[Photo of James M. Hohman]

James M. Hohman

Director of Fiscal Policy

James M. Hohman is the director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He holds a degree in economics from Northwood University in Midland, Mich.

Why Michigan Pension Reform Matters

Michigan now a national leader on fixing pension problems … more

‘Trough Truce’ on Display in Latest Debate on Corporate Welfare

Latest business subsidy gets bipartisan support and some opposition … more

Mackinac Center: Michigan a National Innovator in Pension Reform

State addresses underfunding while protecting earned benefits … more

A Map of Michigan Commute Times

Where do people make the longest drives to work? … more

Michigan's Robust Municipal Finance Model

Taxpayer protections don't stop revenue growth … more

Mackinac Center Praises Groundbreaking Pension Reforms in Michigan

State demonstrates national leadership in addressing public employee retirement crisis … more

Business Subsidies Won't Drive Growth

The Detroit News wrong on proposed business subsidy program … more

Pension Protestors Should Be 401(k) Supporters

Offering 401(k)-style benefits is good for teachers and taxpayers alike … more

If Michigan Officials Believed School Pensions ‘Vital’ They Would Have Paid for Them

State Retirement Managers Develop Convenient, Hypocritical Excuse

Tantamount to only brushing your teeth when you go to the dentist … more

Pension Reform Legislation Benefits Students, Teachers and Taxpayers

If the problem had been fixed earlier, schools could have had additional $1,600 per student … more

If School Pensions are ‘Vital,’ They Should Have Been Properly Funded

School employees are the state's largest creditors … more

Unions for Underfunding

Claims of AFSCME aside, an underfunded pension plan benefits from closing it, not keeping it open … more

A Better Way to Fund Universities

Give the money to students … more

Legislature Considers Reopening a Closed Business Subsidy Program

Good Jobs For Michigan is a repackaged MEGA … more

Michigan’s Public Pensions Are at Risk

Office of Retirement Services must explain appearance of poor management … more

Grand Rapids is a Regional Leader in Attracting People

City leads Minneapolis and Chicago in population growth … more

Proposed Corporate Giveaway Unlikely to Grow Economy

Lawmakers should consider the full costs of corporate welfare before they approve it … more

Net Domestic Migration by County

Michigan county gains and losses … more

Pension Funding Best Practices Remembered

But only when they serve bureaucrat Interests … more

The Failing Business of Business Favors

What would you say you do around here? … more

Tax Feeders Declare a Truce at the Trough

Hybrid Plan Did Not Fix School Retirement System

It is at risk of underfunding and has barely enough assets … more

In the Battle for Jobs, Subsidy Programs Shoot Blanks

More subsidies won’t improve economy … more

Michigan Already Awash in Business Subsidies

Lawmakers should reject latest proposal for more … more

Michigan Should Reject Special Corporate Developer Bills

Senate bills 111-115 being considered … more

Tax Hike Cost Michigan Households $1000

Lawmakers can afford to lower taxes … more

Michigan Taxpayers Don’t Need to Spend Another $4 Billion Annually on Infrastructure

Michigan Can Afford a Tax Cut

State revenue has grown for years … more

Use Extra Community College Money to Lower the Income Tax

Taxpayer spending is up even as student numbers drop … more

New Subsidies More about Political Development than Economic Development

Economic conditions matter more than giving targeted taxpayer dollars to developers … more

State Pension Funds Move To Risky Investments

Lack of payoff on investments is biggest driver of underfunding … more

Lawmakers Say No to Business Subsidies

Legislators Should Give Taxpayers the Income Tax Cut They Deserve

With revenues increasing, the state can easily afford to lower rates … more

Where did the Money from Higher Transportation Taxes Go?

Michigan Taxpayers Don’t Need to Spend $4 Billion Annually on Infrastructure

Recent report has been misinterpreted … more

Real Economy Creates 81 Jobs For Every 1 Promised by Business Subsidy Program

Broad improvements to the business climate help more than special subsidies … more

What Happens When the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Ends?

State could save millions by stopping ineffective subsidies … more

School Retirement System Continues to Harm Members

Michigan's failed pension system is hurting school employees and taxpayers alike … more

Clean Michigan Initiative Not the Only Remediation Fund

Other sources for environmental clean-up eliminate need for further debt … more

Where the Money from Higher Transportation Taxes Goes

A bigger budget means more money for programs beyond road repair … more

2016 Was Good For Michigan

Economy is growing and shows no signs of stopping … more

Plenty of Good Reasons to Oppose Business Subsidies

Giving taxpayer dollars to developers is ineffective … more

Subsidies Bad For Taxpayers

Bills considered in Lansing would have favored select businesses … more

Time To Fix MPSERS Pension Problem

Unfunded liabilities will grow so long as lawmakers let them … more

Profiles in Courage in Defense of Taxpayers

Cotter and Chatfield hold the line on cronyism … more

Michigan’s Pension Bureaucrats Mislead Policymakers and the Public

Office of Retirement Services tries to derail pension reform … more

Pension Officials Mislead Lawmakers

Testimony from state bureaucrats against pension reform bill is unfounded and inaccurate … more

Policy Experts Available to Discuss Key Lame Duck Bills

Mackinac Center analysts offer insights on ridesharing, pension, energy and economic development bills … more

