Friday, March 8, 2013

WISGOP's Money Pit

As expected, the corporate-controlled Republican-controlled legislature has ramrodded through the mining bill that was written by the mining company.  Scott Walker is expected to sign it into law as soon as he returns from his fundraiser in Florida.

In doing so, they ignored their constituents who oppose the mine by more than a two to one ratio, denied hundreds of citizens their right to speak on the bill and have repeatedly told blatant and transparent lies to justify their actions.

The Teapublicans promised that this will create eleventy zillion jobs and make Wisconsin an economic powerhouse.

Only the sockpuppets and the truly deranged find this in the least bit plausible.

Before the first pick falls, before the first shovel bites dirt and before the first toxins are released into the waterways, there are a number of considerable hurdles that have to be crossed.

It will have to pass muster with the EPA and the Army of Engineers, both of which have been repeatedly raising red flags about the way the bill was written.

It will also have to survive years of court battles as the Bad River Tribe will be fighting this all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

All that aside, there is no denying that they Republicans are pushing an agenda that will not create jobs, will harm the environment and will further damage the economy, especially in Northern Wisconsin.


The mining bill proponents claim that the mine will create anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 jobs.  What they will not claim is that those jobs will go to Wisconsinites.  We have seen with the fracking mines that the mining companies are bringing people up from the South to do the work.  And we have just recently seen the mining companies in Canada import their miners from China.

They also like to point to all the jobs the mine is supposedly going to create in Milwaukee, specifically at Caterpillar, who had bought out Bucyrus.  However, the news is that Caterpillar has not been playing nice with the unions and there are serious labor struggles forming at that plant.  That's just the excuse the company would need to move more jobs to other states or even other countries, as they have been known to do even without labor strife.


Everyone and their uncle has been pointing out to the vast amount of proof that this mine will cause serious environmental harm.  Meanwhile, the Republicans have been denying this up and down and until they are blue in the face.

Except the idiot that is claiming to have written the bill that was really written by the mining company, Tom Tiffany has admitted that not only will the mine harm the environment, but it was written to protect the mining company from being held responsible for the damage they will cause:
Gov. Scott Walker's comments Thursday to The Business Journal in Milwaukee are typical: “We are going to go forward with a permitting process that still protects our natural resources. It’s incredibly important to tourism, it’s important to agriculture and timber in (northern Wisconsin). We’re not going to do something that jeopardizes that.”

But the main author of the controversial mining bill that's moving quickly through the Republican-led state Legislature admitted otherwise on Thursday.

And, with numerous groups already vowing to challenge the bill in court, Sen. Tom Tiffany also acknowledged that changes were made to the legislation to put the state on stronger legal ground to withstand such a challenge.

“The bill reflects the reality of mining. There are going to be some impacts to the environment above the iron ore body,” said Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst. “If the law is challenged and ends up in court, the judge needs to know it was the Legislature’s intent to allow adverse (environmental) impacts. That way, a judge can’t find fault if the environment is impacted.”
Despite this rare moment of honesty, the Republicans, including Tiffany, continue to deny any damage will occur.


With all the supposed new jobs, would come a boom in the economy, or so Walker and the Republicans try to tell us.  They specifically point to Northern Wisconsin as being on of the greatest recipients of this windfall of economic activity.

What the mine will do - if it is ever allowed (and hopefully it won't be) - is make the dire economic situation even worse.

Remember that the Republicans already have passed a law that the corporate tax will drop from the current 7.9% to 0.4% in 2016.  In the mining bill, they have all but done away with the tonnage tax.

Now consider this, even if the mine started operations immediately (which it won't), it would take it several years to start turning a profit.  By the time the mine would start generating a profit - if it ever does - for every million dollars the mining company rakes in, the locals will get a whopping $2,400.

That will hardly put a scratch in the amount they will be losing due to ever-decreasing revenue sharing, the loss of millions in tourism dollars ("Let's go see a big, toxic, ugly hole in the ground!" said no one ever.), the cost of shipping in potable water and the increasing health care costs due to the chemical contamination of the land, air and water.


Given all of this, it's pretty understandable that most people are against the mine.

And this doesn't even take into consideration the way the legal bills will be wracking up as the state is forced to defend the myriad of sins and illegalities contained in this bill.  For supposedly being such fiscal conservatives, one would have thought the Republicans would have wanted to pass something that is going to cost taxpayers untold hundreds of thousand - if not millions - of dollars even before the first rock is removed.

If there is a silver lining at all to this piece of offal, it is that it appears to be waking up more and more people to the fact that their elected leaders that promised them so much wealth and prosperity are not representing them at all.  Hopefully, by 2014, enough people will have become outraged enough that even the gerrymandering the Republicans did won't be enough to save their worthless political hides.


  1. And Caterpillar has said explicitly: no jobs.

  2. Again, it's worse than that- it's always worse. The proceeds tax that covers the GTAC mine allows them to deduct depreciation expense. Who cares? That means that IF the $1.5 billion project includes $200 million or so of equipment- they keep crowing about the value of buying Milwaukee mining equipment- then all $200 million will be a depreciation expense that is carried forward until it is gone. Which means the mine will have to make $201 million before it pays $1 in taxes at the new .4% WI tax rate.
    Wisconsin will not see $1 in tax for at least 10 years. Guv Walker will be long gone.

  3. If you look at the comments on the MJS site you will see Walker has again accomplished his mission....divide and conquer. The Indian bashing has not only begun but is in full force. This is nothing but an excuse for him to say when the next election roles around, "I could have created thousands of jobs, but those damn Indians wouldn't let me.

  4. Walker could have not killed thousands of Wisconsin jobs by supporting high speed rail and by rejecting legislation that made wind farms impossible to develop. Those jobs would have Badgers working TODAY. Instead we might have some jobs some years down the road with mining in the pristine Penokee Mountains.