Imagine a billion — one thousand million.
The leadership in Madison has committed $3 billion — our tax dollars — to convince Foxconn to build a factory in House Speaker Paul Ryan's district in Wisconsin.
They are spending $3 billion on a foreign corporation in the hopes of them bringing between 3,000 and 13,000 jobs to Mr. Ryan's turf.
Republicans in Madison were more than nine weeks past the deadline for passing our state budget; they can't find money to fix our roads. They threw out laws that protect rivers, lakes and wetlands, and topped it off with eliminating the environmental impact statement for a factory the size of three Pentagons. They pushed it through all in less than three weeks.
In fairness though, several GOP members want us to scrap environmental protections altogether.
This is impressive for folks that couldn't pass a budget more than two months after their deadline.
Our state nonpartisan Budget Office estimates that Wisconsin won't break even on Foxconn until 2043. That is 26 years. No one has estimated how long the Foxconn factory will operate.
Mr. Ryan's district is close to Illinois and there is no guarantee that Wisconsin residents would benefit from the jobs created with their tax dollars. It would violate federal interstate commerce laws to require that the jobs only go to Wisconsin residents.
This welfare package will pay out 3,000 $1 million for some vague commitments from a foreign corporation that is known for pollution and slavish labor practices.
Our governor and state leaders will use this to get re-elected.