July 30, 2012

Milwaukee Courier

We Need Jobs Now

By Senator Lena C. Taylor

I was deeply disappointed with new jobs numbers released last week.  At a time when our nation has been adding jobs slowly but surely, Wisconsin has been left behind by failed policy.  In May, Wisconsin lost 13,200 jobs.

 Overcoming an incompetent US Congress, President Obama has guided the nation towards more jobs and a better tomorrow.  President Obama has provided uncommon national leadership for the economy, but Wisconsin has not seen any hint of serious leadership from the Governor’s office.

While policies in Minnesota and Illinois have helped our neighboring states actually gain jobs, Wisconsin leaders have failed.  Governor Walker has spent more time attacking and disenfranchising his constituents than he has fixing our state’s deeply troubled employment situation.  I do not believe in Scott Walker’s economic plan.

Governor Walker seems dedicated to leading our state towards disaster.  Soon after he took office, Governor Walker began telling out-of-state businesses to “Escape to Wisconsin”.  The slogan clearly outlined Governor Walker’s jobs plan.  Walker and the Republicans claimed that by cutting taxes on the richest, they could attract business to Wisconsin. 

More than a year after Governor Walker’s budget passed, Wisconsin has lost jobs instead of gaining them.  Turns out, there is more to job creation than balancing a budget.  Who would have thought that it would call for attention, careful planning and investment?  The state isn’t doing enough to support budding entrepreneurs or ensure that average citizens make enough to support those entrepreneurs’ businesses. 

The Republican leadership shows no interest in working for Wisconsin.  Even while Governor Walker’s new jobs agency has been wasting Wisconsin’s time and treasure.   It is on track to face a $14 million deficit with little to show in improving employment. What happened?

I believe that Wisconsin’s economy will not recover until we give attention to building the middle class.  Wisconsin has nothing to offer new businesses without a growing and diverse middle class to support them.  No, Governor Walker’s “billionaires-first” legislative agenda has not been working.  It was designed to bring jobs back to the state, but we have gained nothing but pain and division. 

We need an economy that works for everyone, not one that favors a few at the expense of everyone else.  The Democratic Party recently gained a majority in the State Senate, and our caucus has pledged to go back to work for more jobs right now.

I was recently appointed to the Co-Chair of the Joint Finance Committee by majority leader Mark Miller.  With this powerful position in the state legislature, I feel more empowered than ever to fight for my constituent’s interests.  Right now, I know that your interests lie in employing Milwaukee.  I know that you cannot afford to wait.