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Mindboggling.

Scott Walker proclaimed "Wisconsin is Open for Business" loudly after his election in 2010, but it's been open for business to screw us long before that.  Walker just made it easier and more profitable.

Sadly, I can't get the video to embed, but it's well worth watching (transcript provided below the video).

FOX6 investigated the tax records of 25 of the largest companies operating in Wisconsin.  A handful — like Home Depot, Microsoft, Exxon-Mobil, and Harley-Davidson are paying millions of dollars in state income taxes. The vast majority of corporations are avoiding them. More than two-thirds did not pay any state income taxes from 2010 to 2011.

A.O. Smith, Actuant, Brady, Briggs & Stratton, Fiserv, GE, Joy Global, MillerCoors, Rockwell Automation and several others all paid no state income taxes.

Bucyrus paid no income tax in 2010 and 2011 before being bought by Caterpillar — but in those years, it garnered more than $20 million in corporate income tax credits, cash grants and loans.

(bolding is mine)

That's right, 2/3 of the 25 top businesses in Wisconsin paid NO state taxes at all.  And what's worse, is that most of them are getting tax credits and subsidies from the state as well as local and county governments.  Sweet deal for them.

However, Walker still thinks business pays too much.

Walker has said on many occasions that his goal is to lower the overall tax burden.  Corporate taxation is a complicated topic.  In addition to paying state income taxes, companies also pay property and unemployment taxes.

A FOX6 analysis of the last two state budgets shows that the state of Wisconsin spends at least $1.5 billion a year on tax credits for businesses — that’s ten percent of the state budget, or about 270 dollars per person.

“Until we can lower the overall rates, we want to have at least some ammunition to go after these employers and to keep them here,” Walker said in an interview.

A recent survey of 341 Wisconsin CEOs shows business leaders feel squeezed by the state.

10% of our state budget goes to tax credits for business.   $1.5 billion dollars and hundreds of millions of that goes to businesses that pay no taxes.  

LET ME REPEAT THAT:  One out of every $10 in our state budget goes directly into the hands of business in the form of tax credits!  And that doesn't even factor in the loans and direct subsidies these guys are getting from WEDC.

How can business still claim to be "squeezed" by the state when they've never had it so good?

Of course, Walker and his Republican band of Not So Merry Men aren't outraged at that.  Not one bit.  Their outrage is saved for the poor and working people in this state who have suffered cut after cut after cut to education, opportunity, social services, and even basic government services because of Walkers slice and dice approach to budgeting.  

His largess has been saved for his pals and campaign donors.  He even closed the Wisconsin Department of Commerce and replaced it with a quasi-private agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which started handing out hundreds of millions of dollars in "loans" (of which records were promptly "lost") and "subsidies" into the ever grasping hands of business.   Naturally, Walker appointed himself to head that agency as well as a plethora of his cronies.

Business gets the bucks and everyone else gets the shaft.  It's the Walker Way.

Provide 10% of the state budget to business, ensure that pals don't pay a cent, but make sure to not only refuse Medicaid expansion, but reduce eligibility from 130% of poverty level (a really low level) to 100% of poverty level so you kick 92,000 Wisconsinites off Medicaid.  Worse, none of those folks qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act because it was designed to subsidize those who don't qualify for Medicaid and not those who do.  Double Bonus Walker Way (reward friends and bash poor people some more).

To be fair, this has been going on since before Walker, but it's on steroids now.  Same modus operendi as always, too:  threaten to leave and layoff workers unless they get what they want.   States and local communities always cough up what business wants, too, in order to save those jobs in an economy where unemployment is high.  But even if unemployment isn't high, business generally gets what they want anyway, the same way sports teams always seem to squeeze tax money for new facilities;  the threats repeated often get taken seriously and they get what they want with taxpayers footing the bill.

It's not a whole lot better on the federal level with many of our largest corporations paying no taxes.

