There has been something of a dispute between Governor Walker and Governor Dayton of Minnesota. From Minnesota Public Radio, Governor Walker’s tweet, in response to Governor Dayton’s speech:
“In ’11, IL raised taxes on income by 66% & businesses by 46%. Now MN Gov is proposing a $2 bil tax increase. WI is Open for Business.”
We can examine the relative performance of Minnesota and Wisconsin under the differing taxation and spending regimes by reference to the Philadelphia Fed’s coincident indices.
Figure 1: Log coincident indices for WI (blue), MN (red) and US (black), normalized to 2007M12=0. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: Philadelphia Fed, NBER, and author’s calculations.
One of these is not like the others.
Update, 9am 1/26: Reader Derek notes that the proper point of comparison is against IL, and normalized to tax increases in IL and Walker’s inauguration. CoRev asserts that the interpretation would change if one made this comparison. Here is the resulting graph.
Figure 2: Log coincident indices for WI (blue), MN (red), IL (purple), and US (black), normalized to 2011M01=0. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: Philadelphia Fed, NBER, and author’s calculations.
I will let readers decide if their conclusions change.
Update, noon, 1/27: From TwinCities.com “Wisconsin: Former Scott Walker aide sentenced to 2 years”:
MILWAUKEE — A former top aide to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison after he was convicted of stealing more than $20,000 from a nonprofit group Walker appointed him to lead.
Timothy D. Russell, 49, pleaded guilty in November to felony theft, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. First-time offenders are often sentenced to probation, but Judge David Hansher said he gave prison time because Russell’s contrition was insincere.
“There is absolutely no true regret, remorse or repentance,” the judge said. “I find that you don’t even have any shame.”
Russell was one of six people charged in a secret investigation of the Milwaukee County executive’s office back when Walker held that office between 2002 and 2010. Russell and four others have been convicted, and a trial for the sixth begins next week.
Walker, a Republican, has not been charged with wrongdoing and has repeatedly said he is not a target in the investigation. The probe began in May 2010, six months before Walker was elected governor.
As Walker’s deputy chief of staff, Russell was the third most powerful person in Milwaukee County behind Walker and Chief of Staff Tom Nardelli. The criminal complaint alleges that Russell used his position and influence to gain financial control of the Heritage Guard Preservation Society, a nonprofit group that organizes outings for veterans to the Milwaukee County Zoo.