As Murphy notes, these incentives and subsidies go well past the billions for the Fox-con, with very little to show for it.
And yet there is no evidence all this largesse is improving the state’s economy or giving Wisconsinites jobs they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. Nationally, the post-2010 economic recovery has resulted in tremendous growth in jobs, but Wisconsin has consistently lagged behind most states.I’ll differ with Bruce on one part- I think Walker does have a coherent economic theory of economic development. But it has nothing to do with growing the state’s overall economy or its competitiveness, and has everything to do with who is donating to him and the GOP. In fact, when you see Walker at a “jobs announcement” or some other PR event, it’s a better than even money bet that the business has executives that donate to Walker and WisGOP.
The state is also bleeding population which has left Walker spending $7 million to market Foxconn to out-of-state workers. Yes, taxpayers are paying $4.1 billion for a company that will have to bring in workers commuting from Illinois. As for Kimberly-Clark, experts suggested the laid-off workers could be employed elsewhere….
Even as he has lavished our tax dollars on yesterday’s technology of manufacturing and mining, he has ignored the low-hanging fruit of alternative energy. Wisconsin has wind and solar companies that Walker has ignored, uttering not one word about their value and potential growth in this state. Wisconsin spends more than $12 billion annually to import coal and gas, importing pollution to this state and exporting potential jobs to coal and gas producers.
The jobs of today are coming from technology companies in cities like Madison. But Walker has ignored Madison’s growing economy. Thompson was a big supporter of UW-Madison, which is the economic generator driving the bio-tech industry in Dane County. Walker, a college dropout, has cut university funding and attempted to eliminate the Wisconsin Idea, which calls for the university to improve the quality of life in the state.
Walker has no coherent theory of economic development, other than lower taxes, which is not a major factor in new business investment and has been a failure in states that emphasize this approach.
Just like it wasn’t a coincidence that Walker showed up at the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner this week, given that those folks are completely owned and controlled by Diane Hendricks. You know, the heiress of a billion-dollar company her deceased husband built, who has donated well over $15 million to Walker and other right-wing causes since 2010, and the woman Walker is literally kissing up to in this video.
Why these obvious connections and kickbacks are rarely mentioned by media is infuriating to me, because when you draw the line between donations and legislation, it’s pretty easy to figure out why Walker and WisGOP do what they do.
And not surprisingly, Walker and other right-wing slime (hi, Supreme Court candidate Screnock! Hi AG Schimel!) made sure to attend Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce’s “Business Day” this week. The event, emceed by Lieutenant Governor Rebecca “How can we Love You Corporations More” Kleefisch, was an opportunity spread propaganda about how great things are for the mediocre white guys in WMC and their old-time, rent-seeking corporations.
These WisGOP crooks wouldn’t be hanging with WMC if they weren’t getting millions of dollars in “independent expenditures” to help their campaigns from those oligarchs. And WMC members get the regressive, anti-worker laws and tax policies that allow them to lay back and collect more profits without having to innovate or improve their business. What a deal!
Of course, it means that the rest of Wisconsin continues to lag for jobs, wages, and in attracting talent to locate here. But the members of the WisGOP insiders’ club couldn’t care less as long as the cash and kickbacks keep growing and circulating amongst themselves.
It only stops when we kick them all out, both of our Capitol, and in our spending habits. With that in mind, let’s end this post by doing a bit of naming and shaming, shall we?
JAY L. SMITH, Chairman & CEO
Teel Plastics, Inc., Baraboo
STEPHEN D. LOEHR, Vice President
Kwik Trip, Inc., La Crosse
KURT R. BAUER
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), Madison
TOD B. LINSTROTH, Senior Partner & Past Member & Chair of Management Committee
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Madison
GINA A. PETER, Executive Vice President, Commercial Banking Division Manager
Wells Fargo Bank, Milwaukee
WMC BOARD OF DIRECTORS
DARYL ADEL, Business President
SIDNEY H. BLISS, President & CEO
Bliss Communications, Inc., Janesville
DAMOND WILLIAMS BOATWRIGHT, Regional President – Operations
SSM Health Care of Wisconsin, Madison
STEVEN G. BOOTH, President/CEO
Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc., Milwaukee
DAVID H. BRETTING, President & CEO
C.G. Bretting Manufacturing Company, Inc., Ashland
THOMAS A. BURKE, President & CEO
Modine Manufacturing Company, Racine
NATE CUNNIFF, Senior Vice President – Business Banking
BMO Harris Bank, Brookfield
DANIEL DEFNET, Executive Vice President, Commercial Banking
Johnson Financial Group, Racine
BRAD W. DENOYER, CPA, Partner
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, Madison
JOHN N. DYKEMA, President/Owner
Campbell Wrapper Corporation; Circle Packaging Machinery, Inc., De Pere
PHILIP B. FLYNN, President & CEO
Associated Banc-Corp, Green Bay
JEFF T. FRENCH, National Managing Partner, Consumer & Industrial Products
Grant Thornton, LLP, Appleton
PHILIP C. FRITSCHE, SR., President
Beaver Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, Beaver Dam
LOUIS P. GENTINE II, CEO
Sargento Foods Inc., Plymouth
ROBERT GERBITZ, President & CEO
Hendricks Commercial Properties, Beloit
MICHAEL F. HAMERLIK, President & CEO
WPS Health Solutions, Madison
STEVEN H. JOHNSON, Factory Manager
John Deere Horicon Works, Horicon
WILSON R. JONES, President & CEO
Oshkosh Corporation, Oshkosh
PATRICIA LEONARD KAMPLING, Chairman & CEO
Alliant Energy Corporation, Madison
ROBERT L. KELLER, Chairman
J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc., Neenah
SUZANNE KELLEY, President & CEO
Waukesha County Business Alliance, Waukesha
CLIFFORD J. KING, CEO
Skyward, Inc., Stevens Point
JAMES M. LEEF, President & CEO
ITU AbsorbTech, Inc., New Berlin
ALLEN L. LEVERETT, President
WEC Energy Group, Milwaukee
SCOTT A. MAYER, Chairman & CEO
QPS Employment Group, Brookfield
JAMES J. McINTYRE, President and CEO
The Greenheck Group, Schofield
J. R. MENARD, Executive Vice President & Treasurer
Menard, Inc., Eau Claire
ROSALIE F. MORGAN, President
EMCS, Inc., Milwaukee
ROBERT MOSES, President & CEO
Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce, Prairie du Chien
BARBARA NICK, President & CEO
Dairyland Power Cooperative, La Crosse
MICHAEL NIKOLAI, President, COO & CEO
Waupaca Foundry Inc., Waupaca
JAMES J. OSTROM, President & CEO
Milk Source LLC, Kaukauna