Scott Walker: The Tim Tebow of governors
At this rate, Democrats won’t have to worry about recalling Scott Walker. They can just wait until every last job in the state disappears, including his.
Another jobs report came out late last week, and it revealed that we lost 4,500 jobs in March, including 4,300 in the private sector. Of course, that means there are now more people to scream “get a job” at through the window of your Escalade, so it’s great news for Walker’s out-of-state friends and Wisconsin’s high-end tourism industry, but it’s probably not what the governor was hoping for.
Now, not to sound like a broken record, but I really do think we give governors and presidents too much credit when the economy is flush and assign them too much blame when it’s in the ditch. As a governor, it’s easy to brag about your state’s economic performance when the national economy is surging, and you deserve to be cut some slack if the national economy is floundering. Similarly, so much depends on the gyrations of the business cycle, it’s often unfair to blame presidents for a downturn in the economy. It’s like blaming your team’s quarterback for every loss, and giving him all the credit for every win. Sometimes, you’re just a victim of bad luck.
That said, Scott Walker’s performance as a job creator is quickly exiting the realm of quirky fate and drifting into statistically significant territory.
- Wisconsin’s economy has lost 6,100 private-sector jobs over the last 12 months, while the U.S. as a whole has added 2,099,000.
- Over the same period, our state has lost 23,900 total jobs, while the national economy has added 1,899,000.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wisconsin was the only state in the nation to suffer statistically significant job losses from March 2011 to March 2012.
Why job creation in our state has been so dismal is anyone’s guess, but when you’re behind Mississippi in anything other than the number of morbidly obese men wearing “No Fat Chicks” T-shirts at Ted Nugent concerts, you know you’re in trouble.
But even if it’s unfair to blame governors (and quarterbacks) entirely for their states’ and teams’ poor performance, they do have to shoulder some of the responsibility.
For instance, Tim Tebow is arguably the worst quarterback in the NFL. I know this because I have eyes, and they’re connected to my brain. Yet there’s a devoutly loyal and vocal cadre of Tim Tebow fans who think he can do no wrong, no matter how many times he throws the ball like a wounded orangutan.
But his numbers reveal him to be dreadful.
Similarly, Scott Walker’s fans stand behind him through thin and thinner, demonstrating almost fanatical loyalty, even though he has delivered the exact opposite of what he promised.
The big difference is that Tebow, buoyed by his teammates, actually went on a fairly impressive winning streak last year before soiling his knickers against the Patriots in the playoffs, whereas Scott Walker, who should be buoyed by an improving national economy, has been fertilizing his unmentionables for months.
Hopefully, this will all turn around soon. I live in this state, so it does neither me nor my neighbors any good to watch more jobs get flushed. But I’m really starting to wonder if Scott Walker’s scorched-earth policies haven’t done more to leave the ground infertile than any of us feared.
At least Tebow was traded away. If the recall fails, we’ll be stuck with Walker for another two years.
If that happens, we can only hope he stops fumbling.
Sign up for the free IB Update – your weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. Click here. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.