Economics/Class Relations

The Republican Party Can’t Die Soon Enough

Voices Newspaper

Some shocking figures:  On average, each Wisconsin’s 5,700,000 residents gives $268 dollars to subsidize business — corporate welfare.  Ten cents of every dollar in the state budget subsidizes business — 10 percent of Wisconsin’s budget is corporate welfare.

Scott Walker’s Wisconsin leads America in corporate welfare and yet is behind the rest of America in job-growth.  In other words, Badger State subsidies to business and corporate interests represents the most unproductive corporate welfare system in America.


The New York Times spent 10 months researching “business incentives” (RE:  corporate welfare) has published a report titled “United States of Subsidies” with the goal of assessing their impact on jobs and local economies. Here’s more of what they found in Wisconsin:

The top 3 types of corporate welfare in Wisconsin are:

  1. $957 million in Sales tax refund, exemptions or other sales tax discounts
  2. $416 million in Property tax abatement
  3. $107 million in Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction

The top 3 industries in Wisconsin receiving corporate Welfare are:

  1. $572 million in Manufacturing
  2. $302 million in Agriculture
  3. $80.5 million in Technology

NYT reports on 903 companies that participate in 79 different corporate welfare programs.  The top 20 recipients of corporate welfare in the Badger State are:

  1. Mercury Marine, $65 million (2011), Enterprise Zone Jobs Tax Credit, Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction
  2. Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. $62.5 million (2012),  Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction
  3. Quad Graphics, $46 million (2011), Enterprise Zone Jobs Tax Credit, Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction
  4. Oshkosh Corporation, $35 million (2011), Enterprise Zone Jobs Tax Credit, Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction
  5. W Solar Group, $28 million (2011), Enterprise Zone Jobs Tax Credit, Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction
  6. Kestrel Aircraft Company, $28 million (2012), Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction
  7. Harley Davidson Motor Company, $25 million (2010), Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction
  8. Bucyrus International, $21.7 million (2007-2011), Enterprise Zone Jobs Tax Credit, Transportation Economic Assistance & Major Economic Development Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction & Cash grant, loan or loan guarantee
  9. SPX CORPORATION, $21 million (2010), Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction
  10. Waste Management of Wisconsin, Inc. $20 million (2007), Industrial Revenue Bond
  11. Uline Inc. $18.6 million (2011), Enterprise Zone Jobs Tax Credit, Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction
  12. Schreiber Foods, $14.7 million (2011), Transportation Economic Assistance, Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction & Cash grant, loan or loan guarantee
  13. NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, $14 million (2011) Enterprise Zone Jobs Tax Credit, Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction
  14. INDECK ENERGY SERVICES INC. $13 million (2009) Industrial Revenue Bond & Transportation Economic Assistance, Cash grant, loan or loan guarantee
  15. Waukesha-Pearce Industries, $13 million (2010) Jobs Tax Credit, Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction
  16. SHINE Medical Technologies, Inc. $11.2 million (2011) Enterprise Zone Jobs Tax Credit, Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction
  17. Ingeteam, $11.2 million (2010) Jobs Tax Credit & Major Economic Development, Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction & Cash grant, loan or loan guarantee
  18. Teel Plastics, $10.3 million (2007-2011) Industrial Revenue Bond & Economic Development Tax Credit, Corporate income tax credit, rebate or reduction
  19. Schumann Printers, $10 million (2007) Industrial Revenue Bond
  20. EMCO Chemical Distributors, Inc. $10 million (2011) Industrial Revenue Bond

There more details on these subsidies and the complete listing of Wisconsin’s 903 corporate welfare “queens” is HERE.  More than 1/2 of the top 20 were granted on Scott Walker’s watch.  Clicking through all 34+ pages reveals that Scott Walker is anything but a fiscal conservative — he’s giving away the candy store.

And what is he getting from it (more HERE)?

Walker’s Santa Claus routine is not helping Wisconsin’s economy at all.  Is this a glitch or does giving away the candy store to undermine job growth actually serve Walker’s “divide and conquer” political agenda?

The NYT series provides more context for their analysis and this post.  Please be sure to see:

3 replies »

  1. Barring some event even greater than a Greek-style collapse, it will hard to kill off the GOP given that the two legacy parties have a crapload of legal and institutional supports. No one will do it, but the best approach (aside from the metapolitical) is to use initiative and referendum at the local level to switch to PR with a low threshold. You know, just like in that country most beloved by US politicians-Israel.

    In countries like Israel and Netherlands that have low threshold PR new parties are formed -and then routinely enter parliament -all the time. The best that be done in the US is to try to replicate this at the local level and create an opening for the participation of decentralist, proto-secessionist groups in local government.

  2. If you could find a maverick billionaire-and the US has plenty of billionaires- who would bankroll the campaign you might even be able to pull it off at the state level.

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