Paying Tribute to Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Oliver Stone and Alec Baldwin

Governor Snyder suggested in his budget plan that film subsidies should be eliminated. Nevertheless, he left $25 million on the table and gave the movie industry a reason to complain about uncertainty.

Here’s why he should simply have been a “semi-tough guy of near average intelligence,” and cut it completely:

Movie math
Why can’t states grasp the absurdity of giving welfare to film and TV producers?
By Michael Kinsley
March 1, 2011

Film subsidy fans ignore critical facts
Movie industry tax breaks don’t pay for themselves, they’re a drain on the state
March 04. 2011 1:00AM
Frank Beckmann

Firefighters or Mitch Albom’s Movie Subsidy?
By Kathy Hoekstra
Feb. 28, 2011

State Film Subsidies: Not Much Bang For Too Many Bucks
By Robert Tannenwald
December 9, 2010

Ernst & Young, however, says good things are happening in New York:
Study Says Film Subsidies Create Jobs, in New York
By MICHAEL CIEPLY
January 27, 2009

And Ernst & Young claims that for every $1 spent on film subsidies in Michigan the state gains $6: 
New study says film incentives bring millions of dollars to Michigan
February 21, 2011
By Jackie Headapohl

If Ernst is correct, it is hard to see why Michigan shouldn’t spend $250 million on film subsidies.

Unfortunately, the Senate Fiscal Agency has another view. They tell us that we realize ten cents in tax revenue for every Michigan taxpayer dollar spent:
FILM INCENTIVES IN MICHIGAN

A Connecticut study reaches similar conclusions:
Fiddling While Rome Burns: Connecticut’s Multi-Million Dollar, Money-Losing Subsidy to the Entertainment Industry

So, there is good reason to eliminate, not reduce, the film subsidies. We should stop competing with other states to shove money into the pockets of the film industry. They’ve survived quite well on their own ever since the invention of talkies.

However, with Ernst & Young studies showing a 6 to 1 benefit (BS though that logically is) the Michael Moore Corporate Welfare Fund can’t fail to get the Governor’s approval for more than the $25 million he’s toying with.

After all, he pushed to raise the “Pure Michigan” tourism permanent bail-in fund from $15.4 million to $25.4 million. In that case a study by Longwoods International (paid for by Travel Michigan, the tourism promotion agency within the Michigan Economic Development Corporation) purported to show a mere $2.23 was gained for every tax dollar spent. Pure Spending — GOP Finds More for Tourism Subsidies
By Ken Braun
March 4, 2011

Michigan Democrats propose health care tax surcharge

You can’t imagine this stuff, much less make it up.

On the eve of a government shutdown, Michigan Democrats are proposing a 4% tax on health care – not on Doctors, not on insurance companies – on your cost of health care. Oh, and those people Barack Obama is complaining about who are a burden on the system because they don’t buy health insurance even though they could? And those people who truly can’t afford health care but receive it anyway? Add their 4% to your taxes, too. And have a plan for finding a new Doctor when yours moves out of state.

GOP blasts Democrats’ proposed health care tax surcharge
Tax on doctors will make medical treatment more expensive, push deficit on backs of patients, health care

House Republicans today blasted a proposal by Democrat lawmakers to tax health care in order to help balance the state budget.

House Bill 5386, which is currently in the tax policy committee, levies a 4 percent tax on physicians’ gross receipts. Democrat House Speaker Andy Dillon was quoted in a recent news article saying the state would be crazy not to do it.

“It is astounding to me that right now when we are in the middle of a national discussion about lowering the high cost of health care, Michigan Democrats are actually pushing for a new tax on doctors that will make medical treatment more expensive,” said House Republican Leader Kevin Elsenheimer, of Kewadin. “Doctors are going to have to pass these costs onto their patients, making the cost of health care go up.”

If approved, the tax would raise health care costs in Michigan by nearly half a billion dollars annually.

“House Republicans proposed a plan to balance the budget without raising taxes months ago – and our plan didn’t reduce Medicaid reimbursements by any more than what the governor recommended,” said state Rep. Matt Lori, of Constantine. “There is absolutely no way we are going to support the Democrat plan to tax health care just because lawmakers waited until the last minute and now are under the gun to finish the budget by Oct. 1.”

Elsenheimer also said he was concerned the plan could negatively affect Michigan’s growing health care industry:

“Two years ago lawmakers rammed the poorly thought out business tax surcharge through the Legislature at the 11th hour, and we’ve only seen unemployment go up since. Now we’re about to repeat that mistake by adding a new tax surcharge on health care. It makes me wonder, who’s next? Who’s left to tax?”

Elsenheimer also noted that the Speaker has recently indicated that House Democrats will vote Tuesday on raising taxes.

#####

____________________________
Phyllis Browne
Communications Manager
Michigan House of Representatives
(517) 373-1690 office
(269) 806-4936 cell

The question that comes to my mind is what’s the real objective? What do they want in exchange for dropping this? Some other tax that won’t get them thrown out of office, I’m sure.

Let them pass it. Write down their names.

Just in time for Michigan’s budget discussions

Well, Michigan made the Wall Street Journal. As an example of what not to do.

It’s one of the largest experiments in smokestack chasing in American history, but one thing it hasn’t done is create jobs. An exhaustive new 100-page study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Michigan think tank, has reviewed where all the money has gone and what came of it. The study finds that for every 100 jobs that were promised with these tax credits over 14 years, only 29 arrived. Dare we call this cash for clunkers?

How about Dollars from Dummies?

