Whitmer Touts Job Numbers While Analyst Criticizes Corporate Welfare

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and one economic analyst agree that Michigan needs more workers but disagree on the proper strategies necessary to acquire them.

John Mozena, president of the Center for Economic Accountability, a nonprofit organization for transparent economic development policy, questioned Whitmer’s “doubling down” on big business subsidies while many businesses need workers. There are about 10 million Michiganders but, as of January 2021, only 4.7 million are in the workforce.

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Grant Henry and Andy Ogles Talk Historical Patterns of Large Corporations Taking Advantage of Tennessee Tax Money

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Andy Ogles and Grant Henry in studio to examine past examples of corporations receiving big grants to come to Tennessee that failed.

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Grant’s Rants: Many Problems Exist with This $3.5 Trillion Infrastructure Boondoggle

aerial view of multiple highway roads

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, guest host Grant Henry provided another episode of Grant’s Rants discussing the $3.5 infrastructure bill and the oncoming grassroots red wave.

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Florida Lawmaker Proposes Film Industry Incentives

Florida State Rep. Dana Trabulsy (R-FL-84) has filed legislation with the intention of reviving Florida’s television, media, and film industry. Trabulsy filed HB 217 which would create the Film, Television, and Digital Media Targeted Rebate program within the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).  

Companies that produce shows in Florida would be eligible for the rebate, which would cover the lesser value of either 23 percent of the total cost of the production, or $2 million.

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Despite Increased Revenue Projections, Michigan Gov. Whitmer Tells State Agencies to Brace for Shutdown

Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D-MI) State Budget Director Dave Massaron instructed state department heads to begin preparing for a possible government shutdown, though Michigan taxpayers may have other concerns to expect from current budget negotiations.

Technically, Michigan state lawmakers are supposed to have passed a full budget for the governor’s signature by July 1, although officials have until Sept. 30 to finalize an agreement that would avoid a partial government shutdown.

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Warren Petersen, Shawnna Bolick Top Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona’s 2021 Scorecard

Warren Petersen and Shawnna Bolick

The Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona released its 2021 scorecard rating Arizona legislators this session, with just two legislators receiving perfect scores — and one of them actually scored 102 due to bonus points. Sen. Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) received an extra two points for his efforts on SCR 1001, a Senate Concurrent Resolution to terminate Governor Doug Ducey’s declaration of emergency on COVID-19. The resolution was highly critical of Ducey, observing that “Governor Ducey has subjected individual citizens to criminal sanctions for noncompliance with the stay-at-home orders.” It did not make it through the legislature.

Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, was the only representative to receive a perfect 100. Rep. Jacqueline Parker (R-Mesa) received the Rookie of the Year award as the highest scoring freshman legislator, with 94. Petersen, Bolick and Parker were among seven legislators to receive perfect scores earlier this month from the Arizona Free Enterprise Club for their voting. 

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Senate Poised to Approve Billions for Well-Heeled Computer Chipmakers

Computer mother board

The Democrat-led Senate is poised to approve as early as Tuesday a China security bill that will earmark billions in taxpayer subsidies to the well-heeled computer chip-making industry, which saw record profits last year and doled out millions in lobbying fees and political donations.

The $54 billion in subsidies for chipmakers inside the 1,445-page U.S. Innovation and Competition Act has some seeing an unnecessary corporate welfare program that could benefit such iconic brands as Intel, Qualcomm and AMD and increase the government’s reach over free market business.

“This bill will increase government’s influence over the private sector while weakening America by increasing our debt,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), one of the legislation’s fiercest critics. “Democrats love spending other people’s money and growing government. I have no idea why any Republican would want to help them do that.”

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The Beacon Center’s Mark Cunningham: People Need to Look at City Leadership Over These Past 10 Years

Towards the end of the third hour of Monday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy, The Beacon Center’s Marks Cunningham weighed in on Mayor Cooper’s proposed 32% property tax increase stating that it was the wrong time to be doing this to the citizens of Nashville in lieu of the government-mandated shutdown and recent tornado destruction. He suggested that government cuts and freezes need to be put on the table if they are going to hinder small businesses while corporate businesses receive tax breaks and incentives.

