Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...


Everything but tech support.

0748, 31 Jul 18

Guidelines for corporate welfare

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. As businesses lineup for incentives from the taxpayers of Wisconsin, I attempt to draw some boundaries for when lawmakers should consider it. Here’s a taste:

In an ideal world, the state’s tax and regulatory burden would be so reasonable that businesses that could locate here would be fools for not doing so. Unfortunately, despite great improvement under Republican leadership, the weight of government in Wisconsin still makes it a more expensive place to live and do business than most other states. Absent a drastic reduction in the size and expense of government, Wisconsin state government must seek ways to level the playing field with other states and incent businesses to move here.

The taxpayers are not a bottomless well of money and state lawmakers need to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money under their care. If Wisconsin’s politicians are going to use the taxpayers’ money to incent businesses to grow in the state, they need to adhere to some general principles to guide them. Business decisions are naturally complex. Every decision must be weighed with the facts presented, but there must be some general philosophy underlying the decisions.


0748, 31 July 2018


  1. jjf

    Rather vague. You weren’t tempted to apply your rules to past and present agreements made under Walker?  Surely there were a few WEDC deals that didn’t bother with these guidelines.  And Foxconn, whew.

  2. MHMaley

    The Fiserv naming rights deal comes into play as the state is bribing them with $12.5 Million to build their new home office here even as they commit millions per for naming rights for a decade .

    Add in $250 Million for the new Bucks arena from taxpayers and you have corporate welfare run wild
    In a state with” Conservatives” running the show.

    And when Foxcomm runs out of our $3 Billion in aid , they finally will have their own skin in the game .

    What is “conservative “ about any of this ?

Pin It on Pinterest