Bruce Murphy
Murphy’s Law

Walker’s Desperate Deal With Foxconn

No governor in state history would have offered such a massive giveaway.

By - Aug 10th, 2017 10:51 am
Foxconn chairman Terry Gou and Governor Scott Walker hold a memorandum of understanding. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou and Governor Scott Walker hold a memorandum of understanding. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Back when Gov. Jim Doyle was offering tax incentives to companies like Harley Davidson and Mercury Marine to convince them to expand in this state, I questioned a Department of Commerce official about their rationale.

In essence, the department took a look at the number of jobs to be saved, the average wage earned and how much those employees would pay in state income taxes. The tax incentive was 7 percent of the company payroll for up to nine years and the workers were paying an average of slightly more than 5 percent in income taxes, so the state would be made whole in about 12 years. And that doesn’t include the corporate income tax that also would be paid.

The Commerce Department had a bipartisan history of this sort of approach, but Gov. Scott Walker, offering little rationale, replaced it with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, where any sort of deal seems to be made. A Legislative Audit Bureau report found that of hundreds of millions in tax credits, grants and loans authorized since 2011, the agency “cannot be certain about the number of jobs actually created or retained as a result of any awards.” In fact only 12.5 percent of contract awards “even had an expected result of job creation or retention.”

But the Foxconn deal will give away tax money in a style that makes the WEDC look like a piker. Rather than a tax credit for seven percent of payroll, Foxconn will get 17 percent, and for 15 years, not nine. In short, the state will get less than 30 percent of the tax credit back in income taxes paid by workers, losing a huge amount of money for 15 straight years.

But the Foxconn deal offers much more than this. The company also gets a 15 percent tax credit on all capital expenditures it makes for seven years. Since Foxconn, due to Walker’s Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit, will pay little or no corporate tax, probably none of this giveaway will be recovered. Indeed, the company is being given “refundable tax credits,” meaning these are cash giveaways, not tax reductions.

But the deal offers much more than this. Foxconn will get a state and local sales tax exemption on the cost of all building materials, supplies, and equipment and landscaping and lawn maintenance services, estimated to be worth $139 million.

But the deal offers still more. Local governments will be pressured to create special Tax Incremental Financing districts, and the subsidy is expected to be so massive that the Foxconn bill provides an exemption from the state law limiting the size of such districts and lengthens the statutory payback period from 20 to 30 years.

But the deal offers still more. The bill would exempt Foxconn from some state requirements on: (1)discharging dredged or fill material into a wetland; (2)water quality certification related to discharges into wetlands; (3)construction, placement, or maintenance of bridges or culverts in or over navigable waters; (4)construction, dredging, or enlargement of an artificial water body that connects with an existing navigable waterway; (5)grading or removal of topsoil from the bank of a navigable waterway; (6) public utility projects consisting of high-voltage transmission line relocations.

In short, Foxconn will be able to operate as a kind of outlaw company that can simply ignore laws that regulate every other business or individual in the state. And that is because it promises to create up to 13,000 jobs in return for accepting $3 billion in tax subsidies or $585 per person for every adult resident in this state, not including the additional TIF subsidies, which have yet to be tallied.

And what guarantee is there that Foxconn will create 13,000 jobs? None. The company could collect $345 million of the maximum $1.5 billion payroll credit for just the 3,000 jobs it promises to start with and grab the sales tax exemptions and TIF subsidies while using the $1.35 billion tax credit on capital expenditures to automate the factory and gradually lower the employment even further. With no penalty. And given the company’s reputation for embracing robotics at ever opportunity, that is surely the most likely result.

And the cost to the state under this scenario would be $611,000 per job, not counting the TIF subsidies and environmental costs.

As for the jobs it promises, how many will be family supporting? Foxconn claims the average wage paid will be $53,875, but what guarantee is there of this? None. And even if this does turn out to be the average, that could easily mean half the workers earn less than this. How much less? One clue is provided by the legislation, which says the payroll tax credit applies for jobs earning at least $22,620 if the company is in a tier I county or municipality or $30,000 if in a tier II county or municipality. The lower figure is below the poverty line for a family of four while the higher figure is at about 130 percent of the poverty line.

