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Every Thursday afternoon, Michigan Radio's All Things Considered Host Jennifer White takes a closer look at the issues affecting Michigan politics with state political analysts including Ken Sikkema, Susam Demas, Debbie Dingell, Bill Ballenger and others.

Political roundup: Even with $10 million cut, corporate subsidies here to stay

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
Courtesy of Governor Snyder's office
Governor Rick Snyder

Recent blogs from the free-market think tank the Mackinac Center for Public Policy applauded Governor Snyder's$10 million cut to what it calls "the state’s corporate and industrial handout complex." 

The blog goes on to say its research shows one-third of all deals approved between 2012 and 2016 were in, or are in, some stage of default, or had already been dismissed from the program outright.

Stateside's Lester Graham spoke with Vicki Barnett, former mayor of Farmington Hills and former Democratic legislator, and Ken Sikkema, senior policy fellow with Public Sector Consultants and former Republican majority leader in the state Senate, about why the state of Michigan is in the business of subsidizing businesses.

Barnett sees Michigan’s role in subsidizing businesses over the past six years as problematic because businesses that received grants oftentimes fell short of delivering the jobs they had promised to create.

Sikkema said the larger issue is the fact that the state must subsidize some business development, such as large, corporate headquarters, in order to keep up with other states' subsidizing programs.

Governor Snyder’s original plan was to cut taxes for businesses, Barnett points out, “but when that was not successful, the subsidies have come back.”

Listen above to hear more about the intent of the bill and whether Snyder was "choosing winners and losers." 

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