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Update your memes: Michigan Democrats have embraced corporate welfare

Progress Michigan meme misses the reality in 2023: In Democrat-run Lansing, corporate welfare is as popular as ever

Progress Michigan recently tweeted a Winnie-the-Pooh meme, slamming Michigan Republicans. It read: “Doing what’s best for working folks rather than corporations? What a welcome change.”

What the organization fails to mention is that Democratic leaders have prioritized corporate welfare during their first month of control in Lansing.

The Democratic trifecta that controls the Legislature and executive branch pushed $946 million in new spending in Senate Bill 7. The bill, which includes $450 million in corporate welfare, was passed without hearings or testimony before being sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who signed it into law.

Whitmer has called for sending even more money to select corporations.

“Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is looking to add $2.3 billion to Michigan’s large-scale business incentives fund over 20 months under a plan that would forestall a pending automatic reduction in the state income tax rate while providing tax breaks to retirees and lower-wage workers,” Crain’s Detroit Business reported Feb. 1.

The governor and her legislative allies, Gongwer News reported Feb. 6, were considering $180 per-tax-filer checks in lieu of the tax cut called for in state law.

As CapCon has previously reported, one way to forestall the automatic tax cut would be to move $800 million to last year’s budget. But that move would require a supermajority vote, and 13 of the Senate’s 18 Republicans could stop it by voting no.

As James Hohman, the Mackinac Center’s director of fiscal policy told CapCon: “This is a time when Republicans could say no and actually get what they want.”

Progress Michigan did not respond to a request for comment.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.