These details come from a recent Legislative Fiscal Bureau analysis, which concludes the state could recoup the massive Foxconn giveaway by 2043. Leaving aside that this is a quarter-century, an entire generation from now, how can the money be recouped when it is far more than the combined taxes paid by workers and the company? The answer is that the Foxconn plant will spin off other jobs from suppliers, construction companies and the like that it uses. But if we followed this approach for every company in Wisconsin, it would wipe out all the corporate and personal income taxes paid in this state. That doesn’t seem like a sensible way to build an economy.

The Fiscal Bureau cautions that the data on the spin-off jobs is “speculative” and based on estimates from Foxconn and the WEDC. I leave it to others to decide which is less reliable.

The bureau estimates that given the proposed location for Foxconn is close to the Illinois border, perhaps 10 percent of the jobs could go to workers from that state who won’t pay Wisconsin taxes, which would extend the payback period two more years, to 2045. It also notes its analysis hasn’t reduced the value of future dollars, meaning the real dollar payback would occur even later, perhaps after 2050.

And of course there is no guarantee that long before this, Foxconn may slash the payroll, leave the state or go out business. As the ever-diplomatic Fiscal Bureau puts it: “Technological advances and changes in Foxconn’s market share, operating procedures, or product mix could significantly affect employment and wages at the proposed facility over time.”

Has there ever been a worse deal proposed by a Wisconsin governor? True, the Brewers and Bucks stadium deals were massive giveaways, but this was done not for jobs but for the state’s prestige, to prevent the loss of major league franchises. A deal with Foxconn offers not prestige, but a deal with a shady operator who frequently walks out of deals, compares his workers to animals, and has created a company infamous for poverty-level wages and horrible working conditions, with riots, worker suicides and violence at the Foxconn plant in China.

Walker’s willingness to hand this company $3 billion suggests a desperation to wipe away his failed promise to create 250,000 new jobs and the state’s chronic below-average ranking in job creation. The Foxconn hype — with the dirty details downplayed — might rebrand him as a big-time job creator. As for state legislators in the Racine-Kenosha area, they may find it hard to oppose his plan.

But for every other legislator in the state, Republican or Democrat, there is no reason to vote for this unprecedented giveaway for a few thousand jobs, following a game plan that if applied to all businesses, would bankrupt the state and destroy its environment. This isn’t a sound conservative solution to economic development, it is fiscal liberalism run rampant.

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61 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law: Walker’s Desperate Deal With Foxconn”

  1. Vincent Hanna says:

    Fitzgerald lacks votes in GOP controlled Senate so we can stop blaming liberals and Walker haters now right?

  2. James says:

    The Memorandum of Understanding states:

    “Since the initial meeting, the Company has issued a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) for locating the TFT LCD fabrication facilities in the United States, and Wisconsin has responded with offers of financial support and incentives as described in the comprehensive proposal submitted to the company on June 2, 2017, which was subsequently revised on June 26, 2017, and July 12, 2017.”

    What were the initial terms that Wisconsin proposed?

  3. Jason troll says:

    How does the right keep winning with such persuasive arguments?

  4. Reasonable says:

    businesses acceptable?   Does it matter the type of business? 


    When are we going to start accounting for all the employment that is desperately needed for people that live 20 miles to the north?   The EITC’s, Medicaid spending, food stamps, costs of crime, school reform, housing programs, and so much more that the high numbers of unemployed require?  What is the cost per person on those programs?


    Are we better off continuing to pay for these programs for people who don’t work, or should we put money towards getting them working?  Even the overly pessimistic account of $611,000 per job (which ignores any other job creation outside of Foxconn) broken down over 15 years may likely be less than all those entitlements and social programs cost.  Those 3-13k people won’t appear out of the air.  They’ll have to be pulled from other jobs or from the pool of non-working population (and those pulled from other jobs will need replacing at their old jobs, etc). 

    This also doesn’t take into account the increased wages through competition for workers, increased property values of people who now have jobs or better jobs, sales taxes spent by new consumers, and so much more.   


    All of this also ignores the real possibility of Wisconsin becoming a hotbed of a new form of high tech manufacturing that uses automation and a technical expertise that will require important changes to our universities and tech schools.  This could truly be transformational for SE Wisconsin and is worth the costs.

