More than 70 taxpayers braved the rain in Milwaukee today to protest Governor Scott Walker’s and Rep. Darling’s plan to send $250 million in taxpayer money meant to create jobs to out-of-state bankers instead. Protestors flushed cards that read “jobs” down a toilet to represent Walker’s boondoggle.
The Jobs Now Fund would bring back controversial certified capital companies, or “CAPCOs,” which are supposed to create jobs, but in reality are just a big barrel of pork for Wall Street. A study of a similar venture in Texas shows the jobs cost nearly $1 million each to create- 25 times what it would cost to create jobs without Wall Street involvement. Meanwhile, Walker is cutting jobs in education and public services and slashing programs that are central to the Wisconsin way of life.
According to Thomas R. Hefty, who served on economic development commission for both Republicans and Democratic governors, “Rather than creating ‘jobs now,’ this legislation will drive additional insurance jobs to other states.”
The plan has come under wide spread criticism. Other states have called the plans “terrible public policy,” and Dr. Julia Sass Rubin of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University who has studied CAPCO’s has testified that “CAPCOs are an extraordinarily expensive and inefficient way to increase access to capital in the District. I fully believe that the District would get better results if it simply gave a million dollars each to fifty entrepreneurs through a raffle.”
Speakers at today’s event pointed to how Darling and Walker would rather line the pockets of out-of-state financiers than take real steps to fix our jobs situation. While Milwaukee faces cuts of 1,000 teachers, 21 nurses, and countless public services that residents rely on, Walker and Darling are still finding millions in the coffers to reward the rich while leaving hard-working constituents struggling.
“It doesn’t make sense that time and again he’s shoveling our money out to rich CEOs, corporations, and out-of-state bankers while we face cuts,” said AFT’s Michael Rosen. “It’s not just wrong- it’s unconscionable.”