Gov. Walker ran on a promise to create 250,000 jobs in his first four years as Governor. Many economists argued that this goal was likely to be reached with little lifting from Gov. Walker due to natural upticks in the economy. Yet, more than halfway through Gov. Walker’s first term, he is spectacularly failing to meet his own job creation standards and his flagship “jobs agency” – the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) – has become a national embarrassment.
WEDC’s mismanagement and incompetence falls squarely on the Walker Administration because it was the Governor’s brainchild to privatize the Department of Commerce to create the WEDC.
Where was the necessary accountability and oversight? A WEDC spokesman was hired despite being on the delinquent taxpayer list and owing tens of thousands of dollars to Wisconsin in back taxes. A recent audit by the Legislative Audit Bureau found WEDC employees used company credit cards and taxpayer dollars to buy Badger season tickets, alcohol and iTune gift cards. The audit revealed that WEDC repeatedly broke state law, lost track of millions of dollars in taxpayer funded loans, and did not establish proper reporting mechanisms to track taxpayer dollars.
By all standards Gov. Walker’s jobs agency is in turmoil and its failures must be addressed in a bi-partisan fashion to ensure adequate oversight of taxpayer dollars and good-job creation for Wisconsinites.
Phil Neuenfeldt, President
President Obama on Right-To-Work for less Legislation
And by the way, what we shouldn’t do -- I just got to say this -- what we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions. (Applause.) We shouldn’t be doing that. (Applause.) These so-called “right to work” laws, they don't have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics. (Applause.) What they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. (Applause.)
You only have to look to Michigan -- where workers were instrumental in reviving the auto industry -- to see how unions have helped build not just a stronger middle class but a stronger America. (Applause.) So folks from our state’s capital, all the way to the nation’s capital, they should be focused on the same thing. They should be working to make sure companies like this manufacturer is able to make more great products. That's what they should be focused on. (Applause.) We don't want a race to the bottom. We want a race to the top. (Applause.)
America is not going to compete based on low-skill, low-wage, no workers’ rights. That's not our competitive advantage. There’s always going to be some other country that can treat its workers even worse. Right?
THE PRESIDENT: What’s going to make us succeed is we got the best workers -- well trained, reliable, productive, low turnover, healthy. That's what makes us strong. And it also is what allows our workers then to buy the products that we make because they got enough money in their pockets. (Applause.)
So we’ve got to get past this whole situation where we manufacture crises because of politics. That actually leads to less certainty, more conflict, and we can't all focus on coming together to grow.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: That's right!