[Photo of James M. Hohman]

James M. Hohman

Assistant Director of Fiscal Policy

James M. Hohman is assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He holds a degree in economics from Northwood University in Midland, Mich.

Michigan’s Pension Bureaucrats Mislead Policymakers and the Public

Office of Retirement Services tries to derail pension reform … more

Pension Officials Mislead Lawmakers

Testimony from state bureaucrats against pension reform bill is unfounded and inaccurate … more

Policy Experts Available to Discuss Key Lame Duck Bills

Mackinac Center analysts offer insights on ridesharing, pension, energy and economic development bills … more

Unions Fight their Members’ Interests on Pensions

Containing and curing pension underfunding benefits retirees, workers and taxpayers … more

Michigan Employers Create Thousands of Jobs without the Aid of Politicians

Economic development programs just transfer money to a lucky handful … more

Michigan Local Government Revenues Strong Despite Complaints

Taxpayers already provide local governments more money … more

Defined-Contribution Plans Help State Credit

Michigan's credit rating could increase after pension reform … more

$1 Billion of Tax Money Thrown Into a Growing Deficit

Michigan increased pension funding and it’s still not enough … more

Blown Away

Education Union Should Be Voice For Pension Reform

School employees deserve more than political promises … more

The Lose-Lose Situation in Pension Funding

Pension underfunding, not defined contributions, is the problem … more

State Policies Created School Pension Pain

The only real solution is to close public pensions to new employees … more

Time to End the 21st Century Jobs Fund

New Mackinac study featured in state media … more

Study Recommends Ending Michigan’s 21st Century Jobs Fund

The program has failed even by its own measurements … more

An Evaluation of Michigan's 21st Century Jobs Fund

In 2005, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm launched a project intended to stimulate he state’s economy: the 21st Century Jobs Fund. At the time the state had not yet recovered from the 2001 national recession and was suffering the country’s highest unemployment levels.
After a tough political battle to establish the program and after making a number of compromises, the 21st Century Jobs Fund was created. The program was to be funded from 2006 to 2015, and in the 2013-14 legislative session, under a new governor and Legislature, it was extended until 2019 and provided with $75 million in continued annual funding.
After ten years of existence, this program has received little attention and its effectiveness has never been measured. All government programs should be reviewed regularly, and it is time for a close look at the 21st Century Jobs Fund. … more

Understand the Emergency Manager Law Before Changing It

Michigan’s Quiet Success in Containing Retiree Health Care Costs

Simple reforms lower the burden of debt … more

Flashy Projects Generate Taxpayer Losses

A state economy isn't made up of the biggest companies … more

New Study Calls for More Spending to Provide Nothing

Higher education costs are increasing, but why? … more

Privatization Remains a Popular Practice with School Districts

Multiplier Analyses Are Prone to Abuse

Common ways to rationalize use of taxpayer dollars … more

Seventy Percent of School Districts Contract Out for Food, Custodial or Transportation Services

Statewide survey finds continued growth in school privatization … more

Michigan School Privatization Survey 2016

Click here to view the PDF of the full study.
This is the 14th edition of the Mackinac Center's annual school privatization survey. We ask every school district in the state if they outsource one of the three main noninstructional services — custodial, transportation and food services. The results from this year's survey show that 70 percent of school districts contract out for at least one of these services. … more

Business Climate, Not Cronyism, Key to Michigan’s Future Growth

New op-ed published in The Detroit News … more

A Quick Brief on the Housing Recovery in Michigan

Price of average home is approaching record levels … more

Calls to Expand Michigan’s Economic Development Programs Fall Short

New plans don't even claim to develop the economy … more

College Spending No Guarantee of Economic Success

Counting Government Workers Tells Little About the Quality of Government

Cost and quality should be the primary concern … more

Blown Away By Flawed Research on Jobs Program

Michigan spent millions with little to show for it … more

State Government Up to Its Eyeballs in Pension Debt

I Don’t Have Answers to These Questions

There aren't always easy answers to policy questions … more

State Government Up to Its Eyeballs in Pension Debt

Unfunded pension liabilities dwarf state’s other borrowing … more

Rumors of Taxpayer Spending

State job funds are expensive and underwhelming … more

Municipal Revenues Up Despite Arguments to the Contrary

Bridge Magazine article misses the big picture … more

Local Governments Cry Poor but Act Rich

If the fiscal stress is so great, why keep doling out uncompetitive benefits? … more

High Taxes Lack a Guarantee of Quality Services: See Detroit

It's about how resources are managed … more

Pension Costs Are Crowding Out Public Safety

Michigan is losing cops to retiree costs … more

Job Churn Shows Why Targeted Tax Favors Do Not Work

There is constant job loss and creation in the state economy … more

Detroit Public Schools Debt Largely Not Supported By Additional Taxpayer Dollars

The state isn't on the hook for most of what DPS owes … more

Stopping University Tuition Hikes Would Cost Nearly $3 Billion

Spending at Michigan public colleges is skyrocketing … more

State Employees' Average Cost Up to $117,000

Closing Pensions for State Employees in 1990s Saved Michigan Millions Today

Study highlights savings from defined-contribution reform … more

Reasons to be Optimistic Abound in Michigan Economy

State leads the way out of recession, but work still to do … more

End the 21st Century Jobs Fund

Are Michigan's Record Labor Force Gains Real?

