This past Saturday at the Iowa Ag Summit, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker trotted out one of his most tried-and-true brags when he pontificated about how he’s made it harder for working class Wisconsinites to obtain food stamps by proposing drug testing and other hurdles for welfare recipients to overcome. It’s a stigmatizing line that the presidential hopeful has used countless times to highlight his conservative credentials in front of audiences in his home state, in Iowa and recently at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Underlying Walker’s rhetoric is misguided right-wing logic that drug testing welfare recipients constitutes strong stewardship of taxpayer funds. Indeed, Walker is all about making it harder for members of the working class to access government assistance. But he’s all for making it easier for corporate titans to access taxpayer-funded grants and advantageous tax breaks through the woefully mismanaged private economic development agency he created — the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). WEDC has been as ineffective at helping Walker reach his infamous goal of creating 250,000 new jobs in his first term as it has been scandal-ridden.
On the heels of Walker’s anti-welfare applause line at the Iowa Ag Summit, yet another news report shows just how cavalier Walker’s WEDC truly is about managing taxpayer funds. According to yesterday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “officials at Wisconsin’s flagship jobs agency have disclosed that they again failed to follow state law and track how recipients of state loans and grants were spending tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.” So not only is WEDC giving Wisconsin taxpayer funds to companies that outsource jobs (and to numerous Walker campaign donors), the agency has violated statutes that ensure that companies are abiding by the terms of their WEDC awards.
Walker’s hypocrisy on managing taxpayer funds is almost as rich as all of his corporate cronies collecting handouts from his signature job-creation entity. More from the MJS here.