In a recent editorial the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel stated that Wisconsin’s “sluggish growth rate likely has to do with Wisconsin’s economic mix” rather than Governor Walker and his administration's policies. We beg to differ. The Walker administration sponsored 2013 Wisconsin Economic Future Study analyzing Wisconsin’s old growth industries recommends four policies that it claims “will elevate the state’s overall business climate”: nurture driver industries; create a forward thinking structure to foster business improvement; address real and perceived skills gaps; and support global opportunities.
Our comparatively poor economic performance stems directly from Governor Walker’s lack of leadership in implementing these recommendations:
- The Governor’s indiscriminate tax cuts fail to nurture driver industries while at the same time his cuts to educational resources undermine the development of a skilled workforce.
- Governor Walker’s decision to reject federal funds to improve rail transportation throughout the Midwest fails to demonstrate forward thinking.
- By siphoning off needed public resources to private vouchers schools, the Governor fails to reduce the skills gap.
- And because Governor Walker lacks international business experience, he doesn’t know how to encourage exports.
Wisconsin lags its Midwest peers not because governors and their policies don’t affect a state’s economy but because we lack effective leadership to move Wisconsin into the future.