As a Waupaca County taxpayer, I was appalled to read the Feb. 23 headline “County loans benefit 46 firms.”
In my opinion, Waupaca County has no business making loans to private enterprises. We have banks for this. The article highlights the taxpayer waste associated with making loans that are not likely to be repaid in full.
Although the article suggests that historical losses have been limited, it goes on to reveal that numerous loans are now in jeopardy of default. Indeed, out of the 46 loans in the program 12 have either been written off or are in default. That is a default ratio of 26 percent of all loans (by number), which is a pathetically poor track record.
Because the county is not in the business of lending money (nor should it be) the county lacks the competency to make good commercial loans. The consequence of this is to see substantial defaults whenever the economy is weak. The short history of this program and its terrible results are solid evidence that government needs to stay clear of the financing business.
If Waupaca County seeks to stimulate its economy, it should spend its efforts reducing the cost of government wherever possible, so that county taxes can be kept to a minimum. I suggest you start by terminating the Waupaca County Economic Development Corporation and eliminating the cost of this incompetent entity.