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Scott Walker's Austerity Agenda Yields 'Worst Job Losses in US'

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This article cross-posted from The Nation


We've heard about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's war on workers.

We've heard about Scott Walker's war on women.

But what about Scott Walker's war on Illinois.

The governor -- who has made himself the face of an American austerity push that uses the fantasy of "shared sacrfice" to redistribute wealth upward -- went to Springfield, Illinois, two weeks ago to tell the state's business leaders that their state should do it his way. Walker's argument was that Illinois was getting everything wrong and that Wisconsin was getting everything right when it came to encouraging job creation.

As he has for the past year in Florida, Arizona, Texas, California and other states, Walker was trying to export his approach to governing (and to pick up lots of campaign money): attacks on public employees, deep cuts in education and training, the undermining of public services and the rejection of federal support for transportation and broadband Internet development.

That, Walker said, is the way to create jobs.

Then reality set in.

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The Bloomberg business new service, not exactly a liberal institution, ran a story headlined: "Republican Whipping-Boy Illinois Beats Wisconsin on Jobs."

It reported: "Illinois ranked third while Wisconsin placed 42nd in the most recent Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States index, which includes personal income, tax revenue and employment. Illinois gained 32,000 jobs in the 12 months ending in February, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics found. Wisconsin, where Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs with the help of business-tax breaks, lost 16,900."

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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