Mackinac Center in the News

Faith and Hope in Charity

New state law shouldn't impact giving, Center analyst says. … more

Side-by-Side Comparison

New database provides 'context and performance' details. … more

Michigan Pension Reform Saves Billions

New Center study details state employee pension changes. … more

School Revenues, Spending

New study breaks down per-pupil spending. … more

Can Ethanol Survive?

Cutting subsidies will let market forces work. … more

Center Commentary to be Featured in Freep

First installment: Gov. Snyder vs. political careerists. … more

Transit Authority Moves to Lower Costs

MichCapCon story spurs public agency to action. … more

Bonuses After Tuition Hike at Delta College

Decision questionable, according to Center analyst. … more

The 'Control' of the Liquor Control Commission

Detroit News cites Center research on outdated system. … more

Addressing Michigan's 'Shadow Government'

Interlocal agreements, stealth unionization get attention. … more

Private Colleges

Center scholars cited on U of M privatization. … more

A New Perspective

Gov. Snyder vs. political careerists. … more

It's in the Contract. What Contract?

Bill proposes no automatic pay hikes without contract. … more

School Revenues and Spending

New study examines per-pupil spending in Michigan.  
 … more

Editorial: The Money Isn't Coming

Center research on teacher health care cited. … more

Nearly $4 Million in Savings Possible

Flint schools considering privatization. … more

News Cites Center Research

Editorial: Schools aren't hurting for money. … more

Michigone

Michigan among tops in population loss again. … more

MSU Professor Dismissed for Plagiarism

Center analyst was first to spot discrepancy. … more

The Truth About School Funding

Per-pupil school cut is about 1 percent of entire budget. … more

Pain at the Pump

Center experts address gas prices. … more

Dependent 'Care'

CapCon breaks story on Ann Arbor schools' illegitimate benefits. … more

Righting a Wrong

Lawsuit seeks return of illegally taken union "dues" money. … more

Freep Columnist Cites Center Research

Public-sector employees need to pay their fair share of benefits. … more

MEDC Admits Truth About Jobs Claims

Center analysts have long questioned agency's practice. … more

School Funding Myths Forum Today

Watch a live simulcast of the discussion here… more

Center Analyst: State Needs Privatization

The Michigan Legislature should consider privatization in order to correct the state’s overspending crisis. … more

Center Receives FOIA Bills

The Mackinac Center is weighing its options regarding a bill for more than $5,600 for a Freedom of Information Act request filed with Michigan State University. … more

Prison Sentence

Spending reform is overdue in state prisons. … more

120K Jobs if Granholm Tax Hike Is Repealed

Business tax repeal will create jobs. … more

Tobacco Smuggling and Taxes

Tobacco smuggling in Illinois will increase if taxes go up. … more

Editorial: Regulatory Reform Long Overdue

Center cited in wetland dispute. … more

Legacy Costs

Michigan's unfunded liability for retiree health care. … more

'Love Boat?'

Officials actually think cruise ships will visit Detroit. … more

Economist Cites Center Work

Economist Walter Williams, in a column in The Washington Examiner, cites a study by Mackinac Center analysts on the connection between cigarette taxes and smuggling. … more

Center Staff on 'Off the Record'

Communications Specialist Kathy Hoekstra and Michigan Capitol Confidential Managing Editor Ken Braun were both guests on WKAR’s “Off the Record,” shown statewide on public television stations over the weekend. … more

Penalties for Illegal Teacher Strikes

Paul Kersey, director of labor policy, testified before the Michigan House Education Committee April 20 on legislation involving penalties for illegal teacher strikes, according to the Gongwer Michigan Report… more

Editorial Cites Center on K-12 Spending

An editorial in today’s Detroit News on education funding as compared to performance cites this research by Michael Van Beek, director of education policy. … more

Big FOIA Bills from Michigan State Police

A recent bill of more than $544,000 the Michigan State Police wants to charge the ACLU for documents regarding the use of devices that can extract information from cell phones during traffic stops is not an isolated incident, according to Michigan Public Radio… more

Center Vindicated in MSU Plagiarism Case

Suspicions of plagiarism by a Michigan State University professor uncovered last August by Michael Van Beek, the Center’s director of education policy, have been proven true, according to The Grand Rapids Press… more

Lehman: FOIA Requests Vindicated

An Op-Ed in today’s Lansing State Journal by Mackinac Center President Joseph G. Lehman explains that the fact Wayne State University altered the website of its labor studies department after the Center filed a FOIA request with the school “vindicates my organization,” that Wayne State “was perhaps engaging in politics and not just academics.” … more

