Call him out on his false claims.
On this page, we are posting Scott Walker's claims about critical issues for Wisconsin: his record on taxes, budgets, conservation, economic development, and so on. Each issue has a page devoted to it. Anyone who subscribes to our site and logs in can submit factual input to refute Walker's claims. For example, Walker claims the state is now running a budget surplus. We know that's not true but we need reputable data to challenge him.
Please help us correct the record. At the bottom of this page, you can suggest Walker claims we need to refute. We will add the issue to our list and create a page for that issue so you can post a fact-based response.
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Balancing the State's Books
Scott says, "the $3.6 billion deficit we inherited has turned into more than a half-billion-dollar surplus." (from Unintimidated).
But WE KNOW that budget numbers can be very slippery because there's more than one budget! Operating budgets are not the same thing as overall fiscal health which depends on the level of debt a state carries. An operating budget can be "balanced" or even show a "surplus," if some of the state's costs are financed through borrowing. And that's what's really happening.
- To make ends meet, Walker restructured some debt and used the "savings" to pay for current needs. But the result is much higher debt obligations — and payments — for the future.
- Instead of cutting spending, the governor and legislative majority increased borrowing for transportation. This is why interest on the transportation debt has jumped from 11% of the fund in 2009-10 to a projected 20% in 2015-16.
Growing Jobs and Wisconsin's Economy
Scott says, "In the four years before I took office, Wisconsin lost more than 133,000 private sector jobs. In contrast, we’ve added over 100,000 private sector jobs since I took office, according to quarterly and monthly job reports" (E-Update from the Desk of Governor Scott Walker, April 14, 2014).
But WE KNOW that the number of private sector jobs created in Wisconsin since Walker took office
- that number is less than half the 250,000 private sector jobs he promised his economic plan would deliver
- Wisconsin has lagged both the nation and 9 of the 10 other states in our region in job growth
Scott says that "[s]ince [he] took office, 11,590 net new businesses have been created in the state" (The Business Journal, October 9, 2013).
But WE KNOW that the number is inflated: "the most recent numbers from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages "show that he has only created 4,024 new businesses since he took office" (Uppity Wisconsin, November 13, 2013).
Scott says he's "Putting Wisconsin Back to Work."
But WE KNOW that Wisconsin is lagging behind most other states in economic growth and job growth. Help us research these issues and correct the record.
Cultivating a Thriving Middle Class
Scott says Wisconsinites are enjoying "steady work and good paychecks."
But WE KNOW that median income has not recovered from its pre-recession level; state employees subject to the provisions of the infamous Act 10 have less disposable income. Help us research these issues and correct the record.
Investing in Public Education
Scott says he's "expanded school choice so that every child has access to a great education" (E-Update from the Desk of Governor Scott Walker, October 4, 2013).
But WE KNOW that state aid to school districts was reduced for all districts in the last biennial budget and is declining again for about 2/3 of all districts. Meanwhile, the voucher program ostensibly developed to help economically disadvantaged students enroll in private schools does no such thing! Help us research these issues and correct the record.
Scott says "Yesterday ... I was proud to announce $100 million in property tax relief for Wisconsin families, farmers, seniors, and small businesses.... The typical Wisconsin homeowner will save approximately $680 over four years" (E-Update from the Desk of Governor Scott Walker, October 11, 2013).
But WE KNOW that the tax relief claim is bogus. Few Wisconsin homeowners will see much tax relief. Most of the money will go to owners of large apartment complexes and businesses. This so-called tax relief simply continues the decline of state aid to our public schools.