Tomorrow's GOP primary in Wisconsin is seen as a possible tipping point for the Ted Cruz and Donald Trump presidential campaigns, and so it's natural that everybody is looking at the Badger State.
An editorial in the Wall Street Journal points out that Wisconsin is doing well because its Governor Scott Walker is governing according to conservative ideas. Walker has endorsed Ted Cruz and Donald Trump is attacking Walker's record. Among other things, Trump has even attacked Walker for not raising taxes!
But Walker's record seems to prove that conservative reforms lead to prosperity:
The Badger State’s jobless rate was 4.6% in February, below the 4.9% national average (which bumped up to 5% in March). Wisconsin’s labor participation rate rose to 68.7% in February from 68.4% the month before. That’s lower than the 70.9% that Wisconsin reached in February 2007, but then the labor participation rate has fallen much further in the rest of the U.S. The national labor participation rate inched up to 63% in March, which is still close to lows last seen in the late 1970s. According to Congress’s Joint Economic Committee, only six states have a higher labor participation rate than Wisconsin.
The reality is that—like Ohio, Michigan and Indiana—Wisconsin has been doing well in the wake of conservative reforms. These include Act 10, which reduced the monopoly power of public unions, tax reduction and regulatory reforms, school-choice expansion and more recently a right-to-work law that lets workers choose whether to join a union and pay dues.
It will be interesting to see how Wisconsin's relative economic strength and adherence to conservative ideals plays out tomorrow.