Corporate welfare – using your tax dollars to subsidize Michigan businesses in the name of creating jobs – is not a new idea. But it is a terrible idea.
Michigan tried to go Hollywood in 2008 with $500 million in film subsidies… and that flopped harder than “The Love Guru.” No permanent jobs were created, and film studios bolted as soon as the taxpayer-funded handouts dried up.
Corporate handouts are bad for business.
But don’t take my word for it. Just look at the numbers. Just two years ago, state lawmakers and then-Governor Rick Snyder enacted the so-called “Good Jobs for Michigan” program to hand out millions in tax dollars to companies that promise to create hundreds or thousands of jobs.
Two years later, the program has awarded $57.4 million to just 3 participating companies, all to the tune of a staggering $42,000 per promised job.
You would think this would make for an open and shut campaign finance complaint for Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, but you would be wrong.
This past January, Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wrigglesworth knowingly used public resources to announce his re-election campaign. Wrigglesworth, a first term Democrat, admitted he “made the mistake of using a county owned platform [to announce his re-election], which I should not have done.''
If the admission of the accused wasn’t enough to persuade Secretary Benson to find a violation, you’d think fellow Democrat and Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum admonishing the law breaking lawman for his “clear intent to use County resources to further [his] election to office” would do the trick.
Again, you would be wrong.