Sunday, September 17, 2017

Scott Walker's missing Foxconn word

Since I'm trying to be thorough, will anyone who sees or reads that Scott Walker has used the word "subsidy" to describe the $3 billion in state funds he and his GOP legislative allies are handing Foxconn please send me the link?

I see in this Journal Sentinel story lede paragraph that the "multi-billion subsidy bill" was approved by the Legislature:

MADISON – The state Senate on Tuesday approved a multibillion-dollar subsidy bill for a massive flat-screen plant even as Kenosha dropped its bid for the factory and its thousands of potential jobs. 
And here it is again - -  "Foxconn $3 billion subsidy bill" - - right there in last week's Wisconsin State Journal summary piece headline
Foxconn $3 billion subsidy bill heads to Scott Walker's desk after passing Legislature
And former Journal Sentinel business editor and current editorial page editor David Haynes managed to use the word twice when running down the state's Foxconn checklist: 
Big checks to subsidize the cost of the factory: Done!

Big checks to subsidize the jobs: OK!

Unlimited Lake Michigan water: Check!

Suspension of some inconvenient state environmental rules: You bet!

Go straight to the state Supreme Court if sued and automatically stay lower court orders: Why not?
But darned if I can find it in Walker statements, or by project boosters, like this columnist who managed to write about Foxconn, and but went with "incentives" or "incentive package" instead of the "s" word six times in just a few paragraph.

Let's not forget that that Walker opposed the federally-constructed, Obama-backed Midwest rail Amtrak extension from Milwaukee to Madison on fiscal grounds.

"The bottom line is, right now, I've seen no scenario where the taxpayers of the state of Wisconsin aren't gonna be on the hook for millions of dollars."
So a foot-stomping Walker "no" to purported millions - - subsides, bad - - but an enthusiastic "yes to billions as incentives, good great! - - dissonance linked only by their proximity to partisan campaigns for Governor by the same candidate who, coincidentally, never met his pledged, grandiose job-creation numbers in his first term that he's desperate to paper over in term number three. 

Through incentives.

Sidebar: Walker overstated Amtrak costs which might have fallen to state taxpayers for the Milwaukee-Madison extension's operations - - those numbers are laid out here - - so do not be surprised if Walker continues to overstate the number of jobs Foxconn may delivers; right now he treats the company's ultimate projection of 13,000 jobs, and thousands more in spin-off work over decades, as done deals.

Related sidebar: Neither Walker or Foxconn champion GOP Assembly Speaker Vos will never refer to the $250 million in taxpayer dollars they are committing to I-94 work near Foxconn's probable Racine County construction site as what is  a routine subsidy which they, and government, hand at the 100% level to such projects.
" makes perfect sense because it’s one of the things Foxconn needs,” said Vos, R-Rochester.
Final sidebar: By the time Walker had finished destroying the Amtrak rail extension, Wisconsin taxpayers had transferred to the train manufacturer $50 million in equipment and legal costs for the state's having broken a contract, with zero passenger service, rail-related development or return to taxpayers.

That's not a subsidy. That's not an incentive package. That's a gift.

Anyway - - maybe the subsidy word sounds dirty to Republicans, like the way they clip "Democratic" in "Democratic Party" into the sputtered slur "Democrat."

Or admitting they love subsidies would collide devastatingly with language in the Wisconsin GOP platform like, "we encourage proposals supporting free markets and minimizing government interference in the marketplace."

And might remind people that Walker turned down federal Medicaid expansion funding and actually increased state taxpayer costs by hundreds of millions of dollars because Walker made the claim that the Medicaid portion of Obamacare was bad fiscally for states and ideologically harmful for recipients:

 “I’m not talking about having the same subsidy from the government...All those above [the poverty level], we transitioned them to the marketplace....They’re better off than they were before. The government just giving them something, even in the form of a subsidy, isn’t necessarily good for them."
Or because transparently describing the Foxconn subsidies as subsidies would flat out give the lie to Walker's repeated pledge against using government to pick winners and losers.

Regardless, if you see Walker speak the subsidy word, let me know.

I want to incentivize the appeal for readers of my Foxconn file.



Anonymous said...

Walker's opponent in the 2018 election should call it a bribe because that is what it is.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Call it WELFARE PAYMENTS. That's what they really are.

Funny how corporations are deemed deserving of this in RW Bubble World, but actual people are not.

Joy said...

And since they're "welfare payments", what levels of Foxconn ownership, executives, and management will be drug tested?