Let the market pick winners

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Foxconn precedent will have companies lining up for handouts.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE. Other companies were paying attention when Wisconsin spread the table with $3 billion in taxpayer-backed incentives for Foxconn Technology Group.

Kimberly-Clark Corp. made clear to Wisconsin's elected decision-makers that either it gets what it wants in a lame duck session - roughly $100 million from taxpayers - or it will close a Wisconsin plant and toss 400 employees out on the street.

Republicans are still in charge. Gov. Scott Walker favors the measure. The Assembly has signed on. The Senate, it appears, so far has not found enough votes.

Add this nugget for consideration: When Sen. Luther Olsen, a Republican skeptic, asked a Kimberly-Clark executive for financial data during a hearing the company spokesperson would not answer. Seems fair, to us, that if a company wants $100 million from taxpayers the people deserve answers.

Question: Does anybody think Kimberly-Clark will be the last company to line up at the taxpayer trough?

Call us naive, but we still believe the marketplace - not the government - should pick winners and losers.

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