USA Today Cites Cigarette Tax Studies

A USA Today story on cigarette smuggling cites research by Mackinac Center analysts regarding the “unintended consequences” — namely criminal activity — of higher tobacco taxes. … more

Van Beek: MEA 'Posturing' Over Illegal Strike

Votes by local Michigan Education Association affiliates on whether or not to conduct illegal teacher strikes is “posturing,” Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek told the Livingston Daily Press & Argus… more

Why Film Subsidies Must Go

Michael LaFaive, director of the Center’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, explains in a recent Port Huron Times-Herald Op-Ed why the Michigan film subsidy program needs to be eliminated. … more

Schools Spending More, Claiming Cuts

Bay City Public Schools claims to have cut spending by more than $24 million since 2000, but research by Michael Van Beek, director of education policy, actually shows the district will spend $5 million more this year than it did in 2000, according to The Bay City Times… more

Mackinac Center Vindicated on FOIA Requests

Freedom of Information Act requests the Mackinac Center filed against labor studies departments at three Michigan universities were a fair use of the law and the Center was ultimately vindicated, according to an Op-Ed in The Washington Post written by President Joseph G. Lehman and Senior Editor Thomas A. Shull. … more

Teachers Union Mocks FOIA Law

The American Federation of Teachers filed what WNEM-TV5 is calling a “mock” Freedom of Information Act request against the Mackinac Center today. Only government entities are subject to FOIA requests. … more

Wayne State Pulls Down Website

Wayne State University has taken down the Web pages of its Labor Studies Center in the wake of a Mackinac Center investigation into improper political content on the website, according to MIRS Capitol Capsule… more

Virtual Learning Meets Reality

Virtual learning can increase student performance and save taxpayer dollars, according to an Op-Ed by Michael Van Beek, the Center’s director of education policy, which appears in the Detroit Free Press today. … more

Schools Comment on FOIA Requests

Michigan State University and the University of Michigan will comply with recent Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Mackinac Center, according to media reports. … more

State Has to Live Within its Means

Rallies Monday in support of public-sector benefits that are out of balance were held as teachers are considering whether or not to hold illegal strikes, according to WEYI-TV25… more

Center FOIA Requests Explained

Ken Braun, managing editor of Michigan Capitol Confidential, was a guest on “The Frank Beckmann Show” on WJR AM760 this morning, discussing Freedom of Information Act requests the Mackinac Center filed last week at Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Wayne State University, as well as the ensuing death threats the Center received. … more

Center Receives Death Threats After FOIA Request

National and state media are reporting on several death threats made against the Mackinac Center after the Center drew attention for filing Freedom of Information Act requests at three public universities last week. … more

Kersey: Punish Illegal Strikers

Labor Policy Director Paul Kersey addresses illegal teacher strikes in an Op-Ed in today’s Detroit News… more

Center FOIA Requests Draw Media Attention

Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Mackinac Center was covered by The Detroit News, The New York Times, Slate, The Michigan View and MSNBC talk show personality Rachel Maddow. … more

Gold Standard Debate Tonight at Northwood

The Mackinac Center is co-hosting a debate at 7 p.m. tonight on the campus of Northwood University on the merits of the gold standard, according to the Midland Daily News.
Richard Ebeling, an adjunct scholar with the Center and professor of economics at Northwood, will argue in favor of the gold standard. He has written about that issue here. Robert Barsky, professor of economics at the University of Michigan, will argue against it. … more

Congressman Cites Center Research as Reason for His Change of Heart Over Film Subsidies

Congressman Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, who as a state legislator supported Michigan’s film subsidy program, cited research by Mackinac Center analysts as one reason he now says he “won’t second guess” plans to roll back the program, according to WZZM-TV13 in Grand Rapids. … more

LaFaive, Albom on Film Subsidies

Michael LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, appeared on Detroit television station WDIV’s “FlashPoint” program Sunday morning as part of a panel discussion on Michigan’s film subsidy program. Author Mitch Albom also appeared on the program. … more

LaFaive Discusses How to Fix Detroit

Michal LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, was a guest March 25 on “The Brian Wilson Show” on WSPD AM-1370 in Toledo. He discussed the tax and financial reforms Gov. Rick Snyder is pursuing, as well as what needs to be done to correct the fiscal, regulatory and educational problems facing the city of Detroit. … more

Schools Can Save Money if They Try

Addressing health care costs and privatizing noninstructional services could help public school districts more than make up for minor per-pupil funding cuts, Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek told the Detroit Free Press… more

