Gov. Walker Addresses Foxconn Concerns
In an interview with Media Trackers Communications Director Jerry Bader, Governor Scott Walker addressed the much talked about Legislative Fiscal Bureau analysis of the proposed Foxconn deal, and said its findings are nothing new. While news outlets focused on the data from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau that estimated that Wisconsin wouldn’t break even on the deal for a number of years, with reports ranging from 25-42 based on their respective analysis’, Walker said this was a predictable outcome.
Though some liberal critics, like One Wisconsin Now’s Executive Director Scot Ross, discredit the deal calling it a “terrible bet with our tax dollars,” and “even the best case, rosiest scenario shows Wisconsin taxpayers losing money on this deal for decades,” Gov. Walker assures that they understand the magnitude of the deal and what it means for Wisconsin taxpayers.
Walker said in the interview:
We’ve known it all along, we knew that this was a big deal, I mean it’s 13,000 jobs paying more than 53,000 dollars a year plus benefits. That over 15 years alone, that the time frame which we pay out the three billion dollars of incentives, that’s a ten in a half billion dollar pay roll we are adding to the state, on top of the fact that they investing 10 billion dollars into a new [Foxconn] campus.
He continued: This is a big deal and we knew it would take some time mainly because not just for Foxconn, but for anybody big and small alike, years ago we wiped out almost all the taxable liability on our state’s two largest industries, that being manufacturing and agriculture, and so from the state treasury stand point it takes a while before the income taxes paid by employees equate to the amount of incentives out there, but clearly the economic impact statewide is going to be far greater than that, far sooner than that.
Recently there have also been concerns regarding Illinois workers coming to work at Foxconn, which Media Trackers recently reported on. Walker responded to those concerns as well:
To bring in 13,000 people as I just mentioned, we’re going to need to attract talent from not only across the Midwest, but across the country and around the world. This is going to be a net gain for our workforce.
He continued: Who wouldn’t want to come here not just to work, but I think people from Illinois who come for the jobs are going to move their way up to Wisconsin, because we’re a stable state that’s headed in the right direction.
Walker also discussed the recent poll conducted by the far left environmental group, River Alliance of Wisconsin, which was concerned with the environmental impact of Foxconn coming to Wisconsin. In the poll it was reported that the majority of the public agreed with the current environmental standards, and that Foxconn won’t live up to those standards. As he has previously, Walker once again reassured the public that there are steps in place for environmental protection, rather than the perceived notion that Foxconn will get to do anything it pleases. Gov. Walker said in the interview:
Foxconn’s going to have to abide by all of the laws protecting clean air, clean land, and clean water. Here, they’re going to have to abide by the federal laws.
Walker said that Foxconn will have to abide by a 2 to 1 replacement of wetlands requirement, instead of the usual 1.2 to 1 ratio which is the current law. Although many seem to ignore the stricter agreement, Walker says this shows that Foxconn will not be able to run wild as critics of the deal claim:
That’s just a good example where there are some who want to be against this for whatever reason, they just want to be sour on this deal I suppose for political reasons, but people look at the facts. They realize this is sound not only economically is it sound and on work forces it is sound, it is environmentally sound, and Foxconn has repeatedly said they want this site to be one of the greenest and cleanest in the world.
Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke recently released a legislative schedule for the Foxconn agreement, “I fully expect that after taking the weekend to review potential amendments, we will see a committee vote early in the week and the bill on the Assembly floor as soon as August 17th.”