Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Walker's Actions Have Already Cost Wisconsin Jobs

Wisconsin continues to struggle with stagnant unemployment and a stressed economy.

Though in office less than nine months, Scott Walker has to accept personal and direct responsibility for a portion of this picture - - even as he begins to back away from his major campaign pledge to create 250,000 jobs.

Why are some private sector job losses all his to bear?

*  He rejected $800 million in approved federal funding to build an Amtrak rail line between Milwaukee and Madison, to connect that line to Empire Builder service to the northwest as part of the proposed Midwest High Speed Rail system, and to upgrade service between Milwaukee and Chicago.

That ideologically-driven decision cost the state and especially southern Wisconsin substantial construction and purchasing jobs, and will do so for years.

*  He also blocked the expansion of wind turbine farms, costing manufacturing, installation and maintenance work and driving some of that work, estimated at $600 million, to neighboring Illinois.

If you take that amount of investment and related blue-and-white collar contracting out of the economy, a great deal of consumer spending and circulation of payroll simply does not happen, and the entire employment and economic picture stays flat or degrades.

You can't be for "jobs, jobs, jobs," say the state is "open for business," and pledge to create 250,000 jobs by 2014 if you bring a double-bladed axe to some of the biggest projects already in the pipeline.

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