I found out in Wisconsin last week that the issue that sparked the Scott Walker recall -- the "budget repair bill" and its deconstruction of public sector collective bargaining -- was no longer the Democrats' election message. They were talking about jobs. So was Scott Walker. The governor's omnipresent TV ads report that Wisconsin has started to create jobs again; Democratic ads say that promised 250,000 new jobs, and he ain't delivering.
EconoBrower's Menzie Chinn puts the argument in compelling chart form.
What does that remind you of? If you're a collector of campaign agitprop, you'll think of the various editions of the Carol Browner chart, the graph designed to argue that the economy would collapse without the stimulus -- the graph that predicted a much swifter economic recovery than the one we got.
The goal of the rejiggered stimulus chart is to spook the reader. "Ooof," you say. "That didn't work, did it?" That's what the new chart's supposed to make you feel, too. Walker has been sweating this. After the Capitol Times pointed out that Walker has stopped dropping the 250k number in speeches, Walker appeared at the state GOP convention and reaffirmed the goal. State data, he claimed, wasn't revealing how good things were.