Parade of Failing GOP Governors Descend on South Carolina

To: Interested Parties
From: Michael Czin, National Press Secretary, DNC
Date: August 26, 2013
RE: Parade of Failing GOP Governors Descend on South Carolina

Later today, Governors Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, and Rick Perry will descend on South Carolina in an effort to boost the reelection chances of their embattled colleague, Governor Nikki Haley. In the wake of their 2012 electoral losses, Republicans have looked to their Governors for leadership, calling them in their Autopsy Report “America’s reformers in chief” and claiming they “point the way forward” for the party. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When you look at the records of Haley, Jindal, Walker and Perry you can see that not only are these Republican Governors failing to “point the way forward,” they're taking their states backward, pursuing the same far-right policies that cost Republicans the White House in 2012.

Gov. Haley’s policies have failed hardworking families over and over; during her tenure as Governor, South Carolina is one of the hardest states in the country to earn a living in, is one of the hardest places in the country to live the American dream of economic mobility, and has an unemployment rate higher than 36 other states

And the colleagues that Haley is bringing in on her behalf are doing no better for their states. Bobby Jindal is currently the least popular Republican Governor in the country. Under Scott Walker, job growth in Wisconsin has lagged behind the nation. And over Rick Perry's three terms as Governor the unemployment rate has gone up.

Please see below for background on the key shortcomings of the Jindal, Walker, and Perry administrations:


Under Perry, Texas’s “Extremely Imbalanced” Tax Laws Have Placed The Heaviest Burden On The Poor While Allowing The Wealthiest 1 Percent To Pay Only 3 Percent Of Their Incomes In State And Local Taxes.  “Texas, in particular, is ‘extremely imbalanced’ in its reliance on sales and property taxes, the report concludes. Even without having to pay income tax, the poorest fifth of Texans ended up paying about 12 percent of their income in taxes in 2009, ITEP reports. The wealthiest 1 percent of Texans paid only 3 percent of their income in state and local taxes.  [Huffington Post, 8/19/11]

Walker’s Budget Gives 55 Percent Of The Tax Cuts To Those Making More Than $100,000 Per Year. Wisconsin Center For Investigative Journalism on the budget Scott Walker signed: “Percentage of the $651 million in tax cuts included in the budget that will go to taxpayers making more than $100,000 a year: 55” [Wisconsin Center For Investigative Journalism, 7/2/13; Legislative Fiscal Bureau REPORT]

Wisconsin Tax Payers Who Make Between $40,000 And $50,000 Will See A $87 Tax Cut In 2014 - Wisconsin Tax Payers Who Make Over $100,000 Will See An Average Tax Cut Of $218 To $1,518 In 2014. [Legislative Fiscal Bureau Report, 6/5/13]

Jindal’s Proposed Tax Plan Would Have “Dramatically Shifted More Of The Burden Of Louisiana’s Taxes Onto Lower-Income Individuals.”  “Last week Louisiana’s Republican Governor Bobby Jindal proposed replacing the state’s individual income and corporate taxes with a higher sales tax. While details are scarce, initial media reports suggest Jindal would both raise the sales tax rate and make more goods and services subject to the levy.  […] In fact, even without base broadening, the proposal would dramatically shift more of the burden of Louisiana’s taxes onto lower-income individuals. Since low-income households devote a higher share of their income to consumption, they end up paying higher effective tax rates than higher-income households which tend to spend less and save more. This concern is particularly stark in Louisiana, which was recently ranked as the sixth most unequal state in the country by one measure of inequality.” [Tax Policy Center, 1/14/13]


Under Jindal, State Funding For Higher Education Has Been Slashed By Almost $650 Million And Tuition Has Risen.  “Since 2008, Louisiana has cut state funding for higher education by almost $650 million, though the Jindal administration notes that much of that has been made up through tuition increases.”  [New Orleans Times Picayune, 3/20/13]

Walker's First Budget “Enacted The Biggest Cuts To Education In State History” With A Cut Of Nearly 8 Percent In Year One Of His 2011-2013 Budget. “It may not have been well known to Walker’s audience, but as PolitiFact Wisconsin found, Walker and legislative Republicans enacted the biggest cuts to education in state history in his first budget… For the record, Walker’s cut was deeper, about 8 percent in year one of his 2011-’13 budget, followed by a 1 percent increase in year two.” [PolitiFact, 3/25/13]

Perry’s FY 2012-13 Budget Cut Funding For K-12 Education By $4 Billion.  “Texas lawmakers passed a two-year spending plan today that cuts spending on health care, hospitals and higher education in the second most-populous U.S. state, and provides $4 billion less to schools than mandated by law.”  [Bloomberg, 5/28/11]

State Education Funding Was 25 Percent Lower In 2012 Than It Was When Perry Took Office.  “State education spending in 2012 was 25 percent lower than it was in 2002, adjusting for inflation and the real effects of the 2006 law giving the state more responsibility for education revenues.”  [PolitiFact Texas, 5/7/13]


Under Jindal, Louisiana Has Lost More Than 15,000 Jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Current Population Survey, Louisiana has lost 15,131 jobs since Gov. Jindal took office.  [BLS, accessed 8/22/13]

Only Three States Have A Lower Median Income Than Louisiana.  “The median income for Louisiana residents is about $40,658 a year. That's lower than all but three states: Kentucky, South Carolina and Montana.”  [New Orleans Times Picayune, 3/20/13]

