I got an email telling me that the Indiana Republican Party is holding a fundraiser to which I am invited. The featured speaker will be Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and whoever wrote the email clearly anticipated great excitement on the part of its recipients. Generally, when a political party highlights one of its own at such an event, it is because that person represents success as the party defines it.
So–how is Walker, who triggered some of the most acrimonious protests in Wisconsin history, performing?
Well, the latest data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia paints a rather grim picture for Wisconsin under Governor Walker.
Not only is Wisconsin one of only five states whose economy is expected to contract over the next six months, but it’s 49th out of 50. Only Wyoming is worse. The state ranks 44th in private sector job growth, and 5th worst in wage erosion.
For a governor who bragged about stealing Illinois’ jobs after their the state to Wisconsin’s south raised taxes, it must be embarrassing that Illinois is far outpacing it economically. In fact, Illinois is projected to be in the top 10 over the next six months. (On the other hand, I have the impression that Scott Walker rarely allows reality to embarrass him–or even make contact.)
Interestingly, every state with a projected economic contraction in the study is headed by a Republican, and every one of the bottom 10 is GOP governed.
Given this level of performance, one might be forgiven for wondering why Walker was chosen to headline the Indiana GOP dinner. Might it be that today’s Republicans value sticking it to unions and public employees more than they value actual economic growth?