Democrats are slow to react to Scott Walker’s ridiculous emphasis on his administrations lower unemployment numbers. Is Walker misdirecting attention away from his jobs promise? Ya think?
On the jobs front, Walker has also succeeded in silencing his critics by oddly sticking to his jobs promise, an obvious ploy, but obtuse enough to confuse reporters.
But didn't Walker just manipulated the unemployment rate? Walker's reforms changed and restricted who could get unemployment. According to Thomas and Thorngren, a company that deals with unemployment cost controls for employers:
Reforms to Wisconsin’s Unemployment Law Favorable for Employers: The new law tightens up UI benefit eligibility by decreasing the number of qualifying quit exceptions for individuals who voluntarily quit from 18 to 9 … A disqualification may now be imposed when the employee is discharged for “misconduct” or for “substantial fault” … (even) when the underlying reasons for discharge do not rise to the level of misconduct. A claimant must now conduct at least four reasonable search actions for suitable work during a week of unemployment to be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits for that week.
Walker reduced the number of people getting unemployment, which in turn, makes his numbers look better than they are. Oddly (but not really), conservatives never talk about the uncounted unemployed-the actual number they site often to bash Obama.
The think (in-the) tank MacIver Institute didn't mind Walker shifting an employer’s increased unemployment taxes to the public...you and me. Yes, we’re now subsidizing business:
The new law also shifts UI tax increases away from employers … When that fund was emptied in 2009, the Wisconsin state government borrowed $1.6 billion from the federal government, a loan that at one point cost $60,000 per day in interest payments. UI taxes on businesses have roughly doubled since the state took that loan in order to pay that interest, but the new law reduces their UI taxes to pre-loan levels by shifting the fiscal burden for the interest payments to the general budget.
The “general budget” is us, the taxpayers. We also threw in an extra $50 million of general taxpayer money to balance the unemployment fund, so the federal government wouldn't increase taxes on businesses. It was a trick, a scam, played on the federal government by using our money to keep businesses from paying in to their unemployment fund.