Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) joined President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan at the White House this week to announce that Wisconsin has been selected as the location for Taiwan-based Foxconn’s first U.S. manufacturing plant. Foxconn, the world’s largest electronic manufacturing services provider, will invest $10 billion in a new facility, most likely in Racine or Kenosha county, that could create up to 13,000 jobs in the Badger State with an average salary of $53,875 plus benefits
The deal owes a lot of its success to reforms signed into law by Gov. Walker that have made Wisconsin more attractive to job creation and investment. Wisconsin beat out six other states for the Foxconn factory, which will produce liquid crystal display (LCD) screens. One of the states Foxconn passed over is Illinois, Wisconsin’s neighbor, and a state that is moving in the opposite direction from Wisconsin when it comes to fiscal policy. Illinois lawmakers have repeatedly raised taxes in recent years, imposing a massive 32% income tax hike earlier this month. Meanwhile, Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan and his caucus henchmen refuse to make structural spending reforms that are necessary to rectify the unsustainable growth of state spending or the state’s $130 billion unfunded pension liability.
Actions have consequences, so it should come as no shock that Illinois, given recent policy developments in Springfield, didn’t win this deal. While Illinois has become a less hospitable place to do business in recent years, Wisconsin has enacted reforms that provide tax relief, spending restraint, and regulatory reform, creating an environment that attracts investment and jobs from companies like Foxconn. Some of the top achievements under Gov. Walker include the following:
- $5 billion in tax relief
- $5 billion in savings from Act 10
- Lowered the unemployment rate from 8.1% to 3.1%—lowest since 1999
- Passage of “Right to Work”
- First state to pass a REINS Act
- Top 10 business-friendly state—up from 41st in 2010
Other states, like Illinois, will continue to lose businesses, residents, and income if they keep stifling growth with higher taxes, heavy regulations, and a structural budget imbalance. Wisconsin, meanwhile, proves how conservative policy reforms that reduce taxes, rein in spending, and reform entitlements translate into economic growth and job creation.