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It’s Time to End Corporate Welfare in Michigan

Sep 6, 2018 by AFP

We all want our state’s businesses to do well — but should Michigan taxpayers foot the bill to provide them with tax breaks, bailouts and subsidies?

This is a practice known as corporate welfare. It entails picking winners and losers in the marketplace, based entirely on a business’s political connections. It means that companies don’t fail and succeed by their own merits, but rather by whether they are popular with those in government.

Corporate welfare is unfair to Michigan businesses, consumers and taxpayers, alike. And while many would call it “pro-business,” despite the fact that it does real harm to small business, it is certainly not pro-market.

Pro-market policies are what Michigan needs. Businesses should be able to attract Michiganders in order to stay open — and not the other way around. Taxpayers should not be responsible for propping up politically-preferred companies.

Not only is corporate welfare unfair, it is also wasteful and corrupt. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has stated that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a quasi-governmental agency responsible for the administration of “economic development programs” that advance corporate welfare, is “more about press releases than job creation,” “invites corruption” and does not justify its costs.

“All told, there is likely more than half a billion that can be saved and spent elsewhere if the MEDC closes and the state stops its business subsidies,” the Mackinac Center writes.

It’s time to end corporate welfare in Michigan. We need pro-market policies, not so-called “pro-business” cronyism. If you agree, check out this petition, and let your lawmakers know that you want Michigan businesses — and taxpayers — to be treated fairly and equally.