Wednesday, November 25, 2009

If a job is created in Wisconsin ...

What if you created 53,000 jobs and nobody noticed?

I’m a bit stunned. I know it’s more fun to talk about what is bad about government than good. Heck, I’ve done more than my share of that in the day.

But in the last week, two private industry reports were released that show a cumulative effect of roughly 53,000 jobs being created or retained in Wisconsin thanks to federal recovery dollars, the Wisconsin stimulus bill (Act 2) and the state budget. And no media outlet seems to have noticed or cared.

Yes, the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association (road building firms) and several unions released a report Tuesday that shows 28,500 jobs. And the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, Inc. (construction firms) released a report last Thursday showing the creation of more than 25,000 jobs. Both reports credited government with helping create private jobs.

The business community understands what got done this year.

However, others apparently don’t. If a job is created in a state and no one is around to talk about it, does it actually count? Heck yah! Just ask the worker who is now bringing home a paycheck.

It’s easier to criticize mistakes on federal reports about recovery dollars with wrong zip codes and the like than to talk about real jobs created in Wisconsin.

Even better, Rep. Robin Vos, a Republican from Racine County, put out his own press release admitting the federal recovery dollars worked in creating jobs. A GOP first: Obama does good!

But he failed to mention the $300 million the state legislature approved in Act 2 for road construction. Also not mentioned was the additional $250 million spent on roads that was added to the state budget to spur jobs. Maybe he leaves that out because the Republicans voted against both times. And let’s not forget the building projects approved in the capitol budget that - say it with me - the Republicans voted against.

So while the private employers of 53,000 people in Wisconsin are thankful at this time of year for the jobs created by the Democrats at the federal and state levels, it appears no one else seems to want to also notice the mammoth undertaking.

If only they had listed a wrong zip code on their press release…maybe it would have made headlines.

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