So we all know that Scott Walker and Donald Trump gave away the farm…or several farms if you look at the impact of eminent domain in Racine County…but Foxconn never kept their part of the bargain. And the facility in Mount Pleasant WI is a fraction of the promised investments and no one seems to know what Foxconn is actually doing there. And we know that Governor Tony Evers renegotiated the agreement to be more in line with Foxconn’s actual activity in the state. But most of that is water over the dam and water under the bridge and don’t get me started on the water infrastructure that they supposedly were going to need.
But I don’t think it would be out of line if the governor of Wisconsin or the legislature of Wisconsin conducted an economic impact study of Foxconn’s activity in the state. No pointing fingers. No accusations. No revisits to what happened.
But before we get too deep into the next biennial budget, just what economic impact has Foxconn had on Wisconsin? Employment? Taxes? Infrastructure? Auxiliary business? Increase local activity or spending? Just what are our tax dollars getting us and is there any return on investment or precisely how big a boondoggle is this? And I think this should be an annual report until the state’s agreement with Foxconn expires. Again, I am not thinking about blaming anyone going backward…but this would be a valuable case study going forward…before we commit to any more big government investment strategies, we should know if they work.