It's time for this to change.

.  

Originally posted to Puddytat on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Alms for the taxpayers (33+ / 0-)

    No money to fix schools or potholes, but plenty of largess for big business.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:08:21 PM PDT

  •  Why are these evil-doers like Walker (12+ / 0-)

    so anxious to shovel so much more money onto the already large piles of cash the wealthy have accumulated?
      Is there some perverse pleasure in hobbling poor and middle-class folks in order to accomplish this?

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:28:45 PM PDT

  •  The best governer Koch money can (7+ / 0-)

    buy. For them and their cronies.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:32:17 PM PDT

  •  Someone should do the math to (7+ / 0-)

    figure out how much we "spent" on each job that was lost under Walker's rule.  

    Not sure what the official figures are for lost jobs but it would be an interesting figure to publish:  $100 given to companies for each job lost to the working person?

    It would be a pleasure to turn that whole meme around about how tax breaks bring the jobs here.

    The fact that 66% of our for-profit businesses do not pay taxes is sickening.  Next time some of my out-of-work, dye-in-the-wool repubs mention their dire situation (and it is, I am not minimizing their situation) I will make sure to give them this statistic and emphasize that the source is their go-to databank.

  •  are the Dems in WI up in arms about this? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, Empower Ink, hnichols, jorogo

    are state blogs covering this?

    in the past you have said that the media in the state is part of the support system for corporations and Republicans. So, I will ask again - this sure is another very significant story and in a democracy with informed voters, the media have a responsibility to inform the public

    but we now have an oligarchy that runs with money from the rich and back to the rich

    and the sheep continue to watch TV and shop their hearts out

    are there third party movements in the state that can run on these issues?

    •  This was a report on Fox 6 in Milwaukee (5+ / 0-)

      Very surprising to see it there.  While it's been covered on a progressive radio show that covers south central Wisconsin,  the rest of the media hasn't picked up on this big story and that's standard operating procedure for them.

      Frankly, because it tells such a big story about who the real moochers are, I'm not surprised corporate media has ignored this story like the plague.  

      It's Pravda around here with a few exceptions.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:12:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good for Fox 6 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat, bearsguy

        I worked there for a few years. Most of the news staff was good people stifled under Fox News pressure. I also must compliment management on the fact that their behind-the-lights staff was incredibly diverse, as much as the reality of our culture is. Local coverage usually escaped the opressive hand of Roger Ailes. And for this local coverage, good on them!

        "All war is stupid" - JFK

        by jorogo on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:00:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well What is really stopping (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GeoffT

          some of these Reporters from just saying the heck with it and Investigating, exposing and asking that 1 question? Have some signed a "Pledge"? Example, A question was raised about MJS being Complicit with Walker, How did someone from Walkers Staff submit an article under a name from the Hospital Complex and it was published, How does that happen?

  •  To top it off, Give Incompetents a Promotion!! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, Don midwest, hnichols, ranton, marina

    And we wonder where $8.6 mil in Hud Funds went. http://uppitywis.org/...

  •  Just to put things in perspective: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat

    Texas is .52 on the dollar that goes to corporate welfare in the race to the bottom. Texas also has the highest rate of minimum wage employees per capita in the Union.

    It is every person's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what they takes out of it. - Albert Einstein (edited for modern times to include everyone by me!)

    by LeftieIndie on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:10:45 PM PDT

  •  I'm guessing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jorogo

    that the Tea Party is livid that these company's paid no taxes and still others are getting tax credits and subsidies.

    I would like to see a camera shoved in one of their smug faces and have them answer to this bullshit. They helped bring this hammer down on the people and they should be confronted.

    "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis Brandeis

    by wxorknot on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:46:16 PM PDT

  •  Are they paying payroll taxes? Use Taxes? Or (0+ / 0-)

    Property taxes?  Unemployment taxes? It's misleading to focus on one of many taxes that companies pay to a state.  What is the total tax burden for a company?

