WEDC wasting taxpayer money

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) uses mostly tax credits to encourage businesses to add or maintain jobs in Wisconsin.  Most businesses have been adding and maintaining jobs for years without getting taxpayer subsidies.  Why do I call them “taxpayer” subsidies?  Whenever one person or business pays less in taxes, the rest of the taxpayers pay for the difference.  Think of this next time you hear a politician brag about giving $3 Billion to Fox Conn and over $100 Million to a few other businesses in 2017 alone.

Should government pick winners and losers in business?  WEDC is doing just that.  While any business can apply for these tax credits, a small group of people pick the winners and losers.  Imagine that you have a business selling food or clothes, etc. and WEDC decides to give your competitor $20 Million in tax credits because they plan to add 300 jobs.  New jobs are good, right?  Even if they cost other taxpayers $66,000 per job. 

But are these really “new” jobs?  As a business owner, your competitor now has a $20 Million advantage over you.  Not only might you lose current employees to fill these “new” jobs, but your competitor may be able to sell what you sell at a lower price leading you to go out of business.  If your business previously employed 300 people, are there really any “new” jobs? 

Think about this as you talk with candidates this fall and certainly when you vote in November.  Tax credits to one person or company are paid by everyone else and many “new” jobs are just shuffling from one business to another.

John Cuff