Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, November 05, 2018

The Foxconn deal has become something of a political liability for Walker, particularly among voters outside of southeastern Wisconsin. Those costs include taxpayer subsidies to the company totalling 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. 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. According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, a nonpartisan agency that provides economic analysis to the Wisconsin state legislature, the earliest citizens might see a return on their Foxconn investment is in 2042.

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There are other costs that have contributed to public skepticism over the Foxconn deal. At Walker's request, Scott Pruitt, then the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, overruled the objections of his staff to grant most of southeastern Wisconsin an exemption from limits on smog pollution. (Walker declined to respond to interview requests for this article.) The Wisconsin state legislature passed a bill granting Foxconn special court privileges; unlike other litigants, the company can make multiple appeals of unfavorable rulings in a single case, and can even appeal an unfavorable ruling directly to the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court.

#1 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-11-04 10:11 PM | Reply

But few costs have caused more outrage than the manner in which Mt. Pleasant's Village Board of Trustees secured the twenty-eight hundred acres of land, roughly four square miles, necessary to build the Foxconn campus.

To make space for Foxconn's development, which will also necessitate many miles of new roads, the Village Board has been buying properties, sometimes using the threat of eminent domain to force reluctant homeowners to sell at a price determined by the village. Several weeks before the groundbreaking, the seven-member board went further. By a 6–1 vote, the board designated the entire twenty-eight-hundred-acre area "blighted," which will allow Mt. Pleasant to issue bonds that are exempt from both federal and state taxes, and may also grant the village a more expansive use of eminent domain to seize the property of the few remaining holdouts, a small if highly visible group, whose property-rights fight embodies a wider sense of disenchantment with the Foxconn deal.

#2 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-11-04 10:13 PM | Reply

Mason reiterated Foxconn's promise that it will eventually create thirteen thousand "permanent" jobs in Wisconsin. But the company recently changed the type of factory it plans to build, downsizing to a highly automated plant that will only require three thousand employees, ninety per cent of them "knowledge workers," such as engineers, programmers, and designers. Almost all of the assembly work will be done by robots. Gou, Foxconn's chairman, has said he plans to replace eighty per cent of Foxconn's global workforce with "Foxbots" in the next five to ten years.

#3 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-11-04 10:55 PM | Reply

Even the expansion of I-94, which is being done to accommodate Foxconn (and being paid for by Wisconsin taxpayers) reflects Foxconn's faith in automation: the company and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation have discussed dedicating lanes to self-driving cars and trucks.

#4 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-11-04 10:57 PM | Reply

Foxconn's labor practices in China earned international notoriety in 2010, when workers at a plant in Shenzhen began committing suicide, mostly by throwing themselves off a high-rise dormitory. Two years later, a hundred and fifty workers at a different Chinese Foxconn plant stood on a roof of a factory building and threatened to commit group suicide to protest oppressive working conditions. (In addition to raising wages, making employees sign no-suicide agreements, and bringing in Buddhist monks to conduct prayer sessions on the factory floor, Gou installed safety nets around some of the factories to catch workers trying to kill themselves.)

#5 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-11-04 11:01 PM | Reply

This is.....

Wow....

#6 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-11-04 11:01 PM | Reply

I read about this taxpayer funded Walker debacle the other day. Truly despicable.

#7 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-11-04 11:16 PM | Reply

"But the company recently changed the type of factory it plans to build, downsizing to a highly automated plant that will only require three thousand employees, ninety per cent of them "knowledge workers," such as engineers, programmers, and designers."

So 13,000 workers to 3,000. At a $4.5 Billion, that's $1.5 million per job.

Turns out Wisconsin is using Republican Math™. What a ripoff.

#8 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-11-04 11:28 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Citizens of Wisconsin...meet secretly and make plans...disguise yourselves as kkklansmen and under the cover of darkness, deal with those board members in their homes. IT'S TIME TO DUMP THEIR TEA IN THE HARBOUR. this is law of the jungle capitalism and if you're willing to go away with your head bent then you don't have anyone to blame but yourselves

#9 | Posted by ABlock at 2018-11-05 09:56 AM | Reply

Walker has always been a sleazebag but this story really illustrates who he actually is. 13,000 jobs down to 3,000 jobs. AT 1.5 million dollars per job. Brilliant!

#10 | Posted by danni at 2018-11-05 10:09 AM | Reply

#10 | POSTED BY DANNI

but wouldn't you like to know how much money that walker and his co-conspirators pocketed? these guys are certainly not prone to giving their influence away for free.

#11 | Posted by ABlock at 2018-11-05 10:31 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

This is.....
Wow....

#6 | POSTED BY BRUCEBANNER

This is more or less what Foxconn critics predicted when the deal was made. This is their business model and shouldn't come as a surprise.

#12 | Posted by johnny_hotsauce at 2018-11-05 10:36 AM | Reply

"but wouldn't you like to know how much money that walker and his co-conspirators pocketed?"