Louisiana’s GDP Growth Is Slower Than The U.S. And Southeastern States’ Average.  “The gross domestic product of Louisiana grew at a slower rate than the U.S. and Southeastern average in 2012, according to a report released Thursday. The Louisiana GDP increased by 1.5 percent in 2012, compared to a 2.5 percent increase nationally and a 2.1 increase for the Southeast, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.”  [Baton Rouge Advocate, 6/13/13]

Under Walker, Wisconsin Has “Consistently Lagged The National Recovery” – With A Private-Sector Growth Rate Only Slightly More Than Half That Of The National Rate.  “According to the most recent data that can be compared to other states, Wisconsin's employers have consistently lagged the national recovery, despite a recent improvement in the state. In the 12 months through December 2012, Wisconsin added private-sector jobs at a 1.4% pace, on a par with 2010 (1.5%) and 2011 (1.3%), while the U.S. last year grew private-sector jobs at a rate of 2.3%.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/15/13]

Under Walker, Wisconsin’s Unemployment Rate Merely Fluctuated But Has Shown Almost No Real Change. “Separately Thursday, the agency released its monthly estimates for the month of July, but they showed very little change. The state's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.8% in July from June, but down from 7.0% in July one year earlier. Since December 2011, the state's unemployment rate has fluctuated within a range of 6.7% and 7.1%.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/15/13]

The Unemployment Rate Rose Under Perry’s Tenure As Governor.  In January 2001 when Rick Perry took office the unemployment rate in Texas was 4.2 percent.  In July 2013 it was 6.5 percent.  [Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed 8/22/13]

7.5 Percent Of Workers In Texas Make The Minimum Wage Or Less – The Second Highest In The Nation.  7.5 percent of workers in Texas who receive hourly wages earned the federal minimum wage or less in 2012, compared with 4.7 percent nationwide. Only Idaho had a higher percentage of workers earning the minimum wage or less. Texas had the highest number of low-wage workers in the country with 452,000.  [Bureau of Labor Statistics Press Release, 3/12/13]


Jindal Vetoed Legislation To Create An Equal Pay Task Force For All Workers.  “On the wage front, SB 577 was designed to create an Equal Pay Task Force that would have made recommendations to help close what the bill's sponsor, Sen. Karen Carter-Peterson (D-New Orleans) called ‘one of the nation's largest ` pay gaps.” [NOLA Defender, 6/9/13]

Green Bay Press-Gazette: “Perhaps The Highest Profile Act By Walker To Fuel Claims He's Waging War Against Women Was His Signing Of A Bill To Repeal The 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act” Which Walker Called A “Bogus Issue” That Leads To “Abusive Lawsuits.” “Perhaps the highest profile act by Walker to fuel claims he's waging war against women was his signing of a bill to repeal the 2009 equal pay enforcement act… ‘It's a bogus issue,’ he said. ‘It is against the law to discriminate against women for employment and to pay them less than you pay men, and it will continue to be.’ Repealing the 2009 act was done to clean up redundant legislation and to stop abusive lawsuits, he said.” [Green Bay Press-Gazette, 5/13/12]

Perry Vetoed An Equal Pay Law For Texas.  “Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has vetoed a bill meant to prevent wage discrimination against women… In his veto statement posted online Friday evening, Perry said he objected to the bill because it ‘duplicates federal law, which already allows employees who feel they have been discriminated against through compensation to file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.’ He also said he was concerned that it could lead to more regulations and hurt job creation.”  [Huffington Post, 6/14/13]


Jindal Has Steadfastly Refused To Expand Medicaid, Denying Coverage To 400,000 Uninsured Louisianans.  “Gov. Bobby Jindal is holding firm on his rejection of a federal Medicaid expansion, even as other Republican governors across the country are doing an about-face and accepting the new program.  […]  About 20 percent of Louisiana residents currently lack medical insurance, and the expansion, which would cover about 400,000 people in the state, would cut that percentage in half, according to the petition. The program would also bring an extra $15.7 billion into the state during the next decade, an infusion that would spur economic growth, the petition argues.”  [New Orleans Times-Picayune, 2/6/13]

Walker’s Decision To Reject Available Federal Medicaid Expansion Funds Will Cost Wisconsin Taxpayers $119 Million. “Additional amount state taxpayers will pay because of the decision by the Walker administration, backed by the GOP-controlled Legislature, to reject available federal funds for Medicaid expansion, as estimated by the fiscal bureau: $119 million.”  [Wisconsin Center For Investigative Journalism, 7/2/13; Legislative Fiscal Bureau REPORT]

Wisconsin Would Save $119 Million And Cover 85,000 More Adults If Walker Accepted The Federal Medicaid Expansion. “Wisconsin would save $119 million and cover nearly 85,000 more adults if it did a full Medicaid expansion under federal health reform instead of Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed partial expansion, according to a nonpartisan report.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 5/29/13]
Perry Has Refused To Expand Medicaid, Denying Coverage To Up To 1.1 Million Uninsured Texans. “‘Texas will not be participating in Medicaid expansion,’ [Gov. Rick] Perry said at a Capitol news conference… If Texas expanded Medicaid to cover the adults, about 775,000 of them would enroll by 2015, the [Texas Health and Human Services] commission estimates. It says that by 2023, state Medicaid rolls would swell by about 438,000 children and 1.1 million adults.”  [Dallas Morning News, 4/1/13]

Under Perry, Texas Has The Highest Uninsured Rate In The Country.  “For the fifth straight year, Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.”  [Houston Business Journal, 3/8/13]