AP National Story Criticizes Wis. Jobs Website For Out-of-State Jobs Which Would Increase Tax Collections
Boy, Scott Bauer and the Associated Press have really, really nailed Scott Walker this time — not.
Bauer found that some of the jobs listed in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s “Job Center of Wisconsin” website are located in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan). Imagine that: The Badger State’s governor is including jobs in neighboring states because he apparently believes that his state would be better off if some of its unemployed workers found jobs across the border. Oh the humanity.
Bauer seems not to have figured out that Wisconsin residents working in Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota (Iowa is not clear) pay Wisconsin state income tax (which is based on the state of residence), and that the state would be better off collecting income taxes from such workers instead of continuing to pay out unemployment and other government benefits.
The AP apparently thought that the matter is such a big potential scandal that it put Bauer’s story on the national wire. Here goes (bolded text demonstrates how Bauer really doesn’t get the income tax point raised in the previous paragraph):
APNewsBreak: 6,000 jobs touted by gov outside Wis.
Nearly one in five of the jobs listed on a state website touted by Gov. Scott Walker as a resource for unemployed Wisconsin residents are actually located in neighboring states, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.
More than 32,000 job openings were posted on the Job Center of Wisconsin’s website as of Tuesday, but about 18 percent of them were in Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan. It was unclear how many of those roughly 6,000 jobs could be filled through telecommuting, though many appeared to require on-site work.
Walker ran on a promise to add 250,000 private sector jobs in the state by 2015, and the Republican repeatedly referenced the website – the state’s official jobs site – in his radio address last week as a place for Wisconsin’s unemployed to find jobs and quickly connect with employers.
A search of the website Tuesday afternoon showed 32,253 job listings. Of those, 3,014 were in Illinois, 2,078 were in Minnesota, 737 were in Iowa and 136 were in Michigan.
It wasn’t clear how many of the out-of-state jobs would allow someone to work from home, although a spot check showed many required on-site work, including multiple hotel housekeeper jobs just across the state border in Rockford, Ill., and farther south in the Chicago suburbs. It also was unclear how many would require workers to move out of Wisconsin.
But it’s not unusual for people living near the Wisconsin border to work outside the state. The Twin Cities are only about 30 miles from Hudson, Wis., and downtown Chicago is about 50 miles from the state line and just a 90-minute train ride from Milwaukee. Dubuque, Iowa, is just across the Mississippi River and attracts workers from many rural Wisconsin communities.
Bauer also fails to entertain the possibility that residents of other states, particularly Illinois, which has lost 25,000 seasonally adjusted jobs in the past three months, might be interested in moving to Wisconsin (which has picked up 30,000 this year) if they manage to land jobs there. That would also enable the state to increase its income tax base and collect sales taxes when new residents buy things.
Seriously, the ignorance on display here should be embarrassing, but nobody at the AP appears to even know enough to be embarrassed.
Scott Bauer, the AP in Wisconsin, and the wire service nationally all seem to have come down with a serious, long-term case of Walker Derangement Syndrome. The only cure would appear to be finding reporters who know what they’re doing and don’t have what appear to be huge statist chips on their shoulders.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.
UPDATE: Via commenter Rich in Iowa below (bold is mine) —
Bauer also does not know that any approved employer can post their job openings on the site. All this is a clearinghouse for employers and job seekers hosted by the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and this site pre-dates Walker’s Governorship by, oh, maybe a decade.
You can’t make this up.