Yes I would.

#13 | Posted by danni at 2018-11-05 10:48 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

This is what happens when we have a dictatorship. Trump and Walker were the only opinions that mattered.

America used to be stronger before the GOP took the reigns.

Now we're sending Wisconsin taxpayer dollars to China.

#14 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-11-05 10:51 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I live in Milwaukee and don't know a single person who supports this deal. That said, i don't know many Republicans.

When it comes to "competing" for jobs by offering lavish corporate subsidies, if you "win" the project you actually lose, because that means no other state or municipality was willing to fork over what you did.

#15 | Posted by JOE at 2018-11-05 10:55 AM | Reply

But it's the poor people who are stealing from us and wrecking our budgets, right?

#16 | Posted by cbob at 2018-11-05 11:57 AM | Reply

The scale of this is what blows most of us Wisconsinites away. The state ow Wisconsin only spends 0.3% of its $45.7 Billion budget ($137 million) on public assistance

ballotpedia.org

So we are spending $2 Billion over the next 15 years in public assistance for the entire state population but are handing $4.5 Billion to ONE COMPANY.

#17 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-11-05 01:11 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

This is wrong on so many levels.

Republican "thinking" is pure garbage. ---- "Conservatives".

#18 | Posted by jpw at 2018-11-05 01:38 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

This all adds up in Republican math.

Congratulations to Wisconsin. You were just raped by the GOP.

#19 | Posted by ClownShack at 2018-11-05 01:48 PM | Reply

I hope Walker goes down this time. He was always a douche.

#20 | Posted by sentinel at 2018-11-05 02:37 PM | Reply

This is wrong on so many levels.

Yep. It's also a perfect microcosm of why anyone who isn't a billionaire should hate Republicans. Walker has spent the last eight years cutting education funding and allowing corporations to rape the environment, and now he and the legislature have handicapped the state for decades to come with the biggest corporate welfare package to a foreign company in US history. The sad part is tomorrow's election will still be within a point or two because of all the morons who live here.

#21 | Posted by JOE at 2018-11-05 02:43 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Wisconsin is the poster child for a divided electorate. Birthplace of AFSCME, The Progressive Party, The John Birch Society, and the Republican party

#22 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-11-05 03:50 PM | Reply

I try to judge deals like this as I would any other where a State or even a local municipality will work to offer incentives to get a business to locate there.

And some incentives are good business, but there are breaking points where the incentives are too expensive and make no sense.

This is one of those deals.

I hope Wisconsinites choose better government for themselves. It's their choice.

#23 | Posted by eberly at 2018-11-05 04:24 PM | Reply

If you read beyond the fine print:

1) Wisconsin thought paying $346K per job was a good idea.
2) Instead of offering the $346K per job created, Wisconsin inked a deal that didn't diminish the taxpayers' payout if the jobs didn't materialize.
3) The final price will be $1.5 million per job created, with very few jobs for those displaced before.

#24 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-11-05 05:20 PM | Reply

And how much of the money spent will stay in the area? Or will most of it be offshored to Taiwan?

They probably would have gotten greater economic impact and spent less tax dollars by paying 3000 people $100K a year.

#25 | Posted by jpw at 2018-11-05 05:30 PM | Reply

It's this kind of Democratic thinking that will thrust the country back into a depression. I don't see any talk about the investment in Milwaukee for the U.S. Headquarters and it's 5,000 additional jobs. I don't see any talk about the investment in Madison for the Research facility and it's 500 jobs. I don't see anything about the ongoing service jobs. None of this is connected to the incentives in any way and will (has) surprised short-sited Democrats!

You need to stop focusing low-lying fruit of short-term construction jobs and taxes and look at the whole picture. Try as you might you just can't bad-mouth Walker as he is doing his job for Wisconsin, and doing it well. The pot holes can wait a few more years and then we can repair them the right way and not the Democratic quick patch way ...

#26 | Posted by Gr8Music at 2018-11-06 08:00 AM | Reply

It's this kind of Democratic thinking that will thrust the country back into a depression.

LOL oh my God. The stupid. It burns.

#27 | Posted by jpw at 2018-11-06 09:20 AM | Reply

GR8MUSIC -

The point is that the entire project is being funded with tax dollars. We are handing them $4.5 Billion dollars and in return we are getting 3,000 jobs averaging $53,000. They don't get any high fives for giving $100 million of our own money back to us for a research grant that they get to put their name on. I actually like the idea of using my tax dollars for research but don't pretend the money came from FoxConn.

If you want to use my tax dollars to build factories at least build them for American Companies. Most of this money is leaving the Country. FoxConn has no long term incentive to reinvest profits from the factory back into Wisconsin.

#28 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-11-06 09:21 AM | Reply

chinese workers at a chinese plant in land stolen from Americans through eminent domain funded by OUR TAX DOLLARS

www.rawstory.com

#29 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-11-06 09:30 AM | Reply

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