  5. Reasonable says:

    So at what cost are incentives for new

  6. Vincent Hanna says:

    So any deal no matter what is worth it because people in Milwaukee need jobs? We just give Foxconn whatever they want? That makes no sense at all and is far from reasonable. That’s why you are seeing so much trepidation from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, not to mention state residents. The idea that we should just gladly take any deal because maybe in 40 years it all works out (and it’s a huge maybe) is ridiculous.

  7. Reasonable says:

    Vincent, I never said any deal no matter what. You are putting words in my mouth. I merely said that I believe the costs for this deal, based on the potential outcome, seem acceptable to me. I also asked what level of incentives, given the other factors I mentioned, other people believe are acceptable. Do you have any thoughts on that question?

  8. Wisconsin Conservative Dgiest says:

    Foxconn deal has the potential, along with the Amazon program, to make SE Wisconsin the tech capital of theMidwest. The Illinois businesses and people are leaving like rats from a sinking ship. This tells them that they have a friend in Wisconsin.
    TheLefties are playing the same song that pushed out KC and other businesses, before Tommy tosses the Left and Earl out the door.
    It is not secret that the country has completely rejected the Left everywhere, look at the 36 states the GOP controls to the few that follow the left, and those the Lefties control, with their stupid plans, are left holding a bag of nutting.
    Illinois, california are disaster and PR, Conn., NY.

  9. Dave K says:

    I’d like to open a neighborhood pizza shop. Can I get $1.2 million dollars for the 5 employees I’d like to hire?

  10. Dumbledore says:

    While the issue of offering incentives for one single company (not counting Fiserv) is troublesome enough, the concept of offering a 15-year package of incentives for a tech industry company is even worse. Think about these high-profile tech manufacturing companies that have gone out of business or were acquired and significantly downsized since 2002: Compaq, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, MicronPC.

    The LFB analysis is spot on. The deal won’t start paying off for at least 25 years and it is hard to fathom that a tech manufacturing company will even have the same lines of work in 25 years. This is not a good deal.

  11. Kent Mueller says:

    First off, the FoxConn deal, assuming it ever happens and even a single shovelful of dirt is turned, is STILL a good deal over all. Scott Walker pushed us back into the 20th Century when he rejected High Speed Rail and kicked Talgo in the teeth after they invested here. A number of European-based companies were looking at Milwaukee to base their North American operations. After the experience of Talgo, word in the European business community on Wisconsin was “They break their contracts and their politics are weird.” Landing FoxConn will make up for that to some small degree.
    But it may not happen, ask Pennsylvania, Texas and Indonesia. Wait and see. Even as a leftist who hates deals like this, I see too many upsides not to let it happen. Corning Glass among others are looking at possibly locating here.
    Now fact is, Scott Walker has almost nothing to do with this happening except that he was willing to slither on the ground and give it all up. Trump deserves tiny credit, if only for the fact he represents a rising tide of protectionism and international trade withdrawal. FoxConn is likely looking at Europe for a plant as well after seeing Brexit happen. It all represents a Nationalist resentment driven by a huge tide of refugees. But I digress.
    The real reason FoxConn MAY locate in Wisconsin is because the Greater Chicago Area, to which Milwaukee is joined at the hip, is the 4th largest economic engine on earth. It’s the distribution hub for everything between the coasts, and Wisconsin farmland is the cheapest available land within commuting distance of Chicago, and the proximity to O’Hare is a huge factor. That’s why Amazon located here. Also, WAY more than 10% of the jobs will go to Illinois, I’d guess 20 – 30% at least. It’s still worth doing. Yes, the deal sucks, but it’s a deal other states would die for.
    Here are two experiments to see just how closely we’re conjoined with Chicago metro. Search for a satellite night view of the US. There’s a huge blob of light at the bottom of Lake Michigan surrounding Chicago and a narrow band extends continuously all the way to Sheboygan. Second, take a drive south on Highway 31 (131 in Illinois), it’s an 80 mile Suburban strip-mall rabbit run — like Bluemound Road stretched to infinity. So here’s hoping FoxConn happens, but I’m holding neither breath nor urine until a shovel turns earth, much less a door opens and an employee walks in.

