5/18/2012 6:47:00 AM The Good, The Bad, The Ugly May 18
The good ...
The economic news continues to roll in this spring, and it continues to be largely good news.
As we report today, the state's per capita income rose 4.8 percent in 2011, the largest increase in five years, while actual 2011 jobs data based on reports from nearly 160,000 employers shows that the state added more than 23,300 jobs between December 2010 and December 2011.
As most economists have affirmed, the quarterly count is far more accurate than the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly survey of just 3.5 percent of businesses in the state, which had showed job losses.
All of this predictably makes Democrats very glum. After all, they are never too keen on private-sector job growth, which often comes at the expense of bloated public-sector employment, especially when it occurs just weeks before a recall election in whey they are already trailing.
The bad ...
Speaking of trailing, three new polls this week put Gov. Scott Walker in the driver's seat in his recall race with Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett.
One poll giving Walker a nine-point edge might be seen as a little shaky. But polls by reputable firms, the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports and the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, give Walker a five-point and four-point advantage, respectively.
Real close, of course, and a very-much-alive turnout war. Maybe that's why Barrett went scampering off to campuses this week to make sure they vote absentee in the June 5 election, when school is out and students will be far, far away, many of them not in the state.
Of course, having to make personal responsibility to vote absentee is bumming the kids out, according to College Democrats of Wisconsin president Andy Suchorski.
"It's very difficult getting students to vote when they're not in school," he was quoted as saying in BrookfieldPatch. "It's one thing to knock on their dorm room door and say, 'Hey, go vote downstairs.' It's another to say, 'Hey you have to fill out an absentee request, you have to register and all of that fun stuff.'"
Imagine that, actually having to do something to exercise your right to vote! Appalling! This is certainly not in the spirit of the nanny state most students are accustomed to, where everything is handed to everybody on a government plate.
The ugly ...
While the Milwaukee mayor tries to manufacture votes among young people - many of whom have no business voting in Wisconsin - and his wife uses Milwaukee Public Schools' computers for political activities, Democrats talk increasingly about corruption.
It's hollow talk built on sandy innuendoes and watery falsehoods but, hey, why not? Collective bargaining didn't work as a theme, and so Democrats shifted to jobs, and now that isn't working, either, so something else must be found: Corruption!
It's the right word but used against the wrong party. What's corrupt is the misuse of the recall mechanism in the first place.