Two days after Foxconn said it no longer planned to build a sprawling new factory in Wisconsin, the Taiwanese technology giant appears to have reversed course, citing a “personal conversation” with President Trump.
In case you aren’t following the story, Foxconn pledged 13,000 jobs and a $10 billion dollar plant in return for $3 billion of state tax incentives. The only part of the whole thing that was real was the photo opp with Trump, Scott Walker and the Chairman of Foxconn. This is the most telling part of the story:
Foxconn said in 2013 that it would invest $30 million and create 300 jobs at a new high-tech factory in central Pennsylvania. But after the spotlight faded, Foxconn quietly scrapped those plans.
Can any of you give me a good example of an economic development deal like this that’s panned out in your neck of the woods? Here in Rochester, we have a long track history of the state providing tax breaks and other incentives to companies for them to build new factories and employ scores of new employees, and I can’t remember a single one that overperformed — or even performed according to estimates. If they do get anywhere near estimates, it’s because the company already planned an expansion and was able to get a tax break for something they would have done anyway. But both Republican and Democratic politicians love these kinds of deals: the Democrats because of jobs, and the Republicans because they help their buddies. Only the Republicans seem to get much out of them in the end.