Unions Fight their Members’ Interests on Pensions

Containing and curing pension underfunding benefits retirees, workers and taxpayers … more

Michigan Employers Create Thousands of Jobs without the Aid of Politicians

Economic development programs just transfer money to a lucky handful … more

Michigan Local Government Revenues Strong Despite Complaints

Taxpayers already provide local governments more money … more

Defined-Contribution Plans Help State Credit

Michigan's credit rating could increase after pension reform … more

$1 Billion of Tax Money Thrown Into a Growing Deficit

Michigan increased pension funding and it’s still not enough … more

Blown Away

Education Union Should Be Voice For Pension Reform

School employees deserve more than political promises … more

The Lose-Lose Situation in Pension Funding

Pension underfunding, not defined contributions, is the problem … more

State Policies Created School Pension Pain

The only real solution is to close public pensions to new employees … more

Time to End the 21st Century Jobs Fund

New Mackinac study featured in state media … more

Study Recommends Ending Michigan’s 21st Century Jobs Fund

The program has failed even by its own measurements … more

An Evaluation of Michigan's 21st Century Jobs Fund

In 2005, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm launched a project intended to stimulate he state’s economy: the 21st Century Jobs Fund. At the time the state had not yet recovered from the 2001 national recession and was suffering the country’s highest unemployment levels.
After a tough political battle to establish the program and after making a number of compromises, the 21st Century Jobs Fund was created. The program was to be funded from 2006 to 2015, and in the 2013-14 legislative session, under a new governor and Legislature, it was extended until 2019 and provided with $75 million in continued annual funding.
After ten years of existence, this program has received little attention and its effectiveness has never been measured. All government programs should be reviewed regularly, and it is time for a close look at the 21st Century Jobs Fund. … more

Understand the Emergency Manager Law Before Changing It

Michigan’s Quiet Success in Containing Retiree Health Care Costs

Simple reforms lower the burden of debt … more

Flashy Projects Generate Taxpayer Losses

A state economy isn't made up of the biggest companies … more

New Study Calls for More Spending to Provide Nothing

Higher education costs are increasing, but why? … more

Privatization Remains a Popular Practice with School Districts

Multiplier Analyses Are Prone to Abuse

Common ways to rationalize use of taxpayer dollars … more

Seventy Percent of School Districts Contract Out for Food, Custodial or Transportation Services

Statewide survey finds continued growth in school privatization … more

Michigan School Privatization Survey 2016

Click here to view the PDF of the full study.
This is the 14th edition of the Mackinac Center's annual school privatization survey. We ask every school district in the state if they outsource one of the three main noninstructional services — custodial, transportation and food services. The results from this year's survey show that 70 percent of school districts contract out for at least one of these services. … more

Business Climate, Not Cronyism, Key to Michigan’s Future Growth

New op-ed published in The Detroit News … more

A Quick Brief on the Housing Recovery in Michigan

Price of average home is approaching record levels … more

Calls to Expand Michigan’s Economic Development Programs Fall Short

New plans don't even claim to develop the economy … more

College Spending No Guarantee of Economic Success

Counting Government Workers Tells Little About the Quality of Government

Cost and quality should be the primary concern … more

Blown Away By Flawed Research on Jobs Program

Michigan spent millions with little to show for it … more

State Government Up to Its Eyeballs in Pension Debt

I Don’t Have Answers to These Questions

There aren't always easy answers to policy questions … more

State Government Up to Its Eyeballs in Pension Debt

Unfunded pension liabilities dwarf state’s other borrowing … more

Rumors of Taxpayer Spending

State job funds are expensive and underwhelming … more

Municipal Revenues Up Despite Arguments to the Contrary

Bridge Magazine article misses the big picture … more

Local Governments Cry Poor but Act Rich

If the fiscal stress is so great, why keep doling out uncompetitive benefits? … more

High Taxes Lack a Guarantee of Quality Services: See Detroit

It's about how resources are managed … more

Pension Costs Are Crowding Out Public Safety

Michigan is losing cops to retiree costs … more

Job Churn Shows Why Targeted Tax Favors Do Not Work

There is constant job loss and creation in the state economy … more

Detroit Public Schools Debt Largely Not Supported By Additional Taxpayer Dollars

The state isn't on the hook for most of what DPS owes … more

Stopping University Tuition Hikes Would Cost Nearly $3 Billion

Spending at Michigan public colleges is skyrocketing … more

State Employees' Average Cost Up to $117,000

Closing Pensions for State Employees in 1990s Saved Michigan Millions Today

Study highlights savings from defined-contribution reform … more

Reasons to be Optimistic Abound in Michigan Economy

State leads the way out of recession, but work still to do … more

End the 21st Century Jobs Fund

Are Michigan's Record Labor Force Gains Real?

Can we celebrate recent record-breaking job growth figures? … more

Legislature Considers Limiting Undemocratic Tax Hikes

Why You Should Care About Government Employee Pensions

New Bill Fixes a Pension Problem, Leaves Major Problem Untouched

Boosted pensions aren't the main cause of underfunding … more

Despite Candidate Rhetoric, Michigan Exports to Mexico Continue to Gain

Freer trade is good for Michigan and the country … more

NPR Quotes Hohman to Correct Sanders

NAFTA is not responsible for Detroit's woes … more