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Economy

Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison

These last several years in Wisconsin have seen a politics of corporate manipulation of public spending and a retreat from principles of open government. Businesses and business lobbying groups routinely expect public money for business projects that should be wholly private. (Scheming development gurus often refer to taxpayer money as their ‘tools,’ as though the…

On New Market Tax Credits for a Fairfield Inn and ‘Community Engagement’

The use of government-issued New Market Tax Credits will bring Whitewater a Fairfield Inn and a building for the existing local campus to lease. Proponents of an ordinary hotel and a lease agreement for the university cannot offer any evidence that these projects will boost local individual or household incomes. What one can show –…

The Two Questions that Haunt Old Whitewater

Two questions haunt Old Whitewater (where Old Whitewater is a state of mind rather than an age or a particular person): What does it mean to be a college town? and What is meaningful community development? (There are other serious questions, but one can be sure – at the least – that these two have Whitewater…

“Later This Year”

One reads that Foxconn [is] planning to buy land for innovation centers later this year. Read a bit closer, however, and one learns that ‘later this year’ is about as undependable as ‘the check is in the mail’ or ‘I gave at the office’: A question regarding innovation centers was one of many from Democratic Assembly Minority Leader…

A Tax Incremental Financing Review

Today at four o’clock, the Joint Review Board is scheduled to review Whitewater’s tax incremental districts. Views of tax incremental financing – especially in a place like Whitewater – are a good test of someone’s basic understanding of economic development. Indeed, the test reduces to a simple relationship: the more one contends that tax incremental…

Admirable Preparedness

Kruszewski: “When was the last time you heard 4% GDP growth?” Stephanie Ruhle: “Five times during the Obama administration.” CEO Ronald Kruszewski, a Trump booster, wanted to tout current economic conditions, but anchor and interviewer Stephanie Ruhle was prepared. Indeed, she was admirably – worthily – prepared for his question. Consider how many men (and…

Foxconn Deal Melts Away

Rick Romell and Molly Beck report Foxconn now declines to say it plans to build type of factory named in state, local contracts: But in a shift from its stance of two months ago, the company on Wednesday did not offer assurances that it still plans to build the type of liquid crystal display panel plant…

The Trump Tax Bill: The Illusory Pay Bump

In the spring, before and after a local election, the Whitewater Community Development Authority issued two press releases praising a part of the Trump tax bill as good for Whitewater.  CDA executive director Dave Carlson presumably wrote the releases, and Larry Kachel, the CDA chairman, stars in one of them as offering gratitude for gerrymandered congressman…

The Trump Tax Bill: Massive Federal Deficits

The Whitewater Community Development Authority’s press releases flacking a part of the Trump tax bill for Whitewater show only that they either don’t understand what the Trump bill means for America, or that they hope others won’t understand. (See press release 1, press release 2.) This bill will drive the federal budget deficit to astonishing and…

The Trump Tax Bill: The Wrong Incentives

Whitewater’s Community Development Authority twice touted a part of the Trump tax bill as good for Whitewater. (See press release 1, press release 2.) Continuing a general look at the bill, it’s clear that it’s bad public policy, producing the wrong incentives.  By its very nature, a tax bill is a government policy, favoring some allocations…

Trump, Ryan, and Walker Want to Seize Wisconsin Homes to Build Foxconn Plant

A video on how Trump, Ryan, and Walker are abusing eminent domain law and seek to destroy the homes of Wisconsinites to build the Foxconn plant is well worth watching. The short video was removed from YouTube over a bogus copyright claim, but it’s back online. (In the time since the video was first published,…

The Trump Tax Bill: That’s Not Reform

Whitewater’s Community Development Authority represents a specific part of the Trump tax bill as beneficial to this city. (See press release 1, press release 2.) For today, looking at the bill generally, it’s bad for America: it’s a sham reform instead of a beneficial restructuring, and it makes this country’s outlook worse. Benjamin H. Harris and Adam…