Glasnost In Wisconsin

After a hiatus of nearly 4 years, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue has resumed publication of the Wisconsin Economic Outlookas of yesterday.

Econbrowser readers will recall in June 2016, in response to my query to the WI Department of Revenue about the quarterly Wisconsin Economic Outlook, I received this very polite response:

[T]he report was becoming more irregular, and we have discontinued issuing the Outlook based upon the resources that were involved in producing it. We may still issue special reports from time to time, so please feel free to check our website in the future.

Just like the Brownback regime, which ceased publishing the reports of the Kansas Council of Advisors when the data did not cooperate, the Walker regime stopped releasing reports when Wisconsin embarrassingly lagged the 250,000 new private jobs by January 2015 promise that then Governor Walker had just recommitted to in August 2013.

The current report notes:

The U.S. and Wisconsin economies showed growth during 2018, as the current expansion cycle reached its ninth year. Fiscal stimulus and the federal tax cuts and expenditure bill pushed growth higher in the first half of 2018. Labor markets continue to tighten, pushing up wages. Consumer confidence is close to its all‐time high.

The forecast expects this trend to continue in 2019 at a slightly slower pace, as the housing
market decelerates and the boost from the federal tax cuts fade away. The current expansion will become the longest in recorded history by July 2019. However, there are several downside risks to this forecast. Those risks include a rising dollar, slower world growth, volatility in the stock market, a trade war with China and federal government shutdowns.

How did Wisconsin fare over the past four years in which no reports were published? Here is one pair of relevant figures.

Source: Wisconsin Economic Outlook, March 2019.

Speaking of Walker’s job promise: the 250,000 new private sector jobs was only achieved in December 2018, nearly four years after the promised date.



7 thoughts on “Glasnost In Wisconsin

  1. Moses Herzog

    Well, even though Yeltsin and Vaclav Havel have left us, we can still thank Gorbachev. That frisky S-O-B is still hanging tough.

    Heroes are remembered and memorialized and still give us our own inner fortitude when we look back on them. Scumbuckets are also remembered. Where will William Barr reside in the history books?? I am sorrowfully doubtful not in the heroes section of the book.

  2. Moses Herzog

    I can make a pretty good argument Yeltsin was a much better leader than donald trump is now. How?? It’s a simple question, “Did you take your country in the right/better direction or did you take your country in the wrong/worse direction??” Was the attack of Russia’s Parliament House wrong?? Who believes the parliament would have taken things in the correct direction had he relinquished power to them?? They were in essence asking for reinstatement of communism. What a joke.

  3. Moses Herzog

    I don’t know if “hard hitting” TPM is going to run this story. I know TPM is very good at covering stories that other media outlets do the actual work on, so maybe someone at TPM can re-word it. You have to respect people who get degrees in journalism so they can re-write and paraphrase real journalists’ hard work.

    So who got that audio of oil execs?? HINT: It wasn’t TPM

  4. pgl

    “Speaking of Walker’s job promise: the 250,000 new private sector jobs was only achieved in December 2018, nearly four years after the promised date.”

    20 years ago, James Glassman and Kevin Hassett told us that the DOW was about to reach 36000. How did that work out?

  5. Jake formerly of the LP

    I thoroughly anticipate the Trump Admimistration to do a similar burying of information as the economy slows in the next 18,months.

    GOPs are still the same “create our own reality” types that they were 15 years ago. Unfit for leadership.

  6. Samuel

    Didn’t he make that promise before his first term in 2010? Should that be eight years after the promised date? Thank you Dr. Chinn for tracking this information.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Samuel: Yes, he did make the promise before the first election; I remember that day because my La Follette colleague (a noneconomist, by the way) noted the sheer implausibility of the promise.

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