  12. Bill Kurtz says:

    First, Dumbledore is right about the ephemeral nature of many tech manufacturing jobs. Less than 25 years ago, Wisconsin lost out on a highly-sought Motorola cellphone plant that went to Harvard, Ill. That plant closed many years ago, and I think it’s still vacant.
    Second, I wonder what Reasonable means when talking blithely about “people have to be PULLED (my emphasis) from the pool of non-working population.” Does he think the Foxconn jobs will be so terrible people will have to be forced to fill them? Maybe like the Foxconn factories in China where they built suicide nets to stop workers from killing themselves?

  13. happyjack27 says:

    For all the pro-Foxconn people: you make claims about potential and growth and all that, but they’re all really abstract. How about you put it in quantitative terms. After how many years will they start producing a return on investment? And what iPhone version will I be on? 7? Cite empirical data to back up your claims. And how you calculated the number of years.

  14. happyjack27 says:

    Also, Dave K: yes. You are bringing business to Wisconsin. That’s worth the small pittance of 1.2 — things. Sorry i can’t grasp the concept of whatever you said after that. But 1.2 to 5?!? Seems like a small ratio.

  15. tim haering says:

    Bruce, I am skeptical too. Maybe the only solution is a federal law prohibiting states from subsidizing businesses. After all, interstate commerce is a federal lookout, so they would seem to have constitutional authority to ban states from meddling. NOt likely Congress would pass such a bill. And no state will unilaterally disarm. It’s a Citizen UNited world, Bruce, in business too.

  16. Thomas Spellman says:

    Thanks Bruce Very good What I was looking for. Now if we can walk and chew gum at the same time let us figure out WHY so many MPS students do not graduate from high school. A Chicago Public School study not almost 30 years old laid it out that by 3rd grade with 90% certainty the outcome for all the 3rd graders was known. I will help with that effort if there is any interest.

    Peace Tom Spellman

  17. Gregd says:

    Tax credits and such are NOT money out of taxpayer’s pockets. It’s money not collected same as if Foxconn wouldn’t build here. Duh. But them building here means jobs and revenue to the state in many other ways.

  18. Max says:

    This seems to be why Walker was so humbled by opponents during his presidential run. Serious lack of backbone. The numbers are in. He’s selling the farm for the sake of campaign donations. Let’s get some real negotiators involved who will protect taxpayers. For pete’s sake, even the Koch brothers thing this deal stinks. Everyone would love to have a new manufacture in WI, but what’s the point if it bankrupts the State, and taxpayers pay and pay and pay more? Btw, for the so called Wisconsin Conversative Digest, this deal isn’t conservative by any means (smacks more of government picking winners and losers) , the “high tech” part as well as the big money part of this belongs to the software/engineers who design and program this stuff, and Foxconn in particular has a well deserved reputation for making money only by paying slave wages.

  19. Dumbledore says:

    I’m glad some of our legislators are thinking of amending the deal to set some wage floors. According to, last year a family of five making about $52,614 still qualified for reduced-price school lunch. That’s right around the wage amount that keeps getting touted by the FoxConn supporters.

    It would be horrible for the state to give out so much in tax breaks for a company and then still have to come up with other forms of assistance for its workers and families. And it’s more than likely that the high-salaried managers and executives at the plant would be the ones who commute from Lake County, Illinois, where there are many more high-end residential communities suited to that lifestyle.

  20. Adam says:

    No read the plan. Manufactures have zero state tax liability due to the gobs earlier corporate welfare scheme. This would be actual cash payments to Foxconn out of the general fund. Hence the 25 years plus for state taxpayers to break even.

  21. happyjack27 says:

    @Gregd @Adam
    I guess I don’t see the difference anyways. Whether you’re receiving X from Y where you wouldn’t otherwise be, or not paying X to Y where you otherwise would be, it still effects both X’s and Y’s bottom line exactly the same.

    I also don’t see the difference from just giving the CEO’s billions of dollars of taxpayer money — as in literally just handing it to them. I mean, is that money really going anywhere else?

  22. Observer says:

    But these two statements don’t show how the ‘taxpayer’ will come out ahead. Even the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported that under the legislation, state taxpayers would not recoup their investment in Foxconn until 2043. The bureau described that timeline as the best-case scenario, with the Wisconsin plant fully operational and spawning 22,000 additional jobs at suppliers and other companies that would come to the area.

