The Cost of Scott Walker’s Foxconn Deal Crosses $4.5 Billion

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Journalists and state assemblymen acting on their own initiative have estimated that the total of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's Foxconn deal had exploded to over $4 billion, but now it's official.

The state's Legislative Fiscal Bureau, which is like the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for the state, now estimates the total cost of the deal has reached $4.5 billion.

A newly released memo projects the public cost for a planned Foxconn manufacturing project near Racine could near $4.5 billion — nearly 50 percent more than the $3 billion cost initially cited by the project’s chief proponent at the state Capitol, Gov. Scott Walker. [...]

The breakdown of public costs from the project, according to the memo, is as follows:

-State tax credits, $2.85 billion
-Local government incentives, $764 million
-U.S. Interstate 94 North-South project, $408 million
-Utility costs, $140 million
-State sales tax exemption, $139 million
-Road improvements, $134 million
-Worker training, $20 million
-Local government grants, $15 million

It was estimated that the Foxconn project would pay for itself at some point in the year 2043, but that was when the total cost of the project was estimated to be $3 billion and that assumes the factory will employ 13,000 people, mostly residents of Wisconsin, for most of the duration.

You'd have to be crazy to think this factory that will produce LCD displays will still be operating at full capacity, or at all, in 2043. You'd have to be crazy to think it would only cost $3 billion or even $4.5 billion because that doesn't include interest. And you'd have to be crazy to think it will employ that many residents of Wisconsin.

In fact, there aren't enough residents of Wisconsin to employ. Governor Walker has pledge to spend $6.8 million on an ad campaign aimed at persuading residents of Illinois to work at the new factory because there just aren't enough able-bodied people in the area of the state it's being built in.

  • David Greenberg

    Whatever happened to Wisconsin? The state of Lafollette. They don’t even have many black people to hate. Walker is truly a steaming turd of the first magnitude.

  • gescove

    Let’s see, $4.5B in expenditures for 13K jobs. That’s nearly $350,000 for each job. That’s a hefty price tag. And that’s accepting all the magic asterisks, unicorn glitter, and fairy dust that are the underlying assumptions. Your modern Republican fiscal conservatives, folks.

  • Aynwrong

    I’ve got nothing original left to say about the obvious racket Republican politics has become so, here’s this.

  • muselet

    I look forward to the flurry of op-eds about this scandalous waste of taxpayer dollars! by the Walker administration.

    It would make a nice change from the California is doomed! op-eds I’ve endured lately.


  • Badgerite

    The projected date of breaking even is 2043? And that’s without interest. Hmmmm. When I think of all the good for this state and its people that could be accomplished with that kind of money in the inner city of Milwaukee or just on small local projects I want to hit someone in the face. Walker comes to mind.

    • gescove

      He does have compelling lazy-eyed, smirking Punch Me face, doesn’t he?

      • Badgerite

        Well he is rather arrogant, I think, but it is the policies that bother me.
        They are just not good for the long term health of the state of Wisconsin.
        Tourism and the University have always been an economic driver in this state. The University attracted talent from all over the world and that resulted in local businesses getting started right here in Wisconsin based on their work, their efforts and their discoveries. So he attacks the University and gets the state into debt up to its eyeballs to attract workers from Illinois?
        This reminds me of when his other ‘brainchild’ the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation managed to give state funds to businesses moving jobs out of the state and also managed to not be able to account for a million dollars that got lost ‘somewhere’. But now, of course, we are talking billions.
        For an alleged 13,000 jobs. And to fill them they will try to get people to come from Illinois. This is just stupid.

  • I was in Elkhart, Indiana, over the holidays where my family lives. President Obama visited there three times during his term of office. Unemployment is so low that KFC has signs up offering a signing bonus. The RV industry can’t find enough workers to fill its factories. (Thanks Obama!)

    But most people voted for Trump and still think America is “overtaxed and overregulated”.

    Idiots (including most of my family).

    • ninjaf

      I remember the stories on how devastated the Elkhart area was because of the decimation of the RV industry after the crash. And they paid absolutely no attention to who kept what little there was there afloat. Much like my family and friends from automotive land who voted for Trump in 2016. Because reasons.