Thursday, September 10, 2009

What does Walker really think about Mercury Marine?

After Governor Doyle decided not to run for another term, I suggested that the main two Republican candidates for governor actually start giving us some substance about their policy positions. In that blog posting, I said that they would not because they would very quickly paint themselves into an extreme right wing corner that won't play well to the majority of Wisconsinites. Scott Walker is an expert at avoiding substance and his latest example comes to us via his comments on the Mercury Marine situation.

Anything resembling a policy position by Walker has largely been limited to the 140 characters of his Twitter account. So it is no surprise that he has addressed the Mercury Marine situation largely in the same way. Although this week, after the union voted to accept painful wage and benefit reductions, Walker took his tweets on the issue to The Inside Scoop. Even though his comments in that piece went beyond 140 characters it didn't really say anything of any additional substance. In fact, his comments brought up more examples of substantive questions that the media should be asking him.

To start off his Scoop posting, Scott Walker seems to celebrate Mercury Marine's apparent decision to stay in Wisconsin. Conveniently he focuses only on the extremely tough decisions that the workers were forced to make. Walker completely avoids commenting on what may be the real reason for Mercury Marine's change of heart, a $50 million-plus gift from the taxpayers of Fond du Lac County. Inquiring minds want to know, what would Scott Walker have done if he were in that position? We know that his one trick pony in politics is not to raise taxes for any reason at anytime. So would he have advocated increasing the sales tax in his county to help convince a major company to stay? If not then why is he praising the Mercury result so heavily? Doesn't that go against his rigid ideology? If he does support raising taxes to keep employers in his county then why hasn't he suggested that tactic in his own county while it has lost jobs on his watch?

Rather than allowing him to try and tweet his way to the governor's mansion, the media should start asking him some real questions and demand that he provide real substantive answers.

8 comments:

Aaron Rodriguez said...

I have no idea what the purpose of this post was. You're bothered because Walker didn't speculate on what "may have been" the reasons why Mercury Marine decided to stay?

That's entirely irrelevant. Walker's position is that Wisconsin has an unfriendly business climate, and as a gubernatorial candidate, he will focus on making Wisconsin more business friendly.

Focusing on hypotheticals that imply business greed when he doesn't know this one way or another isn't the best for any politician. His comments on Mercury Marine were only a prelude to a discussion about taxes.

Cory Liebmann said...

it is not a "hypothetical" that fdl county will be raising taxes to keep mercury there. that is reality. if walker is going to give a substantive comment about the mercury situation then he has to address that major part of it. the fact that he is a county official himself and a gov candidate would make his answers all the more relevant.

i know why he probably didn't address the taxpayer funded gift to mercury...it would have forced him to take an actual substantive position that may conflict with his various political talking points and his 140 character "policy positions".

he can try to tweet his way to higher office if he wants, but the public and the media should demand more substance than that. and that is the entire point being made here.

Aaron Rodriguez said...

Walker doesn't have to follow the "Cory Liebmann" requirement that if he comments about Mercury Marine, then he must address all of the issues that surround the situation.

Walker's main point, if you read all of the article, is that Wisconsin is the tenth highest taxed state in the nation. This is part of the reason why Mercury Marine was considering a move to a state without a union.

Your post stated that Mercury Marine was given a $50 million dollar gift, which is not correct. Gifts are free. What Mercury Marine got was a low interest performance-based loan. When more jobs are retained or created by Mercury Marine, then there will be more incentives in the loan. Mercury Marine must repay the loan in 12 years.

Walker's point, which is undoubtedly lost on shallow thinking liberals, is that tax increases (in general) push businesses out. What we have here is a unique situation where a sales tax increase is tied to a business staying.

I'm not sure it's even important for Walker to state his position on rare instance where a tax hike is required to keep a business in Wisconsin.

Cory Liebmann said...

this tax hike is a major part of the mercury issue...like it or not. if walker wants to talk about the substance of mercury then he has to address it. especially if he is going to talk about the evils of tax hikes at the very same time.

for example, he has tweeted that any tax increases should be voted on by the public first (tabor). does he think mercury would have waited around for that in this real life example? would his policy have put fdl county in a straight jacket and caused mercury to move? these are legit questions that he should be willing to answer. he won't because it screws up his shallow talking points.

you may say that it is not a gift but what other companies are getting such a deal in fdl county? besides, signifigant portions of the money likely will not have to be paid back. I think that most people would call that a gift (some might even call it a bribe).

our tax rate is why mercury wanted to move to a state without a union? that doesn't even make sense, those are two different issues.

Anonymous said...

Why so hard - does Scott (McCallum) Walker support the tax increase to keep Mercury in Fond du Lac or not? Simple yes or no question. No hypothetical here. He wants to be Governor, this is a significant precedent that is being set - a county wide tax increase for the benefit of one employer. Government policy is all about precedent. Yes or no? Not that hard.

capper said...

Aaron can dance around the truth almost as well as Walker. But even his (both Walker's and Aaron's) rationalizations are faulty and untrue.

downey said...

Funny the unwillingness of conservatives to directly address the issues of raising taxes when corporations directly benefit. Taxpayer dollars are basically being funneled to Brunswick/Merc.

Where is the WI Taxpayer Alliance to complain? Even Jim Buchen from WMC supports this new tax?

God forbid we spend tax dollars on health care, public transportation or education -- but give taxpayer dollars to a corporation? No problem for the conservatives it seems.

Anonymous said...

Corporations employ people and allow these employees to buy goods and services. "Giving" money to corporations really is artificially changing the business tax to where it should be. We would not be in this situation if the tax structure were not so screwed in this state. We "give" money to education and roads because there are necessary. Conservatives give complain about those taxes because 1.) its being spent wastefully or 2). its not needed. Just for the record, I live in FDL County.