  23. Observer says:

    Hmm, let me try that again but using hyphens.
    –I am falling all over myself to see how can I generate the very best deal for the company and the taxpayer,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said.–
    —–But Foxconn could receive up to $1.35 billion in separate cash payments if the company invested in the plant and equipment in Wisconsin, even if the plant turned out to be highly automated and employed fewer workers than expected. The deal doesn’t currently contain a minimum number of jobs that Foxconn would have… to create to receive payments from taxpayers.—–
    But these two statements don’t show how the ‘taxpayer’ will come out ahead. Even the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported that under the legislation, state taxpayers would not recoup their investment in Foxconn until 2043. The bureau described that timeline as the best-case scenario, with the Wisconsin plant fully operational and spawning 22,000 additional jobs at suppliers and other companies that would come to the area.
    —I just wish I could emphasize the ‘best case scenario’ part—

  24. Bea says:

    Kill this pig in a poke, sensible Republicans. Are you out there?

  25. Jeff says:

    I am falling all over myself to see how can I generate the very best deal for the company and the taxpayer,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said.
    What I am trying my hardest to understand is why Speaker Vos is generating any deals at all for the company. Shouldn’t he be representing ALL the citizens of his district as well as the state and let the company negotiate its own best deal? After all, I don’t think any of the Foxconn owners live or vote in Wisconsin.

  26. happyjack27 says:

    Maybe Robin Vos IS the company? Or at least on it’s payroll? That would seem to resolve the confusion. It would certainly be reasonable for him, then, to negotiate for the very company he works for (whether as an employee or as a contractor). And I can’t really think of any other legitimate reason.

  27. DairyStateMom says:

    Good story, Bruce. I’d point out as well that even Americans for Prosperity doesn’t like this deal — on the principle that giving away the store to Foxconn gives it a ginormous advantage over Wisconsin firms.

    I’m in favor of jobs as much as the next person, but the basket of goodies is pretty incredible. That said, unless all the governors in the United States hold hands and promise that NOBODY gets any goodies, we’re all going to have to do it. Corporate America has us over a barrel, and they know it.

    If there was only a way to advantage SMALL employers — who are nimble enough to take advantage of small changes in the market, who really will employ local people and put dollars right back into the community — instead of huge multinationals whose dollars go elsewhere!

  28. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    DairyStateMom- But corporations have the time and money to lobby and give campaign kickbacks for favors, so guess who gets the goodies.

    This is a horrible deal, and the GOP’s attempts at window dressing over the last few days cannot hide the fact that this is literally handing over billions in cash to a foreign company for something that other businesses might have done without all the handouts. Oh, and it drives up the $1 billion deficit that already exists in the 2019-21 budget, so it’ll speed up even more budget and service cuts.

  29. WashCoRepub says:

    Great to see Fitzgerald, Vos and Walker finally getting on the same page, and making some sensible additions for job benchmarks. Hopefully they can get this thing done in the next couple weeks, and launch Wisconsin into this exciting new era! Maybe the Democrats who ran down to Illinois during the Act 10 debate can chain themselves to the construction equipment this time. “Whose earth mover?? OUR earth mover!”

  30. Vincent Hanna says:

    You have to be an elected official or member of the Walker administration. Either that or you’re a bot and not a human being. No one else bends with the wind like this. You wait for an action and then support it. You have no real opinions of your own. You just say whatever the GOP does is wonderful. There’s no analysis. Everything you say reads like a press release.

  31. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    Vincent- Bradley Boy is indeed paid to write that tripe. It’s pretty obvious, and quite pathetic. Can you imagine lacking pride like that? By the way, there is still ZERO for job benchmarks in the bill, just “recommendations.” Here, you can read it for yourself.

    Pretty much the only people supporting this garbage are being paid to do so. That was made obvious when Belling told Fitzgerald this week there “would be hell to pay” if the Fox-con didn’t go through. I just want to know who Belling was speaking for.

  32. Mary Kay Wagner says:

    The current plan is to locate the Foxconn plant close to the Illinois state line. With the lack of any public transit, how does that location help the unemployed in Milwaukee County? That is at least an hour drive in good weather with light traffic. There are no plans to include public transit to make these jobs accessible. Wisconsin taxpayers would be on the hook for this enormous corporate welfare as well as the current social welfare programs that this deal won’t solve.

