Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Despite denials, Walker uses gov't to pick winners & losers

As Walker buries the state under $3 billion in guarantee-free gifts to Foxconn,  let's bury his phony fiscal conservatism and falsely-claimed aversion to picking government-financed winners and losers.

*  Walker's alleged fiscal conservatism is the most obvious myth dispelled by his reckless Foxconn plan's disregard for state budget integrity and taxpayer protections.

I say "reckless" because Foxconn can automate, find greener, cheaper pastures, take the money - - and those heavily taxpayer-subsidized jobs - - and run.

And I say "most obvious" to remind people that there is a long list of earlier Walker programs and failures that any true fiscal conservative would have avoided - - from his embrace of billions in highway borrowing to a publicly-financed NBA arena to mounting state debt to mismanagement of state highway building to his supervision of incompetent, wasteful state lending to state financing at his direction of a costly, risky venture that has since moved to Maine.

And don't forget his debt-ridden presidential campaign's parodied fiscal controls and spending that burned through donated cash the way an unsophisticated lottery winner might blow millions on houses, cars, and baubles until the money ran out.

*  Even more galling; 
at the very time Walker wants to give Foxconn unprecedented taxpayer-provided subsidies - - and note also that the Foxconn plan includes unique and valuable exemptions from environmental reviews and permit protections for wetlands and streams, as well as a separate, judicial fast-track which puts the company's interests and the Foxconn deal's continuation ahead of other cases and claims - - Walker is still mouthing one of his most pathologically dishonest and flat-out preposterous campaign-style whoppers:

That he does not use government to pick winners and losers.

He said it just the other day when stripping so-called 'prevailing' (and family-supporting) wage rates from road projects, getting in another slap at labor while making pocket-book winners out of business allies, too:

Critics argue the bill is another attack on unions, and will result in reduced wages and safety at work sites. Walker contends the measure is “pro-worker” though, and union shops will still be able to compete for the work. “This gives everyone an equal shot for the work,” he said. “We’re just not picking winners and losers.”
I noted this double-talking double-standard some years ago when Walker bashed then Gubernatorial-opponent Tom Barrett whom Walker said backed using tax credits to pick winners and losers, so Walker's unprecedented, campaign-eve showering of tax credits on Foxconn is now even more outrageously blatant.

Here is what I wrote at the time, in full, and use it as Foxconn filter:
Troubled Walker Agency Picking Winners With State Dollars 
Scott Walker accused Tom Barrett during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign of using government programs and public dollars to pick business sector winners and losers.

Conservative talker Charlie Sykes even put the reflexive righty allegation on his websitewhen Walker sent him an email about it and said to Sykes (bold-face and italics in the original): 

But the bottom line is that people create jobs and not government. The Mayor's plan is limited to tax credits which allow the government to pick winners and losers.

OK: You tell me how just this one example - - among many - - from the Wisconsin State Journal's eye-opening disclosure story about federal claims of fiscal and legal mismanagement at Scott Walker's Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation  - - whose board he chairs  - - doesn't completely give the lie to the Sykes/Walker/boiler-plate rhetoric about job creation and picking winners and losers:

In the case of Kapco, a metal fabricating company, HUD questioned both the per-job cost of the $3 million loan to create 152 jobs at its Osceola plant — $20,000 versus the $10,000 "maximum" set in state policy — and the fact that the loan is forgivable. 

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