DART — To the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. for giving out $124.3 million in grants, loans and tax credits to businesses without a formal review of their viability. The awards went to 26 businesses during the organization’s first 15 months. Fortunately, WEDC’s policies have changed since then and a review is now required. Gov. Scott Walker created the agency and didn’t require basic due diligence from the organization before it handed out huge chunks of cash, including $62.5 million to Kohl’s.
In his re-election campaign in 2014, Gov. Scott Walker was successful despite his failure to deliver his most memorable campaign promise of 2010 — creating 250,000 new private-sector jobs.
But as he campaigns around the country as a still unannounced candidate for president, the evidence of his poor stewardship of the Wisconsin economy is building. Eventually voters are going to start paying attention.
The intense conflict between the European Union led by Germany and heavily indebted Greece continues. On June 22, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras proposed concessions involving more taxes. On June 25, Greece’s government rejected counter-demands, risking default on an impending payment to the International Monetary Fund.
Germany is firmly established as the dominant EU economy. That nation’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has insisted that the Athens government press austerity in return for financial aid.
Let me start out today with a suggestion regarding something that has come up since my last column. There’s talk about replacing Alexander Hamilton on the 10 dollar bill.
There are plenty of suggestions on who should replace him. I believe that since Hamilton put our financial system in place he deserves to stay on U.S. currency. But, as always, I have a solution that should work.
While numerous opinions have been expressed about the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., there has been little public comment from those of us who serve on the board of the organization. Many of us have been involved with WEDC since its inception.
We recognize there will always be some disagreement regarding the appropriate role of government in economic development. However, the competitive realities of the global and domestic marketplace is what drove the strategic decision to reposition the State of Wisconsin to more effectively leverage opportunities for sustainable economic growth through the creation of WEDC.
The expansion of rights has largely been a liberal project. Indeed, part of being a liberal — arguably the most important part — is the ceaseless effort to expand civic, economic and political space for human dignity. That’s the process by which abolition, women’s suffrage, civil rights, immigrant rights and gay rights extended power from propertied white men out to a wider world.
That process appears to have no end. A successful course for transgender rights seems almost certain in the future. There is even a compelling case that legal polygamy won’t be far over the horizon.
The devil is not in the details. It’s in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Barack Obama’s fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve detente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and influence.
In pursuit of his desire to make the Islamic Republic into an accepted, normalized “successful regional power,” Obama decided to take over the nuclear negotiations. At the time, Tehran was reeling — the rial plunging, inflation skyrocketing, the economy contracting — under a regime of international sanctions painstakingly constructed over a decade.
Anxiety-ridden GOP masterminds will eventually find a way to solve the Trump Problem. Until they do, however, the Republican Party threatens to become as much of a laughingstock as what David Letterman used to call “that thing on Donald Trump’s head.”
Suddenly, according to recent polls, the iconically coiffed mogul has to be taken ... how, exactly? Obviously it’s not possible to take Trump seriously, because there’s nothing remotely serious about him or his “campaign,” which is nothing more than a reality-show version of an actual campaign. But if his poll numbers are going to place him in the top tier of Republican candidates, he can’t be ignored.