Policy

Michigan's Film Industry took $500 Million in Subsidies, Produced Laughable Number of Jobs

Economics 101

|

Oscars
Oscars

Even though Michigan's film incentive program is widely considered to be a monumental failure, there are evidently still some politicians in the state legislature that want to keep cutting checks to Hollywood. House Minority Leader Tim Greimel, a Democrat, is attempting to restore $12 million in funding to the sycophantic subsidy, according to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy:

House Minority Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, is calling for $12 million to be restored to the $50 million originally appropriated for film production subsidies in the current year. The money was cut by an executive order signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The news site MIRS reported that Greimel's spokeswoman Katie Carey said the film credit program "has been a good job creator for the state."

"I think if you did an investigation of all the tax credits, you'd find that with the film credits, that's one of the areas that has been a big boon for the state of Michigan for both job creation and economic vitality for local communities," Carey told MIRS.

Hardly. The state has funnelled $500 million in public funds to its fledgling film industry since 2008, and has almost nothing to show for it. While some jobs were created—temporary production crews, mostly—those were offset by the losses to the sectors of the economy that had to finance the film subsidy (i.e. Economics 101). The Mackinac Center checked the Bureau of Labor Statistics data and reports that in the long run, there are about as many jobs in the film industry in Michigan today as there were in 2001.

Images from Michigan May Send Film Credits to the Cutting Room Floor

Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has taken some steps to reduce the subsidy, and the Republican-controlled legislature is attempting to eliminate it entirely. Good riddance. Of all the things for the government to spend working people's hard-earned money on, enriching Hollywood is surely among the worst.