Wisconsin is Broke!

So very broke. Take pay cuts, everybody:

Madison– Gov. Scott Walker is setting aside $25 million in his two-year budget bill to boost venture capital investment in the state but isn’t putting forward a plan for doing that.

The Republican governor got praise for the financial commitment from Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council and a member of the Wisconsin Growth Capital Coalition, which has been pushing for such an investment proposal.


Venture capital legislation failed to pass the Legislature last session because Republicans in the Senate and Assembly could not agree on a proposal. The measure was especially controversial because of debate over certified capital companies, or CAPCOs.

CAPCOs are for-profit entities that sell tax credits to raise money to invest in businesses. The governmental entity offering the credits determines what type of businesses the CAPCO can invest in. Critics point to CAPCO programs such as the one that operated in Wisconsin in which the private entities profit but promised jobs and economic development fail to materialize.

A program in the late 1990s that awarded $50 million in state tax credits to CAPCOs found that while two of the three funds generated nearly 1,000 jobs, the third fund “appears to have performed poorly and at significant cost to taxpayers,” according to a report from the Wisconsin Capital Growth Coalition.

So, $50 million for 1,000 jobs? So $50,000 per job. Why not just spend the $50,000 per job directly? Hell, why not spend $1,000 per job and quit gouging people for health care and salary concessions?

Walker made it clear in an interview CAPCOs are not part of his proposal.

Oh good.

But wait:

Walker said the $25 million would be in addition to other proposed economic development measures he announced in early February, which included millions of dollars in tax credits for startup companies.

The governor said the money initially would be housed in the state Department of Administration as a “placeholder” until the program can be established. Critics in the Legislature have been hesitant to give more money to WEDC, the public-private entity that has suffered from mismanagement during its brief existence, including failing to follow federal regulations and its own policies in making loans, failing to track repayment of millions in taxpayer-financed business loans and high staff turnover.

This kind of thing drives me nuts. We’re shuffling money around, subsidizing businesses to bring jobs while killing jobs that actually exist. And every single company can blackmail the public by saying they’ll go somewhere else. In the end, we’re spending more than is necessary because there’s no money to spend on what we need.

And then we plead poverty and demand another round of cuts.


3 thoughts on “Wisconsin is Broke!

  1. There you go with your facts again. Governor Crazy Pants is not interested in facts or truth or logic or reason. He’s not even all that interested in Wisconsin. He’s too busy campaigning with his base for whatever’s next. And really, I suppose in his mind he’s much to great for anything like math seeing as he’s the next Ronald Reagan.
    I called him a megalomaniac in 2011 and he has yet to prove me wrong.

  2. “So $50,000 per job.”
    I’m so old, I remember the conservative talking point being the Obama stimulus failed because it cost X-bazillions and only created y-thousands of jobs, which (calculate the math.. carry the one .. etc.) meant Z-millions per job. Or whatever it was. And we all had try to sell the message that the stimulus saved a bunch of jobs too, which everyone was told was a hard argument to make because unless idiot conservatives SEE IT WITH THEIR OWN EYES they don’t believe it.
    But we all know that’s not true. Even seeing ain’t believing.
    So conservatives are still hypocrites, and the same argument they used to denounce a project of Nobummer The Kenyan Mooslim Imposter In Chief is completely ignored when applied their glorious Teanut Governator.
    Same as it ever was.

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