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Rep. Peter Barca is the Wisconsin Assembly Democrats Leader

Last fall Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans got elected on the promise of creating 250,000 jobs for Wisconsin workers and families.

Eight months after taking office, the top issue that Wisconsinites still want their elected leaders to focus on is putting the people of our great state back to work and rebuilding economic security for middle-class families.

Unfortunately, Gov. Walker and his Republican rubberstamps in the legislature have done little to create jobs. Instead of focusing on job creation, Republicans have spent the last eight months advancing an extreme, polarizing agenda that attacked Wisconsin workers. That may have much to do with unemployment in Wisconsin climbing from 7.4% when Walker took office in January to 7.8% in July -- the most recent month for which data is available.

Many Wisconsinites have been without work for many months, but rather than work overtime to get Wisconsin working, Republicans are only showing up for one unfocused day of session work this month. Simply put, they are only willing to work part-time when we should be working overtime to get Wisconsin working again.

The reason why Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans seem so disinterested in working to create jobs is clear: they have no plan to actually create good-paying jobs for Wisconsin families.

In the 2010 elections, Scott Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs while providing few details on how he would achieve that. Realizing that his campaign was high on rhetoric and short on details, Walker's campaign insulted Wisconsin's workers by re-releasing a blown up version of their empty job creation talking points in 58 point font so that it would stretch to 68 pages – one page longer than Tom Barrett's comprehensive, detailed plan to get our state working.

It's been almost exactly a year since Walker's campaign and Wisconsin families still have no detailed agenda from Gov. Walker that shows that he is serious about working together to create jobs.

And that's why even Gov. Walker now seems to be backing off of his promise to create 250,000 jobs in his first term.

One of Wisconsin's best economic development resources is our well-educated, hard-working workforce. With the highest high school graduation rate in the country and robust training programs, more Wisconsinites have been entering the workforce with the skills companies require to do business than their peers in other states. Instead of continuing to focus on education, Wisconsin is now doing the opposite. Wisconsin now leads the nation in cuts to education (among states that keep such statistics) thanks to Gov. Walker's misguided budget according to reporting from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In addition to wanting to gut our educated workforce, Republicans now have a bill that would cripple Wisconsin’s biotech industry, which has been a leading force in creating good-paying, family-supporting jobs right here in Wisconsin and has been the envy of other states in our region. The biotech industry currently supports over 72,000 jobs and has generated over $7 billion in economic activity and $615 million in tax revenue for Wisconsin.

Rather than work with Democrats to expand this crucial industry for Wisconsin’s economic future, legislative Republicans in both houses are currently sponsoring a bill that would ban important biotech research in labs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Medical College of Wisconsin. This research has already led to treatments that have saved millions of lives and researchers are already making advances that are giving hope to millions more with Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries, cancer and heart conditions.

Banning this research in Wisconsin would lead to an exodus of both biotech scientists and the companies that have located here and are employing thousands of Wisconsinites to states like California. Just like they did with green energy jobs, the Republicans seem more interested in paying back favors to their extreme and powerful special interests than they care about creating and retaining good-paying jobs for their constituents.

If Gov. Walker cares at all about the plight of Wisconsin's middle-class families, he should cancel his campaign trip to Kentucky for a candidate so extreme and out of touch that the polls show he is down 29 points and tell his fellow Republicans to get back to work for as long as it takes to pass a bipartisan, comprehensive jobs package that puts Wisconsinites back to work now.

Wisconsin workers and families want us to move forward together to create jobs. Assembly Democrats have a comprehensive jobs package of 10 bills ready to be passed to put Wisconsinites back to work now, but Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans are have shown that they simply aren't interested in creating jobs for Wisconsin families.

Originally posted to PeterBarca on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 12:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and Madison Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republican Idealogy tells us that as well (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sark Svemes

    It's a logical trap.

    Small Government
    Zero Government oversight of business
    The "invisible hand" of the market will create jobs

    It's the capitalist manifesto - jobs are not created by government - never are, never have been.

    any Republican that runs on a platform of "creating jobs" is running on an idealogical platform of "get out of the way" of industry and let them create jobs....and is a liar in the process.  No Republican politician can argue that he/she/it can create a single job directly.

