January 26, 2018

AP’s Scott Walker-Obsessed Bauer Blows Two Easy Fact Checks

Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker gave his annual State of the State speech Wednesday. Naturally, Scott Bauer at the Associated Press, who has been on a seemingly singular mission to dispute and distort Walker’s statements and actions during that Governor’s seven years in office, treated absolutely true statements Walker made during his speech as somehow untruthful in a Thursday “Fact Check.”

This post addresses the first two “fact checks” Bauer attempted.

The first:

WALKER: “The state property tax is gone.”

THE FACTS: It’s true that the Legislature, at Walker’s urging, eliminated the state property tax that had generated money to benefit the state’s forestry program.

What Walker said is true. This fact check should be over.

But it’s never over for Bauer, who dragged over 130 words of irrelevance into his “fact check,” none of which affected Walker’s statement. Here are the first 73:

But what Walker fails to mention is the tax amounted to less than 17 cents per $1,000 of taxable income, or $27 a year on a median-value $160,000 home. Most property taxes paid by homeowners are levied and collected locally by school districts, cities, counties and technical colleges. Overall, total property taxes on the owner of a median-valued home are projected to be about flat this year and down about $22 next year.

Despite Bauer’s bloviating, the tax that Walker said is gone is still gone. In discussing the State of the State — not its hundreds of individual jurisdictions — he had no need to go into any of Bauer’s utterly irrelevant minutiae.

The second “fact-check”:

WALKER: “Since we started requiring employment and worker training, more than 25,000 people have gained employment.”

THE FACTS: … Walker is correct that more than 25,000 people have found jobs since the requirement took effect in April 2015.

Walker’s fact is “correct.” There’s nothing else to say, right?

Of course not, and get a load of Bauer’s objection:

But what he fails to mention is that since then, an even greater number, up to 86,000, have lost their food stamp benefits. That figure includes people who got off food stamps because they found a job. It also could be counting the same person multiple times, if they’ve gone on and off the program.

Oh my goodness, the dependency rolls fell. What will we ever do? People must be starving in the streets.

Oh wait. People “lost,” i.e., didn’t need, food stamps because they found jobs. That’s what’s supposed to happen when a person gets a job paying enough to enable him or her to buy food with their own money. In a state with a seasonally adjusted 3.0 percent unemployment rate — tied for the lowest ever in 42 years of records — the real question should be why 663,000 residents, 11.4 percent of Wisconsin’s population, are still on food stamps.

Scott Bauer’s obsession with concocting phony falsehoods when Scott Walker states irrefutable facts exemplifies why so much of the news-consuming public so utterly despises the establishment press.

Cross-posted, with possible revisions, at NewsBusters.org.

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