[Photo of Jack McHugh]

Jack McHugh

Senior Legislative Analyst

Jack McHugh is the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s senior legislative analyst and editor of MichiganVotes.org, a unique Web site that puts the activities of the Michigan Legislature at citizens’ fingertips. Since the site was launched in 2001, McHugh has written or edited concise, plain-English descriptions of every bill, vote and amendment in the state House and Senate: 12,000 bills; 10,000 roll call votes; 8,000 amendments; and 2,400 new laws. These can all be searched and sorted on the MichiganVotes.org Web site.

McHugh’s experience prior to joining the Center is wide and varied. He has been a floor trader in the treasury bond and gold futures “pits” of the Chicago commodity exchanges, writer and real estate developer. He entered the Michigan political and public policy scene in 1994, spending six years as a legislative chief of staff in the House of Representatives.

McHugh has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in political science from Central Michigan University (where he completed two highly relevant research projects, “Analyzing Michigan House Voting Records Using the ‘MichiganVotes.org’ Database” and “Analysis of Appropriations to Michigan’s Public Four-Year Universities, with Recommendations”).

Jack McHugh’s essays on public policy issues have appeared in The Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The Grand Rapids Press and many other newspapers. He is also co-author of a book on Midwest mountain bike trails.

Stealing From the Future

A “Way Forward” for Michigan?

Paying More to Protect the Privileged

The dirty little secret is that Michigan pays too much for the government it gets. … more

Fast-Growth States Have Lower Taxes — Not More Grads

The 10 states with the lowest tax burdens are growing at an average rate of 2.6 percent — almost double Michigan’s growth rate and 34 percent faster than the national average. … more

Bigger Taxes or Smaller Government — Let the People Decide

Many suspect that the political establishment has elevated government and school employees into a privileged class to be protected at all costs from economic changes that affect everyone else. … more

Contradictions and Spurious Conclusions

Doom for Whom?

When politicians and their lieutenants prophesy doom if spending is cut, it pays to question what they define as “doom,” and for whom. … more

Stop Punishing Michigan Investors

What’s unique about state business taxes is the manner in which they target a narrow and highly desirable group — persons willing to invest in the state. … more

Businesses Taxes: A Pernicious Sham

Taxes Do Matter

Regulations Run Amok in Michigan: Part Two

Regulations Run Amok in Michigan: Part One

Federal-Mogul Lesson: Get Rid of the SBT and Fix the Fundamentals

What will it take before government understands that gimmicks don’t work, and that only fixing the fundamentals of our business climate through broad-based reforms will? … more

How To Replace the SBT With Nothing (Viewpoint on Public Issues)

Here’s how to save $1.855 billion by injecting competition into government operations, providing public employee fringe benefits comparable to (generous) Private-sector plans and eliminating non-core functions. … more

MSAs Increase Freedom and Choice

More diplomas, more ivory tower research won’t cure Michigan’s ills

How To Replace the SBT With Nothing

Patterson: Blow Up the Single Business Tax

Wal-Mart Exposes Contradictions on the Left

State should cut strings to most school funding

Insurance Demagoguery Drives Rates Higher, Not Lower

Like all such proposals, the only thing these bills would do is make insurance unavailable at any price. … more

Does the Headlee Tax Cap Need To Be Tightened? (Viewpoint on Public Issues)

So has Headlee restrained tax and spending growth? The answer is an unequivocal "maybe." In its 26-year history, the cap was exceeded just three times, and only once by enough to trigger a rebate. … more

Michigan Must Lower its ‘Rent’

It's Called "the Initiative"

Bad Food at a Good Price!

Imagine a restaurant with second-rate food, surly waiters, slow service and high prices. When the manager sees a customer getting restless, he rushes over and offers a 15 percent price cut. … more

Sticks-and-Stoning Michigan’s Economy

Michigan Reforms Election Calendar

House “Omnibus Budget” Overview

Coupons or Value?

Multiplying the Power of Informed Citizens

School officials find a new “Proposal A” loophole

Breaking the Business Tax Deadlock

Prudent Investor

Borrowing Time?

Michigan at the Crossroads

The world economy is relentlessly, ruthlessly competitive. Michigan has no entitlement to a healthy economic future. Unless Lansing finds the courage to abandon “business‑as‑usual,” the state’s economy — and the people of Michigan — will fall further and further behind. … more

The Granny Clause

An Outsourcing Parable

Well-InformedVotes.org

Spending Fix?

Gaining Ground

Power to the People?

Cut Train Subsidies to Re-connect Rural Michigan

Michigan taxpayers are shelling out almost $40 per rider on two Amtrak lines, on top of paid fares. No one has explained why it’s worth that much tax money to put a rider on a train instead of a bus or car. … more

Real World Entrepreneur Gives Economics Lesson to Government Officials

Sometimes the most penetrating economic insights come from “real people” in the rough-and-tumble world of small business capitalism. … more

Picturing a Successful Government

Michigan on the Wrong Track?

Why Are Mighigan's School Districts Borrowing More?

School districts tempted to dodge the demographic bullet with deluxe buildings and beggar-thy-neighbor policies should think twice. Instead, they should work on what really matters: making their education programs better. … more

Why Are Schools Borrowing More?

Charities Lobby for Higher Taxes

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Lack of Transparency Complicates State Budget Challenge

No one — neither the governor, nor the legislative appropriations committees, nor the heads of 20 state departments can know where all the money is going. … more

County Police Can Patrol Highways For Less

Eliminate Intermediate School Districts

ISDs have become bureaucracies in search of a mission — funded to the tune of $878 million per year in property taxes statewide — with abuses such as those at OISD as the result. … more

State Audit Questions MEDC Job Claims

Eliminate Intermediate School Districts

We're All Licensees Now

The Driving-Point Tax: River of Money Could Corrupt Cops, Courts

Minor offenses aren’t overlooked. For example, a motorist unable to find his or her proof of insurance when requested by a police officer — even if they were, in fact, insured — would be assessed $300. … more

WE Can Stop the Spam!

County Police Can Patrol Highways for Less

The state could give grants to county sheriff departments equivalent to 77 percent of the amount it currently spends for road patrols, or $128 million. This would allow sheriff’s departments to hire more deputies, and also boost their overhead to support the expanded operations. … more

New Website Provides "One-Stop Shopping" for State Budget Research