On July 26, 2017, Governor Rick Snyder signed the “Good Jobs for Michigan” package of bills into law. It was a massive, $200 million taxpayer-funded giveaway, rushed through the legislature in a vain attempt to lure FoxConn to Michigan. But it didn’t work.
Instead, FoxConn went to Wisconsin, and Michigan is better off for it. Wisconsin ended up offering $4.5 billion in taxpayer funded subsidies. While FoxConn promised to create 13,000 jobs and invest billions in Wisconsin, recent news reports indicate it would only create 1,500 jobs. Instead of a 20 million-square-foot Generation 10.5 factory to make 65-inch TVs, they are only building a 1 million-square-foot Generation 6 facility that produces smaller LCDs. As is often the case with corporate welfare, they over-promised and severely under-delivered.
But what about Michigan? Two years later, “Good Jobs” is still law, and even without FoxConn the MEDC continues to dangle your tax dollars as a lure. So far, it has awarded $57.4 million to just three companies, who promise to create 1,354 jobs over the next five years. The remaining balance will go to Fiat Chrysler (FCA), but the Whitmer administration has been tight-lipped about the specifics and the MEDC has never been known for its transparency.
It is also worth noting that taxpayers are still on the hook – and will be until 2029 - for $1.7 billion in MEGA credits FCA received during the Lost Decade of the Granholm years.
Mercifully for Michigan taxpayers, “Good Jobs” was passed with a built-in sunset of December 31, 2019. Lawmakers would be wise to leave it alone, and instead focus their attention on making Michigan a place where ALL businesses can thrive.