There are a lot of Scott Walker lies to choose from, but I have very subjectively selected what I consider his top 3. Here they are with explanations below the rejected orange Sealy Posturepedic logo:
1. I created a budget surplus.
2. My new and improved job numbers have been verified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
3. My office has been fully cooperative with the John Doe investigators.
Lie #1. "I created a budget surplus."
Scott Walker is blanketing Wisconsin airwaves claiming credit for a projected surplus in the Wisconsin state budget. The “surplus”, however, was created by Walker’s pushing off state debt payment just so he could boast that he created a surplus. It means the state will pay more in interest and principal payments in the next budget cycle and beyond. It would be like my getting a cash advance on my credit card, depositing the funds in my checking account, and saying to my wife “Great news, honey! I just paid the bills and we have money left in the checking account this month!” (I have never done that, by the way, if my wife is reading this.)
State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, who ran for the Democratic nomination for governor in the recall primary but lost to Tom Barrett in a four-way race, recently wrote a letter to the Republican leaders of the state legislature’s joint finance committee questioning this fiscal trickeration. She attached letters from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau showing how much extra the taxpayers will eventually pay to finance Walker’s temporary surplus. She’s a numbers geek, which is why I supported her in the primary. Facts matter.
Senator Vinehout and her staff did all the legwork. It’s all right there for anyone who wants to know the truth. Here is a link to Senator Vinehout's complete letter with the attachments. From Senator Vinehout’s letter:
Thursday, May 24, 2012There is no budget surplus. Busted.
Dear Sen. Darling and Rep. Vos,
There is a conflict between the popular wisdom the state budget is balanced and the bills are paid and the reality that the state has not paid over a half billion dollars in debt payments due. Review of recent actions taken to restructure a sizable amount of debt raises serious concerns about how to manage future budgets….
I have been working with Legislative Fiscal Bureau staff to better understand the implications of pushing debt payment off into future budgets. I am most concerned with the speed and size of the delayed debt payments in the past year….
The state took three actions in the past year to avoid making debt payments coming due…
In the past year, the administration has issued additional debt to avoid payments on
approximately $558.3 million in principal that would have otherwise been paid off.
Refinancing these debt payments to simply avoid making the payments has added
$714,398,748 additional principal and interest to the debt load in coming years. This new
debt is not expected to be paid off until 2030-31….
Lie #2 "Our new job numbers have been verified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics."
If you haven't followed the saga of Scott Walker's disappearing and reappearing jobs, here is a brief summary. When the US Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly report shows job gains in Wisconsin, Scott Walker brags about them and cites the report. When they show losses, Scott Walker tries to convince people that the methodology used by the BLS is all wrong. When it's 20 days before a recall election, Scott Walker releases new, unvetted numbers and says Wisconsin gained some jobs since he took office. When people question the numbers and point out that the BLS will not validate and release the corrected and vetted figures until June 28th, Scott Walker lies and says the BLS emailed him and told him the numbers were verified. When the BLS is contacted, this is what BLS Communications Director Gary Steinberg says:
"The Bureau can not comment on the fourth quarter numbers because they haven't been released. I can say that we would not have confirmed the numbers yet, but would only have confirmed the methods used. We can’t confirm fourth quarter or later data and would not have confirmed it to the governor’s office either."The BLS did not validate Walker's job numbers. Busted.
Lie #3. "My office has been fully cooperative with the John Doe investigators."
Nuh-uh. Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has uncovered court documents that indicate then Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and his office "stonewalled" the initial investigation into missing funds from veterans groups and that the secret John Doe investigation was requested by prosecutors because "It may be the County Executive's Office is reluctant to provide information to investigators due to a fear of political embarrassment..."
Bice continues quoting from the recently released 2010 petition requesting the John Doe investigation:
"As part of the pre-Doe investigation, Investigator Jeffrey Doss sought to obtain documentation that would form the basis of tracing the funds from Milwaukee County to the Order...The Office of the County Executive has been unwilling or unable to provide such documentation. It is unclear at this juncture why the Office of the County Executive has not produced (or has not caused another Department to produce) these records."Walker stonewalled the investigation, but it eventually uncovered additional wrongdoing, including misuse of county resources, a secret email router set up just outside Walker's office, and possible bid-rigging for county contracts. Busted.
Now, tilt your head to the right and look at the orange squiggly up there. Doesn't it look like a sideways "S P"?