Perhaps coincidentally, Proposal 3, a ballot measure to impose a mandate on Michigan utilities to obtain 25 percent of the electricity they sell from “renewable” sources — read wind turbines — will come before voters just seven weeks before another taxpayer wind subsidy is set to expire.

It’s a federal “production tax credit” that gives windmill operators a $22 tax break for every megawatt hour of juice they produce.

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According to a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, this is so generous that during hours of low demand wind producers actually pay grid operators to accept their power, just to get the tax break (which can be “carried forward” and used against future tax liabilities for up to 20 years).

But unless Congress votes to extend it, the credit goes “poof” on Jan. 1. That would shift even more of the cost of imposing a 25 percent wind mandate onto Michigan electricity customers. However, those customers lose either way: If the credit is extended, as U.S. taxpayers they (we) will be on the hook for a gift worth $12 billion to wind producers over the next 10 years.

It would make more sense for government and politicians to just exit this “green” corporate welfare racket and let markets sort these things out.


Related Articles:

Targeted Business Subsidies vs. Broad Tax Relief

It Would Take 600 Wind Turbines to Replace One Closing U.P. Coal Plant

In the Battle for Jobs, Subsidy Programs Shoot Blanks

Taxpayers Deserve to Know Details of Business Subsidy Deals

Jobs Department’s Fake News: $10 Tax return for Every $1 in Subsidies

Subsidies Bad For Taxpayers

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There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, makes the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided.

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