For the past eight years, Michigan has cut burdensome taxes and regulations across the board, paving the way for business owners to bring hundreds of thousands of good-paying new jobs to the state.

Unfortunately, some politicians are giving credit for Michigan's booming job growth to so-called government economic development programs instead of to the state's overall economic freedom.

One such program is MEGA, which stands for Michigan Economic Growth Authority. MEGA offers selected companies tax credits and other incentives in exchange for their promises to move jobs to Michigan.

Do companies really create more jobs in states that give them special favors, but not their competitors? Industry experts say that most businesses actually prefer states with a freer and more level playing field over states that target selected companies with elaborate but gimmicky incentives.

Michigan ranks 27th among the 50 states in overall economic freedom, and taxes and regulations could be cut further to attract even more good jobs to the state.

More economic freedom for everyone, not government tax credits for a favored few, are responsible for Michigan's current prosperity. The legislature should lower taxes for everyone and eliminate programs that favor some businesses at the expense of others.

For the Mackinac Center, this is Joseph Lehman.

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