    Now, if Walker hadn’t broken the contract with Talgo, there would have been good paying manufacturing jobs accessible to communities experiencing high levels of unemployment and the impact on the rest of the state would have help recover faster from the Great Recession. Of course, it would have also connected Wisconsin to a modern clean national public transit system. That would have been easier to attract other high tech manufacturing companies to the state without giving away the bank.

  33. Paul Trotter says:

    “From the Associated Press, a piece published one week ago notes, “Foxconn Technology Group is not saying whether it plans to invest $30 billion in the United States, as President Donald Trump claimed the company’s leader told him ‘off the record.'” Mal Contends”

  34. Wisconsin Conservative Dgiest says:

    Intersting priorities by the Left. Under Doyle we lost 130,000 jobs in 8 years. Under Tommy we had over 700,000 jobs gained and under Scott will be over 200,000. Now the Left is trying to kill the best deal fro Wisconsin, in 25, years cause they hate Walker.

  35. Mike Bark says:

    I’m puzzled as to why we needed to offer a nearly $250,000 per job incentive when:

    – Wisconsin has an unemployment rate of 3.2% and is lower than the national average.

    – Amazon and Uline are currently BEGGING people to take their entry level jobs in Kenosha. Will people really be lining up for these Foxconn jobs?

    – Given where the plant would be located, how many workers will be coming from Illinois and if you just had to throw money at this why not see if you could’ve gotten Illinois to pitch in.

    To me, it sounds like it was done so Scott Walker could go around and say Wisconn Valley 9,000,000 while seeking re-election.

  36. Wisconsin Conservative Dgiest says:

    Mike Bark; Dopey characters like you represent what is happening in the state south of us that is bankrupt. Ever think of the future beyond today? No, obviously just like Doyle and
    Wisconsin, SE Wisconsin is on track to be the Tech center of Midwest. I read some of the dopiest things in hsitroy against a major world business with huge future, should be turned down cause some guys from Illinois will move up here for jobs. we stole Fox Conn from Ill., Ind., Mich.
    People businesses are leaving Illinois just cause they have nuts lie Bark running the place. People leave there to get better jobs, lower taxes and decent govt. Away from the Lefty nuts like most of people on this site.

  37. happyjack27 says:

    Don’t feed the trolls. Just ignore WCD. If you look back at his posts you’ll find that the only thing he’s capable of are ad hominem arguments and pleas to emotion. There’s a saying that you can’t persuade with reason a person who doesn’t use it.

    I feel on the verge of being a hypocrite and myself speaking ad hominem. But there’s a point beyond which it goes from anecdotal evidence to experimental evidence with high confidence, and the evidence that I’ve gathered is well over that line.

    If the situation were reversed – if democrats were proposing a terribly awful idea that would have literally negative net benefit for 25 years – WCD would be blogging the hell out of it (and more power to him for that!) and not recognizing the hypocrisy Venn if you points. It out.

    Indeed, he’s asking right now what’s so bad anoint a deal which is literally handing many away for a quarter of a century. By which time the technology they make and with it the factory will probably obsolete. Really? You can’t think if any potentially better deals? Think hard. Think really hard…

    The f*n lottery would be a better deal.

    But the very concept that Republicans might not make “the best deal ever” simply doesn’t compute for WCD, and from my experience, most Republicans.

    It’s useless to try to reason with them. They are neurologically incapable.

  38. Wisconsin Conservative Dgiest says:

    Happ jack or nutty jack? So much typing for nutting said. if it was not a good deal the Left would not be having such a bird?

  39. happyjack27 says:

    Case in point. Let’s make a table. Axis 1: good deal or bad deal. Axis 2 “the left” “makes a bird about it”, whatever that means. Presumably says “it’s a bad deal”

    WCD has already implied one two quadrants he’s put an x in: he’s put an x in good deal, an “the left” say it’s a bad deal, and an x in a bad deal, “the left” say it’s a good deal.

    Now note this is _the exact opposite_ of how any reasonable perskn would construct such a table.

    WCD, in his very first response, has _epitomized_ what I said.

