[Updated] Second big hit in the last few days. I posted the first one one exposing Walker's scandal-ridden WEDC, and noted long memories in Illinois over Walker's first-term mocking of Illinois' economy - - and now there's this, which hich readers tell me was a page one story about Walker's stalled, contentious, deficit-ridden budget and failed jobs/growth planning:
It wasn't long ago that the forecasting arm of the Wisconsin legislature was predicting that state government by mid-2015 would be flush with a surplus topping $1 billion, which Gov. Scott Walker could have showcased in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Today, that projected surplus has morphed into a $2.2 billion budget deficit that Republican lawmakers are struggling to fix. Sharp divisions between Walker and legislators about how to solve the problem have complicated his plans for formally entering the already crowded field of GOP presidential hopefuls. When he does, his financial stewardship may prove more political vulnerability than bragging point.It's a significant and detailed slam:
From 2011 to 2014, the pace of private-sector employment growth in Wisconsin ranked 36th among the states and the District of Columbia, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Walker's state ranked behind all its Rust Belt neighbors, Illinois included. Wisconsin even trailed Kansas, which has been the focus of national attention after steep tax and spending cuts pushed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback produced big government deficits but little economic pop.
The number of jobs in the private sector grew by 5.7 percent in Wisconsin over the last four years, federal numbers show. Nationally, the growth rate was 9.3 percent.I rate it a significant piece, given then Trib's national stature, and will add it to my national media Walker round-up.