Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Walker's famous FUBAR jobs' pledge bites him again

Noting that Walker has offered Kimberly-Clark sumptuous Foxconn-level subsidies, a friend asked me yesterday, "has Walker lost his mind?"

A leading question, to be sure, but a good one, as it allows us to better understand his severe case of Foxconn Fever, and also to take a look at how his biggest unforced error has again come back to bite him.

That error being, of course, his repetitious, grandiose 2010 campaign promise to create in Wisconsin 250,000 new private sector jobs - - which he embraced again during the 2012 recall election - -  after just one four-year term.

A promise well-documented as a continuing, career-staining failure, which is why Walker's campaign has taken down some of the links that used to lead you to the pledge on his campaign websites.

The strangest thing about the promise Walker made?

It wasn't a rookie politician's mistake; every politico knows it's dangerous to wrap yourself in a big number, especially if it's one you cannot control - - or as I'd put it:
...the stupidest thing that ever came out of his mouth - - a violation of Politics 101 - - that promise to deliver something numerically specific, extensive and expensive and obviously beyond the reach of a single politician, even a governor.
But remember that an arrogant Walker was riding high at the time, living the dream of a career-advancing statewide campaign by airplane and Harley ride to escape a tortuous municipal nuts-and-bolts job of Milwaukee County Executive he grabbed only as a stepping stone, nurturing the fantasy of his own Presidential campaign down the road, even writing a brash, public letter taking on the sitting President Obama and pledging to kill the administration-funded Amtrak connection to Madison that was a signature Jim Doyle achievement, too.
Job-creation? Republican-boilerplate. No sweat. 
Walker could have been content to take credit for job successes when they fell into his lap, or on the off-chance that his beloved but incompetent WEDC actually pulled off a win - - while continuing to jab then-President Barack Obama were the economy not creating jobs at the pace Walker preferred.

It wasn't that Walker was stuck with a number he couldn't achieve; it's that he stuck himself with it, and was going to have to run, again, with that 250,000 pound albatross on his back, until...Foxconn.

All Foxconn had to do was drop a few hints in front Reince Priebus - - Walker pal, former Kenosha GOP pol and then-Chief of Staff to our current Detail-Deficient President that there was job-creating gold in TV screen assembly for whatever state willing to give away both its water and its treasury -- - and Walker dove in, a willing mark who saw a way past that failed, FUBAR 250,000 jobs pledge through other people's money.

So now we have Walker, having already boxed himself in with a jobs-creating promise he couldn't keep, in yet self-constructed another box - - this one marked "Corporate Welfare" - - because every company thinking of locating to Wisconsin or wanting to be paid off to stay is going to ask him for Foxconn-type subsidies.

Just like other businesses, whether developers or mining firms: all will expect also Foxconn-level environmental exemptions so more wetlands can be filled, waterways compromise, the air polluted.

Ergo, Kimberly-Clark, son of Foxconn. And Walker is duty-bound to offer K-C and others the same kind of subsidies. Call it Equal Protection for corporations, which, as Mitt Romney told us during the 2012 Presidential campaign, are people, too.

So back to the original question. Has Walker lost his mind?

No, but his extravagance with the public's money - - when he can't fix what have been rated as the country's second-worst-repaired roads, or keep the state's trout streams clean, or begin highway projects that were long-planned or finish the ones which are suspended because of Foxconn's out-sized, Walker-created subsidies  - - just might lead him to lose an election.


Dohnal said...

Sad to say this is what the market is and despite the fact that the Left wants our kids to go on welfare, or leave ,most of us want our kids to stay here.
Follow this logic and we end up like the Doyle admin with losing hundred of thousands of jobs.
Do we want to lose KC again?

Golden Eagles said...

Now Dohnal - you aren’t being very honest. Let’s think what happened in 2008 during Doyle’s tenure that caused massive job losses.