    Now do you believe me?

  40. happyjack27 says:

    I should also point out that his entire comment consisted of not one, but TWO as hominems.

    Called it!

  41. James says:

    Suppose the State were to announce the formation of a $3 billion high tech / manufacturing incentive fund which would be awarded in $100 million increments. The only requirement would be that for each $100 million awarded, 100 jobs paying a minimum of $15/hour would have to be created over a 25 year period.

    Additionally, for each 100 jobs created within certain economic development zones, such as Century City in Milwaukee, up to a $5 million credit would be given against the sales tax incurred for construction materials and equipment.

    I think this would a far more reaching ripple effect as to spinoffs, startups and suppliers. Take a look at the 1,000 acre New Berlin Industrial Park which has 600 employers and 13,000 employees. Or take a look a GE Healthcare which employs about 6,500.

    But, what would the Republican reaction be to such a fund?

  42. happyjack27 says:

    @James I’m happy to give you my prediction, which you can hold me to, but before I do I need one more piece of information — and when I say “need” I mean everything depends entirely on this –: who’s proposing it?

  43. Mike Bark says:


    I’ll put my credentials in running a business up against yours any day (not to mention my ability to construct a sentence and spell correctly).

    The reality is that the Kenosha area has some natural advantages when it comes to getting a business like Amazon or Foxconn. It has a close proximity to Chicago. We have access to a ton of water (which someone like Foxconn needs) and the land acquisition cost is relatively cheap.

    Instead we sign a deal that may not pay back for at least 25 years, because we need to see the future. You probably would have given a company like Harley this same deal 25 years ago and know you’d be wondering why that wasn’t a good investment. Another poster made a great point. A ton of money was given to Motorola several years back. How’d that work out.

    Finally, is this really going to be a tech hub? Amazon has a distribution center here. Foxconn will be doing some manufacturing. Does that equate to an innovation center or does that equate to a place where there’s a lot of $13 an hour jobs that seemingly can’t be filled. Just ask Amazon how many people are flocking to those jobs.

  44. Mike Bark says:

    happyjack27 hits the nail on the head in #38. If it were Jim Doyle proposing the same deal to some company there’s no way WCD would be defending it.

    That’s the problem with politics today. Too many people will go for something if the right side is proposing it instead of sticking to their values. Since when were conservatives supposed to be for corporate welfare?

  45. Vincent Hanna says:

    I’ve driven past that Motorola plant on my way to the in-laws near Elgin, IL. It’s a ghost town. Looks terrible.

    Interesting tidbit in the JS today. Foxconn is also planning a state-of-the-art LCD plant in Guangzhou, China, according to Nakane. The types of LCD screens to be made there and presumably at the Wisconsin plant are referred to as “10.5G” panels, capable of being used in large, ultra-high-definition TVs and in medical equipment, among other applications.

    “The problem, as we see it, is that 10.5G production equipment is in extremely short supply,” Nakane wrote in a report. “We believe that the company has not even yet placed orders for the 10.5G plant in Guangzhou, which would seem to make it all but impossible that the … plant in Wisconsin could commence volume production in 2020.”

    All but impossible for it to open in 2020. That’s a red flag.

    If Doyle proposed this, combine that with the fact that Americans for Prosperity is opposed and you’d have conservatives screaming bloody murder.

  46. Mike Bark says:

    One other thought on the ability to see the future. Let’s look at the 4 largest companies in terms of market capitalization. There’s Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook.

    Apple was a niche product back in 1992 and the others (maybe Bezos started in his garage by then) weren’t even in existence.

    WCD and his ability to predict the future would have bet big back then on AOL, Motorola and Dell Computers.

    The point is, 25 years is way too long to get a return on investment and a businessman like WCD should know that.

  47. Wisconsin Conservative Dgiest says:

    I was leader on Chamber for decades. We did everything to help companies come in, while the left did everythingthey could to destroy the “big money People”.
    Tax them to death, chase them out of state, unionize them pass stupid laws.
    That is why they are not in charge of anything anymore, so please keep it up with your leaders:
    Waters, Schumer, Pelosi, Warren, Sanders and you will continue to be the minority party.
    Your left wing plans, socialism has caused voters, businesses to flee to theh Red state areas.