'Commercial-free' Radio

Bruce Walker, former managing editor of MichiganScience and currently the managing editor of the Heartland Institute’s InfoTech and Telecom News, writes in Tuesday’s Washington Times that true fans of National Public Radio would be more than happy to pay for the service in order to replace government subsidies. … more

Fighting the Wrong War

Michigan residents opposed to Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget reforms are looking at the situation from the wrong angle, a Mackinac Center analyst told The Wall Street Journal… more

UAW Could Return to 'Bad Habits'

A push by the UAW to regain perks it gave up to help Ford avoid bankruptcy could mean the American automotive industry is “drifting toward the habits” that pushed it toward bankruptcy in the first place, according to Fox News.
Senior Economist David Littmann told Fox, “All the bad habits are going to be on the table for restoration,” including the cost of health care benefits. Littmann also addressed this issue here… more

Assessing Gov. Snyder Thus Far

Mackinac Center President Joseph G. Lehman in a column for Dome Magazine said that Gov. Rick Snyder thus far has had a “promising debut,” especially on matters of fiscal policy and taxes, but must be “equally strong on regulatory and union matters” for Michigan to succeed. … more

Teacher Strikes, Prevailing Wage

Paul Kersey, director of labor policy, was cited in two national publications over the weekend. … more

DPS Emergency Manager Faces Difficulties

Robert Bobb has faced a multitude of challenges in his two years as emergency financial manager of Detroit Public Schools, a Mackinac Center analyst told the Associated Press… more

Good Day, Sunshine

The laws that govern the freedom of information and the openness of government proceedings in Michigan “makes the process more fair,” Patrick Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, told the Port Huron Times-Herald for a story celebrating Sunshine Week 2011… more

Outstanding in Their Field?

New federal statistics call into question the long-held claim that agriculture is Michigan’s second-largest industry. … more

Editorial Cites Center on School Consolidation

A recent editorial in the Detroit Free Press on Gov. Rick Snyder’s executive budget cites a 2007 study by Andrew Coulson, an adjunct fellow with the Mackinac Center, titled “School District Consolidation, Size and Spending: An Evaluation.” … more

Film Subsidy Amounts Grossly Under-Reported

The amount of film subsidies given away in Michigan was under-reported by $72 million in 2008 and 2009, according to WDIV-TV4 in Detroit. … more

Union Officials Still Upset That They Can No Longer Take Illegal 'Dues' From Private Business Owners

Union officials continue to complain about losing millions of dollars in “dues” money that was illegally taken from small-business owners over the past few years. … more

Time to End Corporate Welfare

A New York Daily News columnist cites Michael LaFaive, director of the Center’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, in a column today calling for an end to corporate welfare. … more

Prevailing Against Prevailing Wage

Legislation has been introduced to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law, according to The Saginaw News… more

Editorials Support End of Illegal 'Union Dues' Taken From Day Care Owners

Both the Holland Sentinel and Lansing State Journal editorialized in favor of the decision by the Michigan Department of Human Services last week to stop taking illegal “union dues” money out of subsidy checks that home-based day care owners receive on behalf of low-income families. … more

Day Care Providers React to DHS Decision on Illegal 'Union Dues'

Home-based day care providers around Michigan are reacting with joy to the news that the Michigan Department of Human Services will stop illegal “union dues” withdrawals from the subsidy checks the small-business owners receive from the state for watching children of low-income parents. … more

Lawsuit Over Illegal Contract Language Dismissed

WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids reports that although a Kent County Circuit Court judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation against 10 school districts over illegal contract language, “Judge James Redford stated in his opinion his ruling is not an approval of the policy” and he is “concerned it was even included in the collective bargaining agreements.” … more

National, State Media Covering DHS Decision to End Stealth Unionization of Day Care Providers

National and statewide media are reporting on the decision by the Michigan Department of Human Services to stop taking illegal “union dues” out of subsidy checks sent to home-based day care providers on behalf of low-income families. … more

Light Rail Light on Common Sense

Jarrett Skorup, research associate for online engagement, writes in an Op-Ed in today’s Grand Rapids Press that building a new light rail system in Detroit would be repeating the mistakes of the People Mover… more

Kersey Testifies on Prevailing Wage

Paul Kersey, director of labor policy, was invited to testify before the state House Oversight, Reform and Ethics Committee regarding Michigan’s prevailing wage law, according to both MIRS Capitol Capsule and Gongwer News Service… more

Forced Unionization Case Awaiting Court Decision

The case involving the forced unionization of some 40,000 home-based day care owners and operators still awaits a decision by the Michigan Supreme Court, according to WWTV-WWUP TV9&10… more

Buddy, Can You Spare $580?

