Letter to the Editor: Blatant Partisan Attack Manipulates Economic Data

I was surprised by the facts stated in Mike Brodd’s Letter to the Editor of June 1 using data supplied by the “independent” Economic Policy Institute or EPI showing that since both the Democratic governor of Minnesota and Governor Walker of Wisconsin took office in 2011, Minnesota had done better with the Democrat policies. My first step, which anyone can take, was to Google: Economic Policy Institute funding. The first entry was from stating: “The Economic Policy Institute calls itself a ‘nonprofit, nonpartisan’ think tank. But behind its facade of political balance lays an agenda-driven organization. EPI has roots in radical leftist politics, and it receives a large portion of its funding from organized labor.”

This did not mean its facts were wrong but made me determined to be sure they were accurate. I found that the American Center of the American Experiment, a Twin Cities based free market think tank had studied the EPI research and determined they used various dates before either governor took office to get the results they wanted. When comparing each state from the same starting point- December 2010, the month before the governors took control through 2017, Wisconsin clearly outpaced Minnesota in reducing unemployment , increasing hourly earnings  and household income, increasing economic output, GDP, and while lowering taxes.

Unemployment Change:  WI -5.3 percent, MN -3.9 percent

Current Unemployment:  April 2018: WI 2.8 percent, MN 3.2 percent

Average Hourly Earnings: WI +3.5 percent, MN +3.2 percent

Gross Domestic Product, GDP, Per Capita: WI +9.8 percent, MN +5.5 percent

Top/ Bottom Income Tax Rates: WI 4.00-7.65 percent, MN 5.35-9.85 percent

To be fair, Minnesota still has higher average wages at $19.84 with Wisconsin at $17.81 caused possibly with Minnesota having 18 Fortune 500 companies to Wisconsin with only nine, but the recent decision by Foxconn and Haribo to build their first North American mega plants in Wisconsin is a positive sign. In summary, the economic facts, as shown above, clearly show that Governor Walker and the Republican-led legislature are doing a better job and deserve to be reelected.


Jerry Zaug

Sister Bay, Wis.

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