Michigan’s Corporate Welfare Queens Should Pee in a Cup

Last Friday, Gov. Snyder signed into law a pilot program to test welfare family members for illegal drug use. So, in the spirit of fairness for keeping all welfare recipients in line, Michigan should require corporate leaders who receive state subsidies to submit to drug testing. In truth, there was legislation to that effect introduced by Rep. Tom McMillin (R-45) last year — unfortunately it died in committee. Earlier this month, McMillan broke with fellow Republicans in the lame duck session and voted against the welfare drug-testing bill.

pee in a cup 2

So, if Michigan were to test corporate welfare CEOs and board members, just how many cups would the state need?

Michigan remains near the top of the list for handing-out corporate subsidies, second only to New York in total number of recipients, and holds fourth place nationally for cumulative dollars devoted to corporate welfare. According to the “Subsidy Tracker” at Good Jobs First, the rust belt state has doled-out $10,440,043,930 to 15,205 companies in recent decades.

Last year, Good Jobs First tallied-up what are known as “megadeals” — Michigan topped the list for brokering the most high-dollar subsidies for single corporate entities. In the Good Jobs First report, Megadeals: The Largest Economic Development Subsidy Packages Ever Awarded by State and Local Governments in the United States, Michigan was found to have made fully 29 outrageously over-the-top corporate tax give-aways — making the state the national leader, with New York coming in second at 23. Michigan forfeited a whopping $7,101,236,000 in megadeals to mostly large fortune 500 type companies for little in return. Much like Snyder’s tax breaks, these bonuses were untethered to any real and measurable job growth — they were nothing more than a trickle-down wish and a prayer.

The top ten Michigan corporate welfare queens:


For a complete list of all Michigan deals, including additional megadeals, click here. Rest assured, the state will need a lot of specimen cups.

Other findings in the report, including national trends, are equally disturbing:

  • Of all fifty states, Michigan accounted for fully 12 percent of all the “megadeals” with corporations for favorable tax environments.
  • Nationally, since 2008 the number of megadeals has roughly doubled. While the tax game has been mostly bipartisan, it is interesting to note that as states have been increasingly become politically red, and Tea Party influence has grown, so has this give-away trend.
  • The average cost per job “created” under this tax scheme is an obscene $456,000 a piece. Not a bargain, but instead the result of something termed “trophy deals” wherein states compete against each other for a manufacturing facility.
  • One in ten deals involve relocating within the same state, sometimes in the same municipality, often struck as a “retention” deal. Threats are frequently made to abandon previously agreed deals in a bid to blackmail for even more money.
  • Among the corporate goons perpetrating this on states are sixteen of the Fortune 50 companies. Among the most active tax dodgers are: Wal-Mart, all of the “Big Three” automakers, Exxon Mobile, Royal Dutch Shell, Boeing, Airbus, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Walt Disney, ESPN, Sears, Cabelas, General Electric, Dow Chemical, Amazon, Apple, Intel, and Samsung.
  • Fifty-six of these megadeals went to companies located outside the United States.

Not a wise use of taxpayer dollars. And neither is Michigan’s new law.

The Senate Fiscal Agency reports that the cost of administering the welfare drug-testing program would run between $700,000 and $2.4 million, with a potential savings of $2.2 million in reduced case loads due to positive tests where the recipient refuses treatment. The x-factor though is the potential cost to the state for administrating treatment to those who do consent. No appropriation was made for the pilot program, so the cost will be absorbed through the Department of Human Services general fund.

As the law is written, if the head of a household tests positive for substance abuse and refuses treatment,pee in a cup pee in a cup children would lose their benefits. Of Michigan’s total case load, approximately 13,000 are for “child only” benefits, which would not be subject to potential testing, leaving 19,800 households under suspicion, many with dependent children.

The Senate report estimates that about 5 percent of welfare recipients are drug users — a number similar to that of the general population — a group that includes corporate leaders.

DSCN0444Amy Kerr Hardin


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4 Responses to Michigan’s Corporate Welfare Queens Should Pee in a Cup

  1. Terry l vander molen says:

    whats good for the Goose , is good for the Gander. Any one, including corporate. These companies that pay minimum wages, & and then the worker has to go on food stamps to live is a real cop out. We the rest of the workers are paying the bill as the companies expand and get larger , getting loop holes on taxes and furniture, etc. A day’s work for a day’s pay is on the way out like the Unions. Passing a Right to work Law is also a cop out. The police , fireman,& Judges are exempt from The Pension Take of the State of Michigan. This isn’t good or sound judgement & is also Goose & Gander. This new road tax talk with gas paying the bill is good now but down the road when gas goes back Supply & demand we all will feel it in Michigan. The companies in Ind.,Ohio,will get the cheap gas there and then break are roads here traveling to their destinations because there based there due the taxes here. They also moved out of Mi., Like the kids are doing to get a job that gives you insurance& pension and &decent living. Mi. Needs to put a toll booth on I 94 @ each end & one in the middle to pay for roads that cars didn’t hurt but trucks did. These outta state heavy trucks could care less about the roads and they travel faster here than most states. Say yes to mi,is a cop out also with Iowa gettiny the money. San Diego gets the drug money benefits that is also farmed out for the State of Mi., employees thanks to the Gov. & legislative group . I could go on & on but what’s the use . This State is a Total Disaster not unlike the country with greed in their hearts

  2. Craig Edgin aka CJ says:

    Thank you for publishing this information. Its human nature to want to help, others and provide aid. This is a step in the further deduction to even basic human rights.
    Thank you, from a disabled-abled US Army vet who legally use MM for PTSD, ADHD and a host of others. I also lost my job of 19.5 years, now and then rely on assistance myself now. Why do they want me to suffer?

  3. Charles McLaughlin says:

    I feel that lawmakers should also be subject to regular and random drug tests as well.
    Being public servants we should be able to expect that they be drug free and sober.

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