Does Scott Walker’s Job Creation Program Actually Create Jobs? Who Knows?

Wisconsin has been repeatedly ranked dead last among other states in the Midwest for job creation and this could be one reason why.

Governor Scott Walker's signature job creation program, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, doesn't actually track whether or not it's really creating any jobs.

[A] new audit of more than 100 grants from the agency found that the WEDC failed to follow up on whether the companies were actually using the funds to create and retain jobs.

The group also gave loans and tax credits to companies that did not meet its requirements, and did not even attempt to fact-check claims by the companies about the number of jobs they created. Additionally, the agency forgave, wrote off or deferred more than $4 million in loan payments that the corporations were supposed to pay back to the state.

The Economic Development Corporation could be creating hundreds of jobs or five jobs. We really don't know.

I laughed my ass off at Scott Walker's expense when I read this report, but this is terrible policy and there's not really anything funny about it. It's unaccountable spending of taxpayer dollars with virtually no verifiable path to determining if its actually working or not.

We can't improve or eliminate bad policy if we leave ourselves no method of determining if it's bad or not. The only metric we have to go by, in this case, are regional and national rankings that would seem to indicate that Walker's job creation program is not creating very many jobs if any at all.

Conservative politicos endlessly drone about inefficient government and wasteful spending, but this is about as clunky and wasteful as it gets.

An audit in 2013 found the agency repeatedly failed to follow state laws regarding the use of public funds. And in 2014, two corporations that received millions taxpayer funds from the WEDC, Eaton and Plexus, outsourced jobs to Mexico and other foreign countries, and laid off hundreds of Wisconsin workers.


  • Christopher Foxx

    We can’t improve or eliminate bad policy if we leave ourselves no method of determining if it’s bad or not.

    How do they know if it’s good or not? They ask themselves if it’s a Republican policy or not. If it is, then it’s good. They don’t need to waste taxpayer dollars checking on that. Republican policy, therefore good. QED

  • muselet

    The job creation agency founded by Governor Scott Walker has been routinely violating its own rules and state law, according to a damning report released Friday by Wisconsin’s non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau.

    Oh dear. It doesn’t look good for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

    The new report comes as Governor Walker and the legislature struggle to come to agreement on how to address the state’s nearly $2 billion deficit, a problem greatly exacerbated by the corporate tax breaks passed in conjunction with the WEDC’s creation.

    If the Legislative Audit Bureau doesn’t have its budget slashed, I’ll be very surprised.

    As he seeks to slash about $300 million from the University of Wisconsin system, Governor Walker has asked for more than $47 million for the WEDC — despite the fact that the latest audit found the group to be sitting on a surplus much larger than what it needs to operate.

    *sniff* Does anyone else smell corruption in the Wisconsin air?


  • JoyP

    That’s gonna leave a mark.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Alas, probably not with Republican voters.

    • swift_4

      Nope. The guy is teflon. He’ll just go up there and blah, blah liberal media blah, blah we created more jobs than anyone in history ever blah, blah socialism blah, blah we’re number one!

      It’s going to have to get really shitty in Wisconsin before he loses his job. And it will be in a primary to another Republican. So there won’t really be change.