MADISON – Today marks the 5 year anniversary of the announcement of the agreement between Foxconn and the Walker/Kleefisch Administration awarding up to $3 billion in a taxpayer funding package as part of a delusional fantasy promising 13,000 direct jobs and $10 billion of capital investment. Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statement:

Five years later, the announcement that began the Foxconn circus in Wisconsin has aged poorly. From an economic standpoint, the agreement never made sense. The fact that the Walker/Kleefisch Administration, almost every Republican legislator, and groups like the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce fell for this farce says a lot about their lack of recognition about how sustainable economic development works.”

“Close to a billion dollars has been spent on this project in the last 5 years and no one has any idea what if anything is being produced. The past five years has been an endless series of excuses, broken commitments, and proposed products that have never actually happened.  Besides significant public funding for overbuilt infrastructure that is not being used, the project diverted the focus of state leaders away from realistic and effective efforts to grow Wisconsin’s economy.”

“I am grateful for Governor Evers and his team’s immediate engagement on renegotiating the Foxconn contract to protect taxpayers and right-size support for a more realistic potential development in the future.  Governor Evers’ action saved taxpayers $2.77 billion by aligning the economic incentives offered with what is offered for new or existing business expansion in Wisconsin.  This deal, championed by the Walker/Kleefisch Administration, Speaker Vos, and then President Donald Trump, will be remembered as a rushed process borne out of political expediency rather than sound economic development policy and remains a black eye on our state.”

“The best investments the state can make in our economic future remain in our people. The reality is that under the Walker/Kleefisch Administration and continued by the Republican-led legislature, the state has significantly underfunded our public schools, technical colleges, and the UW System despite having a record level of surplus revenue. Wisconsin Republicans willingness to pay up to $3 billion in taxpayer funding to chase a pipedream but refusal to fund the year-to-year education and workforce needs of Wisconsin tells you all you need to know about their economic development priorities.”

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