Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin, a right-wing political advocacy group founded by Charles and David Koch, issued a statement opposing Scott Walker’s proposal to lure the Taiwanese LCD manufacturer Foxconn to Wisconsin with massive state subsidies.
The statement comes as a surprise, given that Walker is often criticized for following the group’s marching orders on a variety of economic issues, from busting unions and revoking laws protecting workers to eliminating environmental regulations and product liability measures.
In a prepared statement, Eric Bott , director of Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin, said:
“Governor Walker deserves tremendous credit for his leadership over the past seven years in making Wisconsin a better place to do business than it was before he took office. The Walker approach of cutting red tape, lowering taxes, and reforming collective bargaining and labor laws has made the Badger State an attractive home for manufacturers once more, as the Foxconn decision proves.
“Indeed, we believe our right-to-work law will do more to attract new businesses to Wisconsin than government handouts ever could. However, as much as we believe in Governor Walker’s agenda that has turned this state around, as free market activists who staunchly oppose government tax incentives, we cannot support the expensive refundable tax credits in this package, which are not available to every other business in our state.
“Looking ahead, we are eager to work with Gov. Walker and the state legislature on pro-growth reforms that make taxpayer handouts unnecessary because Wisconsin’s tax, regulatory, and labor climate will make our state the obvious choice for companies looking to build new plants or relocate.”
But AFP’s position is with consistent with its belief that in a free-market economy, government should stay out of the business sector.