…In Michigan these programs were responsible for 0.25% of all new jobs created in the last decade, according to the study. Meanwhile, in 2007 Michigan raised business taxes by $1.4 billion on other firms to pay for many of Ms. Granholm’s favored companies. Despite all the giveaways, Michigan was recently ranked as having the third most antibusiness climate among states, in a survey of executives by CEO magazine. If Michigan had simply cut taxes for every business, as Mr. Engler did in the 1990s when the state briefly led the nation in new jobs, it’s a good bet unemployment would be lower.

The study is here.

Previous related TOC comment here. The punch line:

The bottom line is that government is generally very bad at picking economic winners. Jennifer Granholm is much worse than that. She should attract all kinds of business and entrepreneurs to Michigan by eliminating corporate taxes and getting right to work legislation passed. It would not take nearly as long here as it did in Ireland for spectacular results. She should take a lesson from Sir John Cowperthwaite, but he’d be her philosophical nemesis.

Detroit

$11,000 average home prices. Not a single chain grocery store in the city. $259 million deficit. 58% high school graduation rate. 100 vacant schools. Metro Detroit area unemployment highest in the nation at 15% in June, City proper unemployment 25% in May, both stats gathered prior to GM bankruptcy. (h/t Carpe Diem)

Detroit is a suppurating cancer epidemiologically traceable to the twin toxins of racism and statism. When it metastasizes, you had better be prepared. Why do I say “when,” since it would seem that it already should have? Because the national entitlement mentality has had its expectations expanded vastly and the gap between reality and promises will affect Detroit more than anywhere else. Remember the woman swooning over not having to pay her mortgage or to fill her gas tank after a pre-election Obama rally? Multiply her disappointment by 3/4 of Detroit residents.

To those outside it would already seem like a version of Road Warrior-style apocalypse to live there. It will get worse if the yet unrealized predations of our national government are stymied. And worse yet if they are fulfilled.

Meanwhile, Detroit Police have time and money to assist in the funeral of some stuffed animals memorializing a twisted “man.” Police officials are upset. (h/t James Taranto)

2 cruisers lead Jackson mementos to cemetery

Detroit — Two hearses jammed with stuffed animals left in memory of Michael Jackson were given a two-car police escort Friday to the toys’ burial at Woodlawn Cemetery, leaving police officials highly critical of the decision afterward.

…At the cemetery, the toys were unloaded from the tops of the hearses and from boxes inside the vehicles. They were then placed into clear plastic bags and then inside donated vaults.

The cemetery donated the equivalent of three graves for the vaults. A donated gravestone also detailed the singer’s impact on the music industry and the world.

Jackson’s songs played over speakers as a service was held. “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” played as the hearses arrived …

Well, I’ve had more than enough, thank you very much. Couldn’t they have at least cremated the stuffed animals so they’d fit in a single vault?

Where the "stimulus" bill will put us all?

It always happens in California first. Victor Davis Hanson:

How does one explain how California is broke, tens of billions of dollars in aggregate debt, despite having among the highest sales and income taxes in the nation?

…So what went wrong, and why are tens of thousands of Californians leaving the state with bachelor degrees and above, while tens of thousands enter without high-school diplomas?

…So now those who want unchecked entitlements, open immigration, restrictions on resource development, unionized work forces and ever expanded government won—and won big. The problem is, again, the evil “they” who were to pay for all this in ever increased income and sales taxes, to take the blame of being racist, or sexist, or homophobic or greedy, are pretty much gone (cf. the last stand of the 1% of the state that pays the majority of state income taxes). There are no more “greedy” left to pay money or emotional penance, and the therapeutic mindset is now screaming to high heaven as it looks for its awful, but missing mean parent to make it all right.

RTWT before you listen to Jennifer Granholm’s State of the State speech today, because, as the State Journal tells us; Fed cash reviving options for Granholm:

For six years, Gov. Jennifer Granholm has had to whittle down her wish list for new initiatives as Michigan’s economy shrank.

Now the prospect of nearly $3 billion in federal stimulus money for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 has the Democratic governor cautiously looking over her dream list again. While most of her proposals won’t rely on the extra money, it will influence what Granholm says Tuesday in her seventh annual State of the State address.

…The GOP leader of the Michigan Senate, Mike Bishop of Rochester, recently sent congressional leaders a letter saying none of the 44 states facing budget shortfalls, including Michigan, “should receive federal taxpayers dollars unless they adjust the spending practices and structural problems that drove them to require such assistance.”

He worries that the administration will fill budget gaps with the stimulus money rather than making hard choices about what to cut. That, he says, is a recipe for disaster in two years when the stimulus money runs out. Business groups such as Detroit Renaissance echoed those concerns last week.

…The stimulus package will help the governor continue her efforts to promote more alternative energy jobs in Michigan and to avoid cuts to people receiving unemployment, welfare and state-covered health care. It might not provide money for other projects she proposed last year but has been unable to pay for, such as creating 100 small high schools and significantly expanding early childhood education.

…She’ll propose measures to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and give the jobless more time to pay their overdue utility bills. She’ll ask for a law banning municipal utilities from shutting off power and natural gas to the disabled and elderly. And she’ll have an insurance advocate she appointed last year propose ways to reduce auto insurance rates.

Sounds like Gray Davis to me.

I do wonder why we need any part of $3 billion to have an “insurance advocate propose ways to reduce insurance rates.” The insurance industry was already the target of increased taxes under the new Michigan Business Tax, while the auto makers were beneficiaries of reduced taxes. How’s that working out?