Political agenda, not economic growth, motivates WEDC
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a research group focused on entrepreneurship and education, recently reported that Wisconsin under Gov. Scott Walker has experienced a steady decline in small business start-ups.
The 2015 Kauffman Index found an explosion of small business start-ups across the country, but not in Wisconsin, which the index ranked dead last among the 50 states.
Simply put, the people of Wisconsin are very reluctant to risk their time, money and skills under the present administration.
Instead of new market opportunities for entrepreneurs, Walker chooses to give away millions of taxpayers’ dollars to large corporations that have in many cases have been major donors to Walker’s campaigns. The corporations have received these grants and tax credits with little accountability as to how they have used these funds. Many of these corporations have failed to create the jobs they promised by outsourcing jobs to other states or other countries.
Right after Walker was elected on the campaign promise of creating 250,000 jobs, he replaced the state Department of Commerce with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a semi-private entity that gave out loans to businesses supposedly to create jobs. He appointed himself chairman of the board overseeing the WEDC.
The Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau has twice reported how the WEDC consistently failed to follow the law and review the businesses when awarding state funds to business. The WEDC now has 64 loans worth more than $12 million that are overdue.
A series of investigative articles by the Wisconsin State Journal found that Walker’s aides pushed WEDC staff to make an unsecured $500,000 loan to a failing business, the owner of which made a $10,000 contribution to Walker’s campaign.
Now Walker wants to do to America what he has done to Wisconsin.