Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Kochs and WEDC both spin serious BS for GOPs on jobs

As Russ Feingold maintains a solid lead in the Wisconsin Senate race, and as Republican hopes for keeping the Senate in GOP hands grow fainter, the Koch brothers are getting desperate. That’s why their AFP-Reform America Fund is dropping big money on last-minute ads here to try to keep Ron “The Kochs’ Model senator” Johnson in office.

Wispolitics notes that the ad has a specific claim about jobs in Wisconsin.
The spot references Feingold’s vote for the federal stimulus bill [in 2009] and the claim some foreign companies received money from the package, including through their U.S.-based subsidiaries. Reform American Fund said the spot will air on statewide TV, radio and digital.

The spot opens with the narrator offering a “quick geography lesson for Sen. Russ Feingold,” showing Wisconsin, “where he promised to create jobs,” and China, “home to some of the foreign companies Feingold sent millions to.”

The narrator goes on to say Feingold said he’d create jobs in Wisconsin, “But sent money here,” showing China. The narrator then says Wisconsin lost 70,000 jobs.
In addition to being a classic Rovian projection tactic of deflecting away from the record of Ron “outsourcing is creative destruction” Johnson, I wanted to figure out where the claim of “Wisconsin lost 70,000 jobs” came from. So I dug into Wisconsin’s numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and here’s what I could best figure.

The stimulus package was signed into law in February 2009, so it appears Koch/Reform America were using these numbers in their ad.

Private sector jobs, Wisconsin
Feb 2009 2,368,700
Feb 2010 2,292,700 (-76,000)

And while the rate of slippage had flattened out after the stimulus was passed, we still hadn’t seen much in terms of recovery in early 2010. And if you stopped history 6½ years ago, the jobs record would look like this from 2008-2010.

If the Kochs/Reform America were making these ads in October 2010, they might be able to pull off their claim that “the stimulus did/has done nothing.” However, it is not 2010 anymore (as much as Ron Johnson and his allies try to pretend it is), and we can look at the next 35 months after 2010 to see that the jobs market bounced back in Wisconsin.

In fact, over 31,000 jobs were added in Wisconsin’s private sector in the 12 months after the Kochs’ benchmark of February 2010, and that trend continued for much of the following 2 years. Granted, that pace somewhat slowed down after Scott Walker took office in January 2011, and “dropped the bomb” with Act 10 and related cuts in state aids. But even with the 76,000 job losses in that first year, and even with that drag of austerity from Walker, Wisconsin ended up having more private sector jobs in December 2012 than it had when the stimulus was passed in February 2009.

So yes, the stimulus did work in stopping the collapse of the U.S. economy and stabilizing it to a place where it could expand once again. As we stand today, we have had 7 straight years of GDP growth, and 6 ½ straight years of private sector job growth, with over 15 million new jobs added nationwide since February 2010. Sorry Kochs, but you don’t get to throw 2010 fear-mongering into 2016’s much brighter reality.

Speaking of an alternate reality, I noticed this tweet from the Wisconsin GOP slush fund/PR shop known as the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), as they commemorated. Wisconsin’s “manufacturing month” of October.

#WiMFGMonth Fact: Wisconsin ranks 5th for the number of #manufacturing jobs added July 2015-July 2016 with 6,400; 13th for percentage growth

— In Wisconsin (@_InWisconsin) October 17, 2016

One big problem with this "fact" from WEDC. The numbers quoted there are initial figures that were part of the July jobs report that the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released in August. What WEDC conveniently ignores what was then reported in August’s Wisconsin jobs report, which is the last one we have on record.

Manufacturing jobs, Wisconsin
July 2016 revision -2,100
August 2016 change -4,500

Meh, I’m sure it was just an oversight by the WEDC social media staff, because we know those guys would NEVER try to mislead the Wisconsin public….

We shouldn't be surprised that there will be a lot of cherry-picking and bullshitting being done in the last 3 weeks before an election- particularly one where the in-power Wisconsin GOP is trailing and has their majorities threatened in Congress and the State Legislature. Which is why we need to be blaring these facts back at them and the unsuspecting media, to expose just how much GOP lie when they have to face the voters, and to expose just how wrong they are when it comes to discussing economic policies and results.

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