The drama over corporate welfare has already begun to play out in Lansing.
Scene 1: Senator Mike Kowall files SB25, that expands corporate welfare and state government picking winners and losers.
Scene 2: Representative Dan Lauwers files HB4122, that would eliminate taxpayer-paid film subsidies to Hollywood millionaires and billionaires.
Subplot #1: Governor Snyder. Though he was the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's first president, after it was created by Governor Engler in the 90s, candidate Snyder in 2010 ran against the government picking winners and losers via corporate welfare. To his credit, he pushed for corporate welfare subsidies to go through the appropriations process, instead of the uncapped, unlimited "tax credit" scheme that Governor Granholm used. He's also reduced the amount of money going to these schemes, though the residual Granholm promises still haunt Lansing. Lansing, though, still gives out hundreds of millions of extra handouts every year.
Subplot #2: Democrats. There are enough Republicans in the House opposed to corporate welfare to at least stop increased handouts, IF the Dems would unite against them. That hasn't happened yet, though there does seem to be some rumblings that Dems may start opposing crony capitalism. Then-state rep Justin Amash and I would regularly team up with MEA Democrats in bashing corporate welfare in floor speeches. The MEA back then wanted to stop the outflow to the well-connected businesses in order to refocus the money on schools, while Rep. Amash and I just wanted to use that money to cut taxes. Here's to hoping the MEA ramps up their anti-corporate welfare bonafides (they even paid for a wonderful Anderson Economic Group study that showed the harm of corporate welfare schemes in 2009).