Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett passed the buck in an epic way this week by blaming his city's gun violence on everyone else. No, really:
Mayor Barrett on Monday criticized Governor Scott Walker and the state Legislature for passing laws that put more guns on the streets. He called for more resources to deal with all the violence in Milwaukee.
Mayor Barrett says homicides are up 160% in Milwaukee this year, and he’s putting at least part of the blame on those in Madison.
“This community has to face the reality that the gun laws that this state has put forward over the last few years, as proud as it makes the Governor and the Legislature feel, has resulted in more guns on the streets of the city of Milwaukee,” Mayor Barrett said.
The tragic case began when an individual tried to take the law into their own hands after an accident which caused the death of a toddler. The suspect in the case, who police believe pulled the trigger, is a convicted felon who shouldn't even have a firearm, and if he does, it's illegally possessed.
How on earth is this the fault of Madison or Scott Walker? What additional laws would Barrett see passed to prevent a convicted felon who is legally barred from possessing a firearm from possessing a firearm? Barrett sensationally claimed “black lives matter” but yet on his watch black unemployment in his city has skyrocketed by 150%.
According to the Center On Wisconsin Strategy, (COWS) a progressive leaning think tank funded in part by Wisconsin taxpayers, the statewide African American unemployment rate in 2005 stood at 10.9%. That was just 1.1 percentage points higher than the jobless rate among African Americans in 2000. But in 2010, the latest year for which COWS data appears to be available, Wisconsin’s African Americans suffered from a 25% unemployment rate.
In just five years, Wisconsin’s African American unemployment rate jumped 150%, with most of those suffering from the crisis living in Mayor Barrett’s Milwaukee.
“Under Tom Barrett’s leadership, violent crime in Milwaukee has decreased by over 20%—to its lowest levels in more than 20 years,” the website reads. “He has worked with law enforcement, community groups and residents to develop proactive strategies, and empowered the city's police department with strong leadership and the tools it needs to get the job done.”
The claim of a big drop and a 20-year-low caught our attention, so we put it to the test.
And it failed.
Recent data shows that Milwaukee's job creation record is dismal. According to the Center of Economic Development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the city of Milwaukee is “among the worst job creation records of any big city in the U.S. for over a decade”. Providing more context, a study by the Institute for Justice concluded that Milwaukee is overloaded with a “complex maze of regulations” preventing many businesses from getting of the ground and kicking businesses when they are down.
A hostile business climate and poor job creation will lead to higher unemployment and more poverty. Milwaukee recently scored the 2nd highest unemployment rate of 50 cites only topping Detroit. And 2009 U.S. Census numbers show that the city of Milwaukee has clambered from the 11th the 4th highest level of poverty in the nation. One cannot claim to be a job creator while having a hostile business climate, the 2nd highest unemployment rate, and the 4th highest poverty rate in the nation.
The cause of the high crime rate in Milwaukee isn't because of the city of Madison or Scott Walker, or anything else. It's the result of Tom Barrett's failed leadership, period.