I'm really looking forward to a TV ad run by the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, which attacks Steve Kagen for "costing Wisconsin jobs."
After deriding Kagen for voting for the "Obama-Pelosi" energy bill, the ad goes on to denounce the congressman for voting for the $787 billion stimulus, which it says "cost Wisconsin 77,000 jobs." It cites as its source the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Since most non-partisan estimates have found that the stimulus prevented the economy from shedding many more jobs in the past two years, I would be interested to see what cause and effect the NRSCC drew from the bureau's data.
You can bet there was nothing. The organization merely cited the decrease in employment in the months following the passage of the stimulus and attributed it to the legislation.
The other week I talked to Prof. Andrew Reschovsky, a UW economist who recently projected the state's structural budget deficit to be $3.1 billion. Perhaps the biggest problem the state faces in the next budget, Reschovsky commented, was the lack of stimulus funds that saved Wisconsin from draconian cuts and many lost jobs last year.