows this not to be true. We’ll start the clock with Walker’s inauguration in January 2011.

Wisconsin private-sector job growth
Jan 2011- June 2012 +51,200 (+2.20% total, +3,012 a month)
June 2012-Sep 2014 +70,800 (+2.98% total, +2,622 a month)

As you can see, since the June 2012 recall election, private sector job growth in Wisconsin has slowed down by nearly 400 jobs a month. If what Walker is saying is true, you’d have seen the private sector job numbers “take off like a rocket” (as Assembly Speaker Robbin’ Vos famously claimed in Spring 2012).

This failure to increase job growth is especially striking when you consider that U.S. job growth has stayed strong in the same time period under the Obama Recovery. This includes the upward revisions that were in last Friday’s U.S. jobs report.

U.S. private sector jobs
Jan 2011- June 2012 +3.474 million (+3.23%, +204,353 a month)
June 2012- Sep 2014 +5.529 million (+4.94%, +204,778 a month)

Both of these figures are faster than the rate in Wisconsin, and that the gap grows after the 2012 recall election from just over 1% to nearly 2%. Another chart will show this even clearer. In this case, I will use the 24 months before the June 2012 recall election, and the 24 months after the recall election.

Note the trendlines for both. Wisconsin’s goes down, and the U.S.’s goes up. So not only is Gov Walker’s claim of “recall elections hurt Wisconsin’s job growth” not true, the converse could be more easily argued- that retaining Walker in the June 2012 recall election slowed down Wisconsin’s job growth, and caused it to further lag the U.S. recovery.

And with the upwardly revised jobs numbers for August and September, it means that the Walker jobs gap has grown yet again. It’s now at more than 71,000 private sector jobs, and over (63,000) total jobs. The state needs another (4,000) in the October jobs report just to keep from falling behind even further.

You’d think a numbers guy like Chuck Todd would be interested enough to predict Scott Walker’s mendacious claims on job growth and be able to slam him to his face if Scotty even tried this BS of "recalls are the only reason job growth was slow in Wisconsin." But then again, you might remember Chuck Todd infamously pulling this act last year.
MSNBC host Chuck Todd said Wednesday that when it comes to misinformation about the new federal health care law, don't expect members of the media to correct the record.

During a segment on "Morning Joe," former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) speculated that most opponents of the Affordable Care Act have been fed erroneous information about the law. Todd said that Republicans "have successfully messaged against it" but he disagrees with those who argue that the media should educate the public on the law. According to Todd, that's President Barack Obama's job.

"But more importantly, it would be stuff that Republicans have successfully messaged ag1ainst it," Todd told Rendell. "They don't repeat the other stuff because they haven't even heard the Democratic message. What I always love is people say, 'Well, it's you folks' fault in the media.' No, it's the President of the United States' fault for not selling it."
So why aren’t we surprised to see Chuck Todd stand by and say nothing when Scott Walker falsely claims that recall elections held back Wisconsin job growth, because Chuckles is more interested in how convincingly Walker is spinning his reasons instead of caring about whether it is true or not.

This country is in a very dangerous place because attitudes like Chuck Todd’s and Scott Walker’s have devolved politics into a place where marketing is able to trump results. We just saw last week in Wisconsin what happens when people vote for candidates based on messaging and anger as opposed to voting for candidates that they agree with on the issues. Now we will all pay a big price for that weakness and lack of accountability from and by our media.


  1. An astute comment; Chuck Todd is more interested in form than substance. A self-aggrandizing explanation with a smooth delivery suggests that Walker is ready for the national stage. We know better.