Movies Can’t Fix Bad Government

Published February 9, 2009

That states should be engaging in corporate welfare in these tough economic times by handing out film tax credits is dismaying (“Michigan Sees Itself in the Movies,” Corporate News, Feb. 3). Having Michigan taxpayers pick up a $122 million tab to bring Hollywood to Detroit isn’t economic development, it’s irresponsible.

While seeing Clint Eastwood roll into Michigan with a film crew may feel like a feather in Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s cap, taxpayers and businesses in her state continue to suffer. No amount of film subsidies will compensate for the jobs lost as a result of her administration’s tax-and-spend policies.
Michigan can’t afford to partake in such unashamed corporate welfare. Spending millions to bring the filming of a movie to the state will create few, if any, long-lasting jobs or long-term economic growth.

Rather than subsidizing the movie industry and begging for federal stimulus dollars, Michigan and other states need to get back to attracting jobs and boosting their economies the old-fashioned way: by reducing spending and implementing a low, broad-based tax system.

John Nothdurft
Legislative Specialist
The Heartland Institute

This Letter to the Editor was originally published in The Wall Street Journal.