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Tennessee Star/Triton Poll: Nashville Voters Are Pro-Medical Marijuana, Strongly Disapprove More Tax Dollars Being Paid to Corporations Moving to Nashville

  A new Tennessee Star/Triton poll indicates that while the Tennessee the Legislature was not willing to move forward with legislation legalizing the sale and distribution of medical marijuana in the state, Nashville voters are very supportive of the idea. 550 Likely voters in Davidson County were asked: “Would you…

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Virginia Residents Plan Demonstration to Stop Arlington’s Planned $23M Tax Break for Amazon Headquarters

The backlash that prompted Amazon to discard its New York HQ2 headquarters plans like a rotten apple has emboldened critics of the tax deals being offered for the Virginia headquarters site. Amazon’s New York announcement, ironically made on Valentine’s Day, showed there was no love lost between the e-retailer and…

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Tennessee, Nashville Officials Say All Is Well For Amazon to Open Operations Center With Up to $102 Million in Incentives

Tennessee and Nashville officials say they do not expect Amazon’s brush-off of New York to affect the retail behemoth’s decision to open an operations center in Music City. Amazon last Thursday said it would not build its second headquarters in New York City, called HQ2, because of pushback there, The…

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Nashville’s $15 Million for Amazon is Corporate Welfare, FOP Says

Nashville’s police union is criticizing the city’s plans to award up to $15 million in incentives for Amazon’s new facility, calling it “corporate welfare,” the Associated Press reported. The Nashville Fraternal Order of Police is calling for cost-of-living adjustments the city reneged on earlier this year amid budget woes. Amazon…

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Amazon’s $100 Million-Plus Tennessee Tax Incentives Deal ‘Unfair and Immoral,’ Beacon Center Says

The State of Tennessee’s and Metro Nashville’s $102 million taxpayer gift to Amazon is not a Prime deal, a public watchdog organization says. Amazon turned down Nashville for its coveted two new headquarters sites, called HQ2, but Nashville landed a $230 million operations center near downtown in the future Nashville…

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Report: Corporate Welfare in Tennessee Needs More Transparency

Tennessee officials hand out a good bit of corporate welfare, but they could do better to make sure the public knows how that money gets spent, according to a new state Comptrollers report. The report suggests several ways members of the Tennessee General Assembly can make matters better. As the…

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Amazon: The World’s Most Dangerous Crony Capitalist

by Rick Manning   The bedrock of American commerce – and of the broader capitalist experiment – has always been competition.  If you can build a better mousetrap, invent a longer-lasting light bulb or more efficiently churn out widgets (or in this case, clichés), odds are your endeavor will encounter success. It doesn’t…

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IKEA Corporate Welfare Documentary Earns Beacon Center of Tennessee Nomination for National Award

Beacon

Think tank Beacon Center of Tennessee is one of three finalists for a national award in the category of Best Issue Campaign. The Beacon Center was nominated for its award for a mini-documentary titled “Rigged: The Injustice of Corporate Welfare.” The Bob Williams Awards for Outstanding Policy Achievement celebrate state think…

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Tennessee Taxpayers Gave $1 Billion in Corporate Welfare Last Year

Bernstein

You, the taxpayers of Tennessee, helped give away nearly $1 billion in tax credits to corporations who set up shop here last year. State law, as it turns out, forbids you from finding out exactly what kind of return you’re getting on your investment. In other words, even though the…

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Tennessee Loses Money Spending $17,500 Per Job to Lure 1,000 AllianceBernstein Employees to Nashville from New York City

Tennessee Capital building

A $17.5 million tax incentive from the state of Tennessee to lure 1,000 jobs to Nashville–$17,500 per job—came at the expense of taxpayers to lure well-paid corporate executives when they already were drawn to the state’s other features like a favorable tax structure, experts say. The Tennessee Department of Economic…

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Tennessee Pastors Network President Dale Walker Decries ‘Big Liquor’s’ Property Tax Break

On the heels of Governor Haslam’s signing a law to formally exempt a certain type of property tax of the world-famous distillery Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Company, among others, Tennessee Pastors Network President fired back, denouncing the move as another victory for ‘Big Liquor.’ “Tennessee Republicans, the party of Big Liquor, continue to insult…

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Pure Foods Goes Bankrupt After Benefiting From $1.2 Million in Tennessee State Economic Development Funds

Less than two weeks before Governor Haslam introduced his IMPROVE Act centered on a gas tax increase for road funding, Pure Foods, Inc., a recipient of $1.2 million in state economic development funds, filed for bankruptcy.   The $1. 2 million from the state’s FastTrack Economic Development (ED) Fund did…

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