Wisconsin has always been home to innovators, entrepreneurs, and go-getters. From inventing kindergarten, the automobile, and building companies like Harley-Davidson, EPIC Systems, and Kimberly-Clark. Wisconsinites know how to lead. And given how fast the world is changing, now more than ever, we need our civic institutions to support those local, home-grown innovators, entrepreneurs, and go-getters. It’s imperative to support existing and new companies in our communities across the state to meet the challenges of today’s economy. We cannot afford to miss this opportunity to build a future that is uniquely Wisconsin.
Gov. Walker’s version of building a new economy is to offer a Taiwanese company $3 billion in cash incentives to build a factory in one corner of our state. By the time the deal was approved, Foxconn had quietly pulled a billion dollars from their initial state investment pledge. So now, the price tag for Wisconsinites is a hefty 4 billion dollars. It’s a deal that will cost each household in this state nearly $1,800. You heard me. $1,800. When you pay your taxes this year a portion of that bill will be going straight to Foxconn.
What would Wisconsin look like if we used the $1,800 multiplied across the nearly 2.5 million households in the state and instead of sending it to to a foreign corporation, invested it into local businesses, new ideas, and organizations? We could help family businesses provide healthcare to their employees, give students seed funding for a new business, or deliver free broadband to every household in the state. If we used that money to invest in local businesses, we could provide them hundreds of thousands of dollars every year and create thousands of new high-paying jobs that stay in our communities. We could actually invest in the UW-System, from UW-Milwaukee to UW-Marathon County, and create community connections to provide digital marketing training to local small businesses. The impact of that growth is far more certain, far more immediate, and far more in line with our Wisconsin legacy of innovation. That’s exactly what I’m proposing we do when I’m elected Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin in 2018.
We cannot keep offering billions of incentives to companies to come here, gambling that the bet will pay off decades from now. It’s time to build a new, fairer, economy right here that creates economic prosperity for Wisconsin families today and tomorrow. It’s time to be bold and do things differently so we can build a better Wisconsin that works for everyone. We deserve communities across our state where every generation, everyone of us, can live, work and thrive.