As Wisconsin continues to shed jobs - - and PolitiFact has recently supplied a new chart to show it - - Scott Walker's pledge to create 250,000 private sector jobs is worth printing, clipping and putting on your fridge (remember that boastful directive from Walker to voters about the simplicity and strength of his 2002 County Executive's small-government campaign message).
I repeat all this because I heard Walker on Charlie Sykes' show the other day walking that back a little, saying something to the effect that he promised to help create the conditions for the job creation - - but he's been more direct and expansive on this, more than once, and it's important that the context and specifics be remembered and owned.
* Let's start with this big, bold iteration quoted in the Wisconsin State Journal:
"I want my Cabinet secretaries to have branded across their heads, '250,000 jobs,'" Walker said at a December 2010 meeting of the Dairy Business Association. "I want them to know their job is on the line because my job is on the line to create 250,000 jobs in the private sector."* Here are others reprised earlier on my blog.
* From his 2010 campaign website, Walker even threw in another promise which I haven't heard much about lately - - creating 10,000 new businesses, too:
One of the keys to the future of our state’s economy is setting and meeting goals. For too long, politicians and bureaucrats have taken the state’s economy for granted and delayed action until a business was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy or moving to a new state. Instead of reacting to each crisis as it comes, I will develop strategies for creating 250,000 new jobs and 10,000 new businesses by 2015.* And he told the Waupaca Chamber of Commerce, - - quoted in a Journal Sentinel story - - that 250,000 new jobs was only the minimum:
Gov. Scott Walker's legacy will, in many respects, be measured by one number: 250,000. That's the number of private-sector jobs Walker promised will be created during his four-year term, which began in January.
It was the central promise of his 2010 campaign, and Walker has mentioned it routinely since taking office. He says everything his administration does is based on improving the state's economic climate, and says he is pushing the "most aggressive pro-jobs agenda in the country."
At a recent appearance before the Waupaca Chamber of Commerce, Walker called the 250,000 figure "a minimum, not a maximum."