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LETTER: Walker policies hurt economy

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opinion New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond News
715-246-7117 customer support
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

To the Editor:

If anyone is still trying to decide whether to sign the petition to hold an election to recall Gov. Scott Walker, I would direct them to a report issued this past week by the nonpartisan Institute for Wisconsin's Future.

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Titled "The Price of Extremism: Wisconsin's Economy under the Walker Administration," the report lays out in stark figures how Walker's policies are impoverishing the state of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is now dead last in the nation in job growth because Walker's policies have actually shrunk our economy. Through cuts to education and services, cuts in public sector workers' pay, and rejection of federal funds, the Walker administration has removed from circulation in our communities $700 million that could have helped create thousands of jobs.

Jobs are created by consumer demand. $700 million taken out of the Wisconsin economy is $700 million that won't get spent by Wisconsin families. That virtually guarantees a drop in demand, which leads not to job creation but to job loss.

The IWF report details county-by-county the economic impact of Walker's cuts to education and public workers' wages. Here's how they affect us in western Wisconsin:

In 2011-12 Pierce County loses $3,615,370 in general school aid, $6,742,403 in working families' purchasing power, and $1,410,000 in salary cuts to K-12 education staff.

The figures for St. Croix County are $2,495,149 in general school aid, $6,784,748 in working families' purchasing power, and $1,647,900 in salary cuts to K-12 education staff.

That's a total $22,695,570 removed from the combined economy of Pierce and St. Croix counties. Does anyone believe that's not going to hurt our local businesses?

Read the report at www.wisconsinsfuture.org and see for yourself.

Thomas R. Smith

River Falls

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