  48. Vincent Hanna says:

    WCD please refrain from calling me names. Do you see any potential downsides to this deal? Any reasons to be cautious or skeptical? Genuine questions.

  49. Wisconsin Conservative Dgiest says:

    Names, in your case those are compliments.

  50. Vincent Hanna says:

    Wow. Well I tried. You are completely incapable of having a conversation. If you have no interest in having a normal discussion, why do you come here? You are a nuisance and make this place so much worse. It blows my mind that at almost 80 years old you can’t even hold a normal discussion with other adults. My toddler is more mature than you. He also doesn’t call people names and knows that’s something he shouldn’t do. What does that say about you?

  51. Wisconsin Conservative Dgiest says:

    Please left, keep this up the only people that agree with you on these jobs, and the Future is you nutty base. For this we applaud cause the working people in this state want jobs, not food stamps and welfare.

  52. Vincent Hanna says:

    Again, cause you seem to have trouble understanding this, the extremely conservative Americans for Prosperity OPPOSES the Foxconn deal. So it is not just “the nutty left” that is against or very leery of this deal.

  53. Wisconsin Conservative Dgiest says:

    if you were an adult would hold conversation with you. Let me know when you pass puberty.

  54. Mike Bark says:

    Here are questions that WCD isn’t capable of answering:

    1. You state that Tommy Thompson created 700,000 jobs while the Governor of Wisconsin. How much money did he hand out in order to do this?

    2. If unemployment is 3.2% in Wisconsin is there really a need to give out this kind of tax incentive?

    3. Given that it is likely the payback on this is 25 years, which companies would you have given a similar incentive to back in 1992?

    4. Would you invest in a business if it took you 25 years to get the money back?

    5. Why give Foxconn all this money? Could the money and tax incentives be better utilized to a broader cross section of businesses?

    6. When did it become a conservative principle to pick winners and losers like this? Usually we believe in free market capitalism, but I guess you do not.

    7. Do you now believe that government and governors create jobs in the private sector?

  55. Observer says:

    (((Please left, keep this up the only people that agree with you on these jobs, and the Future is you nutty base. For this we applaud cause the working people in this state want jobs, not food stamps and welfare.)))

    And why would the working people want jobs? Don’t they have one?
    What drugs did Larry’s Drugs sell?

  56. happyjack27 says:

    they need minimum wage jobs at foxconn so that they can pay off the many billion dollar handout scott walker just gave to foxconn’s CEO in about oh, 25 years.

  57. Wisconsin Conservative Dgiest says:

    Seems like the Dem leaders and the people like jobs instead of welfare.
    Seems that the Dems want the 3 billion for more welfare, teachers union bennies, food stamps and other Dem goodies instead of jobs.
    You have been rejected by the Dems leadership and the people.
    I am busy writing up ads to run against he Dem governor’s candidates.
    This is really fun.

  58. Adam Wagner says:

    How are you going to find the time to write campaign ads when you are on these silly blogs all day.?

    Walker is labeling this as a bi-partisan deal. Three Dems, all from SE WI, voted in favor of this. Hardly bi-partisan. If this deal was going over so great with voters, surely the republicans would be owning this amazing deal all for themselves, would they not?
    Make no mistake this will be ammo for the Dems come election time, if they are shrewd enough to use it. Early indications look hopeful. I’m seeing press releases with the words ‘boondoggle’ and ‘Walker’s weak negotiation skills’. If they spend the next year talking about how terrible of a negotiator Walker is and what a boondoggle this will be for a generation of taxpayers it would be a good arrow in the quiver.

  59. Vincent Hanna says:

    “Walker is labeling this as a bi-partisan deal.”

    He isn’t the only one. NPR’s Morning Edition also described it as bipartisan today and failed to mention that it was all of three Democrats that voted for it. That was disappointing. So much for the liberal media!

    Are negotiations even taking place or is the state just giving Foxconn whatever it wants?

  60. Wisconsin Conservative Dgiest says:

    Dems just cannot figure it out which is great. People want good jobs. SE Wisconsin has lots of people. No wonder the dopey left only control 6 states, but keep it up. toon you will be exitinctttttt. that need jobs.
    This plant, biggest Tech company in world will support close to 100,000 people.

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