The facts about Scott Walker's economic record



After one of Scott Walker's fundraisers called Donald Trump a "dumbdumb", Trump let lose on Walker, criticizing him for his spending, saying Walker borrowed money like crazy and turned a surplus into a deficit.
But to truly impartially evaluate Scott Walker's budgetary record, you need to a context to compare it to, namely the records of other governors. And so that's what I have done. If you look at the most recent years for which data is available, from 2013 to 2014, you can see that Scott Walker increased spending by five percent, year over year.

Is five percent a little, or a lot? Well, let's compare to other governors and see.

What were other states doing at the same time? Looking first at Blue States, New York, under the liberal Andrew Cuomo, had a budget increase of only .75% during the same time. Massachusetts, under a hard left government, increased its budget by only 2%. Leftist Rhode Island increased by only 1.2%. Far-left Vermont was about the same as Wisconsin, at 5.3%

But other Blue States were somewhat bigger spenders: Washington (5.9%), Illinois (5.9%), Michigan (8.8%), Maryland (6.3%) and New Jersey (7.5%).

What about the red states? Alabama, spending was reduced 1%, Georgia, down .7%, Virginia, up .3%, North Carolina, up 2.3%, and Idaho, up 1.4%.

So what conclusion can be drawn from this? Scott Walker is definitely not one of the biggest spenders like Michigan and New Jersey, but at a 5% budget increase, he's a lot closer to the big spenders than he is to the fiscally conservative state governments.

Another interesting fact:

In fiscal year 2014, estimated per capita spending in Wisconsin ranked ninth in the nation at $7,797

That means that 41 of the 50 states, including deep blue states, spent less per citizen in government expenditures than Wisconsin did. Wisconsin's spending per capita even dwarfs most of its more liberal Midwestern neighbors. At $7,800 per person, it's greater than Iowa ($6462), Michigan ($5170), Minnesota ($6478) and even far left Illinois ($5462).

To be fair, Governor Walker inherited a big spending state government when he was elected governor.

But, also to be fair, he had a state legislature which was not only cooperative but even more conservative than he is on many issues such as Right to Work legislation which he reluctantly signed.

So ater more than four years of being governor, with a largely cooperative Republican state legislature, he hasn't made much headway in reducing spending. Additionally, he has spent taxpayer money on a number of projects that have been criticized as wasteful, such as the expenditure of $220 million dollars to help build a new stadium for the Bucks. Described as "investment" by some, but derided as corporate welfare by others, conservatives have often been critical of using taxpayer money for projects that benefit specific business owners.

So is Donald Trump right? Kind of. Scott Walker does not have a terrible economic record. But it is hardly a role model for a fiscal conservative.

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