Fiddling on the edges of Statism

State Senate Finance Committee Chair Nancy Cassis (R-Novi) says, “Legislation needed to address MEGA audit findings” 

MEGA is the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).  The Senator is concerned because:

A major finding by the state auditors was that the strategic fund’s procedures were not sufficient to validate the summary information detailing job claim and wage data maintained by the companies. Auditors reported 10 of 15 of those sampled, or 67 percent, of companies failed to submit all requested information needed to verify the data for the tax credit and often relied on self-reporting for new jobs and payroll figures.

Inadequate procedures? That’s what needs to be corrected? I don’t think so. MEGA doesn’t need new legislation and MEDC doesn’t need reform. They need to be eliminated.

I am extremely concerned about the impression of MEDC inflating job creation numbers in press releases, especially with the strategic fund’s failure to verify job and wage numbers before giving out a number of refundable tax credits. These actions over time could significantly erode the public’s trust and result in an inability to measure the program’s effectiveness to create jobs.

It’s maddening that Senator Cassis accepts the idea that the State of Michigan should be picking economic winners and losers. It’s laughable she’s focused on “measuring the program’s effectiveness to create jobs,” when, in fact, no government agency has ever done so. 

Sadly, her views accord with those of GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder, who is calling for MEDC “reform.” It’s worth noting Snyder was MEDC’s first Director, and after leaving that position was himself a beneficiary of $7.5 million in MEDC funds.  

The GOP message? If the right people are in charge, corporatism is a good idea.  Vote for us, we can do a better job of managing the corporate welfare state.

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