Apparently Tom Barrett has not heard the saying, “people who live in glass houses should not throw stones”. Anyone who votes for Tom Barrett, because they think he will be better for job creation, should seek immediate mental help. There are three big problems for Tom Barrett on the job creation issue. First his record is terrible, second he appears to be as clueless as other Democrats when it comes to job creation, and he opposes the Walker reforms which will be increasingly important to job creation.
The Sentinel Journal recently ran a headline article critical of Scott Walker on the job creation issue, using data that has been questioned (1). Assume the data is correct, the same data shows the Milwaukee Metro area as the worst in the state, this was covered in an article buried on the last page of the business section of the Journal, without even mentioning Barrett. (2) Either way I don’t think anyone can point to something mayor Barrett has done that was highly successful in improving the jobs picture for Milwaukee. I heard Barrett was asked by a major mining company to speak on the Mine proposal, which would benefit companies in his city and the state. True or not, he should not have to be asked to put the interest of jobs and major employers in his area, over the interest of his party beating Scott Walker. Barrett chose to do nothing and be silent on the issue, his typical pattern for serious issues. Barrett has had 8 years to fail to do anything for job creation in Milwaukee, while Walker has had only 16 months with a Recall election creating uncertainty over his ability to sustain positive changes. These changes moved Wisconsin from 41st to 20th in a survey of best places to do business. It is hard for a college coach to recruit players if the players think he might not be there much longer. It is the same for Scott Walker, if we want to hold him to his job creation promises we need to give him time where business can count on us not going back to anti business Doyle ways.
The next big problem is Barrett appears to be as clueless as the rest of the Democrats when it comes to job creation. As I stated in my blog last year, Democrats see government spending on wasteful projects as the key to job creation, for example Peter Barca was upset more money would not be wasted on Windmill projects. (3) Tom Barrett is running a commercial touting “Green Energy” scams with pictures of windmills, indicating he is just as clueless as Peter Barca and has learned nothing from the failed Federal Stimulus plan. Tom Barrett has been on trick pony for job creation. His two major job creation programs have involved getting money from the Federal Government. His best idea was to use federal money to bribe Kohl’s to move from Menomonee Falls to Milwaukee. This has failed for now. Maybe he should instead look to improve the negative business climate in his city. His other great idea is to waste millions of federal money on a trolley and force utility customers to pay millions more to install the trolley in downtown Milwaukee. I doubt the next congress is going to give him the money to install trolley’s all over the state, so he can’t even use his best idea at the state level. Government spending to create jobs is normally thought of short term gain, temporary boost in employment, for long term pain when you pay the cost. I think in today’s environment it is worse, since nations and many states face a potential debt crisis, this fiscal irresponsibility may lead to short term pain for even bigger long term pain.
Job Creation comes from creating a favorable climate for business success, which means net profits. Democrats like Barrett lead a party that hates business, profits, and see any business as a piggy bank to get more money for their failed policies, or to get more money to launder through unions to fund their campaigns. In an article from the MacIver Institute(2), they list the following ideas to create a good business climate:
1) Encourage risk and capital investment
2) Appreciate and work with those who wish to bring new jobs here
3) Does not punish success through oppressive taxation
4) Invest in sound infrastructure like roads, ports and airports rather than boutique novelty trains that move too few people to too few places
I would add to this list getting regulatory agencies work to help business get things done, while protecting the environment or achieve other reasonable objectives. Clearly Walker is on the right track and should be given time to accomplish his goals.
Finally Barrett and the Democrats oppose Collective Bargaining reforms that allowed Wisconsin to balance the budget last year with minimal impact on services. These reforms also give confidence, that if kept in place, Wisconsin will not head down the path of Illinois. In article by Steven Malanga in the Wall Street Journal, he quoted Rahm Emanuel mayor of Chicago, “Unless Illinois enacts reform quickly, he said, the costs of these programs will force taxes so high that, "You won't recruit a business, you won't recruit a family to live here." (4) The article correctly points out, that in the future business will be looking at the fiscal condition of states more than they have in the past. I think in the past companies felt the day of reckoning would be so far down the road, that it is not something for them to worry about. That is no longer the case. The Chicago Tribune stated "Companies don't want to buy shares in a phenomenal tax burden that will unfold over the decades," . Walker’s reforms give business confidence that we will not move in the wrong direction. Reversing this progress is still the goal of this recall and the Democratic Party. Clearly the goals of the Democratic Party are in direct opposition to the direction needed to be an attractive place for business.
Obviously if Job Creation is your concern, Tom Barrett is among the worst choices in the state based on his record and plans. The best choice in this recall election for job creation is Scott Walker. He is doing the right things to improve our job climate in the short term and long term. This can be seen in a recent report from the Federal Reserve in Philadelphia, that is projecting the best economic growth for our state since 2003 in the next 6 months.(5) Let’s give Scott Walker the time to take advantage of his improvements.