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Where Oh Where Are Those Jobs the FoxConn Tax Boondoggle Promised for Wisconsinites?

November 7, 2018

Common Dreams writer Jake Johnson provided his progressive-minded readers with an update on the FoxConn project in Wisconsin. If you follow this blog, you might recall reading about the tax revenues diverted to FoxConn and the property tax abatements they received in exchange for 13,000 jobs. The grand total of funds diverted?

As the New Yorker‘s Dan Kaufman noted in a detailed look at the Foxconn deal over the weekend, the agreement—which is rapidly declining in popularity among Wisconsin voters—includes “taxpayer subsidies to the company totaling more than $4.5 billion, the largest subsidy for a foreign corporation in American history.”

“Since Wisconsin already exempts manufacturing companies from paying taxes, Foxconn, which generated a hundred and fifty-eight billion dollars in revenue last year, will receive much of this subsidy in direct cash payments from taxpayers,” Kaufman observes. “Depending on how many jobs are actually created, taxpayers will be paying between two hundred and twenty thousand dollars and more than a million dollars per job.”

But as the article reports in the first paragraph, the 13,000 jobs aren’t materializing and because FoxConn can’t find enough Wisconsin engineers to work in its plant it is importing them from…. CHINA!

Wisconsin’s Koch-funded Republican Gov. Scott Walker lavished the Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn with over four billion in taxpayer subsidies last year in a deal that he claimed would create 13,000 jobs in the state, but that agreement is increasingly looking like a massive con-job amid new reports on Tuesday that Foxconn is planning to bring in Chinese workers to fill spots that the governor insisted would be filled by Wisconsinites.

“If Foxconn has to import Chinese engineers to Wisconsin, that would be yet another insult to Wisconsin taxpayers,” Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, told Common Dreams. “This is already The Great Disappearing Jobs Deal of recent U.S. history. It’s also the biggest mega-subsidy deal ever given to a foreign-based company. How tone-deaf would it be if the best-paid jobs don’t even go to Wisconsin taxpayers?”

Fortunately for Wisconsin voters Scott Walker, the “deal maker” who made this happen  is now out of a job. Here’s the short victory announcement from the victor in that race:

“My name is Tony Evers and I’m going to be the next governor of the state of Wisconsin,” Evers told a raucous crowd of supporters at The Orpheum theater in Madison. “I’ll be focused on solving problem and not picking political fights. It’s time for change, folks. The voters have spoke. A change is coming, Wisconsin!”

I trust the door will now be closed on doing deals with foreign countries and instead of offering tax cuts to corporations it will look westward to Minnesota where the legislature and Governor have made the economy robust by offering Government support to businesses and its citizens.

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