Approximately one-third of Foxconn jobs will be filled by people living in Illinois, which means that one-third of the whopping three billion that Wisconsin taxpayers will be spending will be going toward Illinois residents: One billion.
It also means that every dime Illinois Foxconn workers earn will be spent and taxed in Illinois-- not Wisconsin.
Therefore, if we give Foxconn the benefit of the doubt and assume that all 13,000 jobs will be filled, that's 4,333 jobs for Illinois without spending a dime.
All of Wisconsin is apparently agog over the Foxconn plant announcement that is coming this afternoon. Still, color me skeptical. Rumors are that Wisconsin is offering a huge tax break to Foxconn in return for building the plant, and the state has certainly paved the way by stomping on unions and generally making the living wage a past dream, something that Foxconn is certainly going to appreciate. But rumors abound that the state is offering somewhere between $100,000 and $300,000 per job in tax "bounty" for the plant. I'm not sure that the state will be able to actually agree to pony up a tax break that big, particularly in view of the current inability to pass a state budget even without the complication of a huge tax break for business. It's not at all clear where this leaves the local governments that will still need to provide services for the plant, their employees, and more.
But perhaps more concerning is that Foxconn has a history of announcing plants in various countries, including in the US, and not following through. Note this article in the Washington Post about the plant in Pennsylvania that was announced int 2013 to great hoopla) that has still not been built.
Locals were giddy. Foxconn had a small office here, but this seemed like the start of an entire new industry. Pennsylvania’s governor boasted about the deal. The Brookings Institution think tank hailed Foxconn’s decision as a sign of U.S. manufacturing’s strength.
But the factory was never built. The jobs never came. “It just seemed to fade to black” after the announcement, recalled a local official. It was the start of a mystery, created by a chief executive known to promise projects all over the world that never quite pan out. Yet few people seem to notice. Foxconn and others continue to get credit for deals that never take place. In December, Pennsylvania’s economic development staff was still touting the $30 million factory that never was.
How to Make Heads or Tails of Wisconsin’s Finances
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“Is there any news on how the state is positioned for revenue growth?” Mr. Olsen inquired in his letter.
“How do our finances compare to other states?” Mrs. Adams asked.
People want to know about the health of Wisconsin’s finances. As I began my research, I spoke with the State Auditor and the chief financial analyst, both of whom work for nonpartisan legislative support agencies.
Wisconsin is midway through its two-year budget. The state’s fiscal year ends June 30th. By mid-August we should know how closely actual spending and revenue tracked with budgeted numbers.
Preparations are underway for the 2017-19 state budget. State agencies are putting together their budget requests. In November, Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue (DOR) is required to release estimates on money coming into the state to help inform decisions about the budget.
In an odd twist of fate, the GOP created Great Recession actually swept Republicans into power in 2010.
Those same states are now convulsing from dramatic revenue shortfalls, debt, and deferred maintenance. Even worse, Republicans are insisting that more debt, deferred maintenance, tax cuts and spending cuts will solve their problems. All this, after already slashing education for the next generation of job seekers and insane handouts to corporate freeloaders laughing under their breaths about letting the "free market" work. Jokes on us.
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