    The economy recently went through a serious downturn, so it's not unreasonable that many companies did not pay income tax.  However, their overall contribution to the state of Wisconsin includes a lot more than income tax.

    "If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all." — Oscar Wilde

    by chicagobama on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:47:06 PM PDT

    •  Unless all these companies had no profits, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Puddytat

      paying no income tax just doesn't cut it. Anyone who's not homeless pays property tax (even renters, indirectly), and all of us pay sales tax. But income with no income tax?.....just doesn't happen for prols.

      "All war is stupid" - JFK

      by jorogo on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:09:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seriously? (0+ / 0-)

      These are the TOP 25 companies who paid ZERO and others who paid less state income than any one of their workers.  Many of them have property tax "deals" with the local communities that they've extorted, as well.

      These are guys who have no shame.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:26:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Puddytat, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, bearsguy

    Has Mary Burke even approached you yet, to handle messaging for her campaign? I mean, if there's anything that should get voters to the polls.....

    If not, why not?.....Discuss......

    "All war is stupid" - JFK

    by jorogo on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:50:13 PM PDT

    •  Why would she? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bearsguy, jorogo

      She wouldn't know me.  I'm a nobody.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:27:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Puddy, Yes You are (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jorogo, madcitysailor, Puddytat

        somebody, Don't sell yourself short. You have enlightened and Informed Many. That does count for something. You have a Voice that points out the Wrongs that have taken Place. IF no one was willing to speak out like yourself, Then where would we be? Keep up the Great Job!!

      •  Yeah, well that was a bit tongue-in-cheek, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat

        but meant to point out the absurdity of talking jobs, jobs, jobs, yet never marrying the lack thereof to this free ride for very well-to-do employers. This juxtaposition should be hammered on from Walker's primary political opposition.

        And please don't discount for a moment all the good you do here!

        "All war is stupid" - JFK

        by jorogo on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 06:47:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If those companies paid state taxes in Wisconsin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madcitysailor

    ...Wisconsin probably wouldn't have a structural budget deficit (yes, despite Walker's claims of a surplus, WI actually has a structural deficit).

    There are three natural adversaries of the progressive movement: Republicans, the Democratic establishment, and the mainstream media

    by DownstateDemocrat on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 06:42:50 AM PDT

  •  Not quite on the Medicaid (0+ / 0-)
    make sure to not only refuse Medicaid expansion, but reduce eligibility from 130% of poverty level (a really low level) to 100% of poverty level so you kick 92,000 Wisconsinites off Medicaid.  Worse, none of those folks qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act because it was designed to subsidize those who don't qualify for Medicaid and not those who do.  Double Bonus Walker Way (reward friends and bash poor people some more).
    A prototype drafting of the PPACA had a particular sop to insurers' interests in the hopes of getting more votes for it: those between 100% and 133% of the FPL would have the choice between Medicaid and subsidized exchange insurance.  However, this didn't seem to be changing any congresscritter's vote so it was redrafted to make the Medicaid expansion compulsory and put the 100-133% cohort on it.  Then the SCOTUS ripped that off, re-exposing the insurance exchange subsidies for the 100-133%-ers which had been fortunately overlooked the followup redrafting.

    The 100-200% of FPL cohort in Wisconsin who have been kicked off BadgerCare or BadgerCare Plus are all eligible for exchange subsidies.

    The principal Medicaid issues in Wisconsin are twofold:

     1. Keeping a set of childless adults off Medicaid for 3 months in order to pay for his refusal to accept expansion dollars for 3 months to keep parents on Medicaid for 3 months before kicking them off onto the exchange.
     2. Policy of hiding Medicaid and exchanges where Wisconsinites can't see them.  Where I am I've seen MNsure adverts on TV, and Hulu ads for healthcare.gov.  Zero from state government.

    Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

    by GeoffT on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 10:50:40 AM PDT

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