Can we celebrate recent record-breaking job growth figures? … more

Legislature Considers Limiting Undemocratic Tax Hikes

Why You Should Care About Government Employee Pensions

New Bill Fixes a Pension Problem, Leaves Major Problem Untouched

Boosted pensions aren't the main cause of underfunding … more

Despite Candidate Rhetoric, Michigan Exports to Mexico Continue to Gain

Freer trade is good for Michigan and the country … more

NPR Quotes Hohman to Correct Sanders

NAFTA is not responsible for Detroit's woes … more

Michigan Corporate Welfare’s Secret Giveaway: $1 Billion in 2016

State refuses to disclose how much each company gets … more

Tax Cuts Beat Selective Favors in Boosting Economic Growth

Charter Schools Are Not to Blame for Pension Woes

The way to catch up on underfunding is not to rope more people in … more

Grand Rapids: Michigan's Boomtown

Recovered from recession and grown beyond its 2000 peak … more

Governor’s Budget Pays for Medicaid Expansion with a Gas Tax

And spending continues to increase … more

Higher Education Subsidies: Is College More ‘Affordable’ for Those Who Don’t Go?

Gov. Snyder’s budget proposal hikes cost to taxpayers … more

Tax Cuts Beat Selective Favors in Economic Growth

Only broad changes will improve the state's economy … more

School Transportation News Features Center Study

Survey of school service privatization  … more

College Grads Attracted to Opportunity Before Bike Lanes

To increase college grads, increase opportunities for all … more

Pension Reform Failure Cost Michigan Taxpayers $6 Billion or More

It harms current employees and retirees as well … more

Michigan Universities Doing Just Fine

And without more taxpayer money … more

The Real Problem with Government Pensions

Hint: It's not markets or greedy workers … more

Survey Reveals How Schools in Different States Compare in Privatizing Services

Pennsylvania leads the way among five states surveyed … more

Don’t Blame Employees for Pension Underfunding

Liabilities caused by lack of investment returns … more

School Support Service Privatization: A Five-State Survey

Pension Underfunding Has a Cause — But it is Not Smaller Workforces

Pensions do not operate like Social Security … more

Misdiagnosing the Cause of Pension Problems

Neither revenue sharing nor suburb-dwellers caused  underfunding … more

House Members Right to Be Skeptical of Server Farm Favors

Capping Retirement Contributions Changes Few District Incentives

State aid could easily fluctuate … more

Do Not Assume Economic Development Spending is Effective

Is economic development a nuclear arms race? … more

Beware Claims of State Budget Cuts

Pension Predictions Fall Short

Defined-benefit plans don't get funded, they get underfunded … more

House Road Bill Could Be Better, but a Step in the Right Direction

A mix of new and existing revenues to fund road repair … more

Beware Claims of State Budget Cuts

Revenues are increasing … more

Tax Cuts on Sale: Save Up to 10 Percent on Income Tax Rate Cuts

How to Improve Economic Development Transparency

State considers changes to economic development disclosure … more

Schoolchildren, Teachers, Taxpayers Harmed When Pension Managers Assume Too Much

The realities of Michigan's $26.5 billion pension liability … more

Unions Should Get Serious About Pension Underfunding

A $2.7 million shortfall causes concern in Grand Rapids … more

Results of Privatization Survey Published in State Media

70 percent of schools contract out for some services … more

School Support Service Contracting Reaches 70.8 percent

Growth in Food Service, Custodial and Transportation Services Returns After Slow 2014 … more

Number of Michigan Schools Privatizing Services Grows to 70 Percent

New total up from 66 percent in 2014 … more

Politicians Misrepresent Road Funding Bills to Promote Tax Hike

Film Incentives Clearly Hurt

Studies show a lack of positive economic impact … more

So Long Film Subsidies

Other economic development programs should be next … more

'Learning In Progress' on Legislative Roads Proposals

How to make Senate’s tax cut trigger the real deal … more

State Press Covers the End of Film Subsidies

Hohman comments on bill signed into law on July 10 … more

Gov. Rick Snyder Signs Bill Ending Film Subsidies

State has granted over $450 million in corporate welfare for the movie industry since 2008 … more

Progressive State Income Tax Would Damage Michigan’s Economy

“Progressives” should be careful what they wish for … more

MLive Gets Senate Roads Plan Wrong

No spending reductions required in Senate plan … more

It is Fine to Get Detroit Out of the School Pension System

Other districts already pay for Detroit's liabilities … more

Media, Voters, Draw on Mackinac Information on Prop 1

Incomplete Analysis of Pension Scheme Bill Paints False Picture

Fiscal Agency ignores benefit spiking costs, underfunding risks … more

House Road Plan Secures Road Funding

Understanding proposed earmarks for road funding. … more

Michigan’s Economic Recovery More Than Just the Auto Industry

Unfunded State Employee Pension Liabilities Remain at $6.2 Billion

Closing the system is saving taxpayers from future liabilities … more

Michigan's Economic Recovery More Than Just the Auto Industry

Non-auto manufacturing has made a huge comeback … more