Scott Walker announces Foxconn deal

Gov. Scott Walker, shown at the White House on July 26 announcing the Foxconn deal, is offering the company $3 bill in taxpayer incentives. He was accompanied by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, Foxconn CEO and founder Terry Gou, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

CAROLYN KASTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS

A quick look at some of the craziness that's been demanding so much of our attention the past couple of weeks.

First, we know that if someone writes a sequel to John F. Kennedy's best-seller "Profiles in Courage," we can rest assured that neither our governor, Scott Walker, nor our Republican U.S. senator, Ron Johnson, will be in it.

Walker proved he's the epitome of the cleverly evasive politician when asked what he thought about Donald Trump's equating the Nazis, KKK, and white supremacists with the "alt left" in assigning blame for the violence in Charlottesville that stunned the nation.

Oh, he took the "brave" stand by telling reporters, “My comment on this is: I denounce the bigotry and hatred, and I’ll let the president and his team speak for him.” 

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Johnson wasn't much better. He courageously asserted that he was “not entirely” comfortable with the president’s remarks. He said that elected officials should speak out about white nationalists to “reduce the divisiveness.” No mention of Trump by name.

Meanwhile, at an event hosted by his Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce buddies, Walker decided to change the subject.

“Would I occasionally like the president to do or say things slightly different than he does? Of course,” Walker said. “But I think when I look at the substance of what this administration is doing and the benefits it has for manufacturers, for farmers, for others in this state, I’ve been overall very pleased.”

He must be referring to the scrapping of workplace regulations for there is little else that Trump has done since he took office in January. But you have to admit our "unintimidated" governor could be just that.

Then there's been the running debate over Foxconn. What's perplexing to me is that for these past six years we were told that the "reforms" engineered by Walker and his cohorts in the holy trinity, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, would have corporations stumbling over each other to get the tax breaks and other incentives the GOP has now provided them. 

It turns out that no manufacturing taxes and relaxed environmental rules aren't enough. Taxpayers have to throw in an extra $3 billion just to get Foxconn to look. I don't think that trio of brilliant minds told us that.

And then, of course, there's WMC, the big business lobby once again exhibiting its unbridled greed. I mentioned in a previous column that since Foxconn was getting a free pass on environmental regulations in building its massive plant in southeast Wisconsin, what about the other Wisconsin companies that have followed all the rules when they built plants or additions?

Sure enough, WMC didn't skip a beat. They've let the Walker administration know that other Wisconsin companies should get the same deal.

In other words, goodbye to the environmental safeguards that made Wisconsin a bright shining light for decades. But that light's been dimming for six years now. 

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com and on Twitter @DaveZweifel

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Dave is editor emeritus of The Capital Times.