    There is, unfortunately for the Republicans - a wealth of data to show how badly their policies are doing at creating jobs. Taxes are lower than ever.  Regulation is almost non-existent if you consider the government's ability to enforce it.  And unlike 60 years ago - Industry has many options to make money without creating any American Jobs.  Automation and Outsourcing have changed the game.  Halliburton is the shining example of taking American workers' tax dollars and moving offshore.  Industry has no interest in creating a single job if they can avoid it.

    Give industry what it wants and it will create jobs?  The data is not there - make that argument Sir - tell the American people that since Ronald Reagan, the lot of the American worker has gotten progressively worse under Republican Administrations - a steady downward slide.  
    The policies of "laissez-faire" and "hands off" of industry have lead to joblessness, corruption, scandal, war, and misery.

    Tell the Voters that - the data is there - I'm waiting for the first person in your position to make that argument.

    They had their time - their policies have failed on a historically massive scale.  No talking points or pundits shouting can spackle over the truth.

    make that argument.

  •  Please don't ask the Republicans to legislate more (6+ / 0-)

    As long as they have the majority, the less work they do, the better off we all are.  

    OK, I'm sure you don't really expect them to heed your call for a bipartisan jobs package, but I'm just saying, be careful what you wish for!

    However, since they are lazing about and not doing their jobs, I expect the Utah-based Tea Partiers to be starting recall proceedings any second now.  

  •  As a fellow Wisconsinite, I am outraged (7+ / 0-)

    at the casual approach to legislation, and jobs legislation in particular, coming out of Jeff Fitzgerald's mouth the last few days!  I hope that the WI Democratic Party will make this a huge issue in the 2012 elections.  These people were not elected to come to the State Capitol and put in a few hours when they have nothing better that they can find to do.  And the Repubs in the state legislature need to be hammered for this.  These are the people demanding budget cuts while they collect their salaries and benefits and do NOTHING. I seriously hope that the WI Dems will go after these lazy, arrogant, petulant time-wasters and hold them accountable for failing to do their own job while happily slashing jobs of individuals who actually showed up for work every single day and did the work that was expected of them.  

    I'd like to see some ads now--why wait?--and billboards---and some op ed pieces in the larger WI newspapers slamming the Republicans of this state for their failure to show up for work and earn their pay.  Give these folks no quarter.  They don't deserve it.

    PS  And Gov. Walker needs to start putting time in on his own job instead of behaving like a Republican fund-raiser for other Republicans across the country.  If he wants to be a Republican operative, he's in the wrong job.  He needs to sit himself down at his desk in the Capitol and do some real work for this state.

    A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King

    by 3goldens on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:43:23 PM PDT

  •  Beshear should send Walker a thank-you letter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Seriously, who is Williams going to appear with next? John Kasich? Walker's numbers aren't good enough for him to go around campaigning for other gubernatorial candidates.

    Most likely, he's going to try and do some fundraising on the side. He's up for election in 2012 and knows it.

    •  Williams and Walker are both born-agains and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      non acquiescer

      extreme ideologues.
      Rep. Barca: Thank you for standing strong. I petition you here and now to please do something about the insane Assembly rule that conflicts with state law and resulted in people getting dragged out of the chamber yesterday for silently videotaping the proceedings.
      That's just plain wrong! Thank you.

      I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me.

      by plankbob on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:12:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Keep Walker's feet to the fire (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Keep posting Rep. Barca, keep the attention where it belongs--on Walker's horrible, overreaching political shenanigans.  Recall can't happen soon enough.  His partisan politics and his Repuglican buddies have destroyed everything that I love about WI, and I will never forget.  Every vote I cast from now on will be AGAINST a Republican....and I hope to vote for a very long time.  

  •  Walker has cost Wisconsin jobs (0+ / 0-)

    James Rowan has posted on his blog how Walker is directly responsible for costing Wisconsin jobs. Good jobs.

    Whoever thinks of himself has problems but whoever thinks of others has interesting jobs to do. The greatest trick of all is simply to forget oneself. - Lama Ole Nydahl, "The Great Seal"

    by zephyr108 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:30:30 PM PDT

  •  How nice of you to tell us what we want (0+ / 0-)

    Screw "jobs".  I demand nothing less than industrial democracy.  If you can't provide it... get the hell out of the way.

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