Benefits for government workers at all levels in Michigan cost every state resident about $580, Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst, told WILX-TV10 in Lansing. … more

New Film Subsidy Study Doesn't Show Full Picture

A new study that claims Michigan receives an economic benefit from its film subsidy program has come under fire, according to statewide media reports. … more

This Actually Happened

The Washington Examiner is reporting on a story Michigan Capitol Confidential first broke involving a carpenters union that hires non-union people to picket a company for hiring non-union people. … more

Expect Plenty of Debate Over New Budget

Michael LaFaive, director of the Center’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, told The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that he expects “a great deal of rancorous debate” over Gov. Snyder’s first budget, which is scheduled to be released today. … more

Electrifying: Center Cited on Battery Subsidies, Privatization

Fox News reports "Federal Government Charges Up Electric Car Market" and spoke to Mackinac Center senior economist David Littmann for the story. … more

NY Times Editorial Cites Michigan Capitol Confidential

The New York Times in an editorial Saturday cited Michigan Capitol Confidential regarding Michigan Congressman Justin Amash, R-3rd District, and his vote against certain provisions of the Patriot Act due to concerns about civil liberties. … more

MLive.com Picks Up Capitol Confidential Story

MLive.com reports on a story that Michigan Capitol Confidential broke regarding right-to-work legislation introduced in the Michigan House and Senate. … more

Eliminating MBT Good for Michigan

Replacing the Michigan Business Tax with a flat corporate income tax would help Michigan improve 26 places in the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation’s rankings, according to The Bay City Times… more

Letter Grade

Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek told The Detroit News he would give Robert Bobb, emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, an “I” for impossible in grading Bobb’s nearly two-year tenure with the district. … more

Reed to Appear on Stossel Thursday Night

Lawrence W. Reed, president emeritus of the Mackinac Center and president of the Foundation for Economic Education, is scheduled to be a guest on John Stossel’s show on Fox Business Network at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10. The show re-airs at midnight. Reed will discuss free-market economics, spontaneous order and Leonard Read’s famous essay, “I, Pencil.” … more

Chrysler Commercial a Good Use of Money?

The Washington Examiner reports that Chrysler paid nearly $9 million for the longest ad in Super Bowl history, despite complaints from the company about the terms of a $15 billion taxpayer loan it received.  … more

Union Tactics Draw Attention

The Macomb Daily is reporting about a story the Mackinac Center first covered involving a carpenters union that is targeting a Grand Rapids-area business whose employees do not belong to the union. … more

Virtual Learning Reality

The Holland Sentinel reports that a new study by Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek on virtual learning says online education can improve student performance and save money. … more

Michigan Legislature Talks Right-to-Work Law

WEYI-TV25 in Saginaw and WPBN-TV7&4 in Traverse City are reporting that the Michigan Legislature is considering protecting Michigan’s labor force under a right-to-work law. … more

Senator: Mackinac Center Research Shows Eliminating MBT Will Spur Job Creation; Balancing Public-Sector Benefits Enough to Replace Difference

An Op-Ed by state Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton Township, in today’s Detroit News cites research by Mike LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, showing the positive economic benefits of eliminating the Michigan Business Tax. … more

Oakland Press Features Mackinac Center Viewpoints

The Jan. 30 Op-Ed page of The Oakland Press featured three Viewpoint commentaries from three different Mackinac Center experts. … more

Editorial Cites Center Analyst on Bloated Benefits

An editorial in the Holland Sentinel that says the “gap between public, private sector compensation is unjustifiable, unsustainable,” cites research by Fiscal Policy Analyst James Hohman on the issue. … more

'Hire Michigan' Won't Increase Hiring in Michigan

Proposed legislation that would offer subsidies to companies the state contracts with if those companies hire Michigan-based workers would increase costs, Fiscal Policy Director Michael LaFaive told WEYI-TV25… more

MEA Wants Money, Not Accountability

A Detroit News editorial today taking the Michigan Education Association to task for blocking education reform cites research by Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek that shows public school funding in Michigan is 16th highest in the nation, yet student performance “ranks between 33rd and 39th on national fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores.” … more

LaFaive: SOTU 'Granholm-esque' in Parts

Mike LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, told The Saginaw News that President Obama’s State of the Union speech reminded him of Gov. Granholm. … more

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