[Photo of James M. Hohman]

James M. Hohman

Assistant Director of Fiscal Policy

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

Myth Lives On, But Agriculture Still Not Second-Largest Industry in Michigan

Yes, The Legislature Changed Its Emergency Manager Policies to Reflect the Referendum

Bringing Benefits in Balance to Michigan

Public sector outpaces private sector by $5.8 billion. … more

Benefits in Balance: Benchmarking Public Sector Employee Benefits in Michigan

This policy brief reviews the growth of Michigan’s state and local government expenditures from 2000 to 2010 and finds that government employee contributions, particularly the cost of employment benefits, were a primary contributor to the increase in spending. This brief explores the kinds of employment benefits that can be received by employees, as well as the recent changes made to benefits in the government and private sectors. It finds that bringing benefits in line with private-sector averages would save Michigan $5.8 billion and provides recommendations for implementing this policy. … more

Analysis: Incorrect Population Figures Means State Has Overpaid Detroit For Past Decade

National Commentary Wrong About Detroit's Failure

More Reasons to Like the Upper Peninsula

Civil society creates state fair, poet laureate. … more

Why Detroit's Pension Funds Failed

Commentary: Former State Treasurer Diverts Blame for Detroit's Problems

Commentary: Unions Cry Crocodile Tears Over Municipal Pensions

A Look at Michigan’s June Spike in Unemployment Rate

More people are looking, not waiting, for work. … more

Detroit Bankruptcy: Why the Emergency Manager Powers Were Insufficient

Not Too Late to Close the Pension System

We're Still a 'Donor State' with Medicaid Expansion

Legislators should avoid spurious arguments to defend votes. … more

Michigan’s Gross Domestic Product Grows in 2012

Michigan's Job Growth Is More Than Just Auto-Related

Commentary: State Budget Windfall Invalidates Pension Reform Excuses

EITC 'Improper Payments' Costing Taxpayers

One more reason Michigan should drop program. … more

School Pension Fund Needs Fewer Gimmicks

Why You Shouldn’t Care (Much) About Income or Wealth Inequality

Elkhart Continues its Economic Growth

Indiana border county outpaces national job growth. … more

Michigan School Privatization Survey 2012

The Smuggling Diaries

Talent Mercantilists Running Amok In Michigan

The Common Ploy for More Funding

Universities want even more tax dollars. … more

Right-to-Work States Have Higher Incomes

When adjusted for cost-of-living. … more

Still No Link Between Higher Education Appropriations and Growth

Multiplier Analyses Often Abused

They don't justify taking the dollar in the first place. … more

A Matter of Perspective

National recovery data looks different depending on the chart. … more

The False Social Concerns About Right-to-Work

Poverty, lack of insurance not higher in right-to-work states. … more

Union Rates Not Dropping Faster In RTW States

Right-to-work not to blame for fewer union members. … more

Right-to-Work States Have Lower Workplace Injury Rates

Rigged Pension Study Produces Expected Conclusions

Ideas For Fixing the Financial Manager Law

The Michigan 'Truth Squad' Problem With Facts

Fact-checking group gives in to partisan bent. … more

The Price Tag on the Ballot Proposals

Proposal 2 Would Declaw Emergency Managers in Proposal 1

Prop 3 Will Cost Michigan

Proposal 1 of 2012: The Referendum on Public Act 4

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy recently published “Proposal 1 of 2012: The Referendum on Public Act 4,” which addresses Proposal 1 on the Nov. 6, 2012 ballot, also referred to as the “emergency manager” referendum.
The study examines the claim that local control will diminish if Proposal 1 passes and Public Act 4 is nullified. Public Act 4 had provided expanded powers to state-appointed emergency managers of local governments and school districts that are in a state of serious “fiscal stress or “fiscal emergency.” The study determined that the question in Michigan has not been whether state-appointed managers or court-appointed receivers may replace local elected officials in running a local unit of government; they have been able to do so for decades. The only question is whether state government will participate in the effort to avoid local fiscal insolvency and how it will do so.
The Policy Brief was authored by James M. Hohman, assistant director of Fiscal Policy for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.  … more

Talent Mercantilists Resurrected in Michigan

Activist's Critique of Prop 3 Study Completely Incorrect

$1.6 Billion in Savings Lost Under Prop 2

What the Emergency Manager Referendum is About

Proposal 2 of 2012: An Assessment

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy recently published “Proposal 2 of 2012: An Assessment,” which addresses Proposal 2 on the Nov. 6, 2012 ballot, also referred to as the “collective bargaining” amendment.
The study examines how the proposed constitutional amendment would enshrine collective bargaining in the state constitution, which would allow government union collective bargaining agreements to invalidate numerous state laws meant to improve the quality of public services and would likely negate a projected $1.6 billion in annual taxpayer savings.
The Policy Brief was co-authored by Vernuccio and other Mackinac Center analysts: Senior Legal Analyst Patrick J. Wright, Executive Vice President Michael J. Reitz and Assistant Fiscal Policy Director James M. Hohman. Also co-authoring was Paul Kersey, director of labor policy at the Illinois Policy Institute. … more

Proposal 1 Has Nothing to Do With Local Control

Opponents should focus on fiscal responsibility. … more

$1.6 Billion in Savings Lost Under Prop 2

The financial impact of enshrined collective bargaining. … more

School Support Services Contracting Increases to 61 Percent of Districts

'Truth Squad' Gets Facts Wrong

The State Is Already Addressing 'Transition Costs' in School Pension Fund

Beware Doubling-Down on Municipal Pension Dysfunctions

Commentary: Pension Liabilities Larger Than Reported

Policymakers Still Tripped Up By Pension Transition Costs

"Transition costs" and "plunging credit ratings" are red herrings to pension reform.  … more

Study Finds That Teacher Pension Plan Unlikely to be Fully-Funded

The Legislature Must Fix Teacher Pensions the Right Way

Fix the Real Problem of the Pension System

Politicians to blame for unfunded liabilities. … more

MPSERS and MSERS: Three Pension Policy Briefs

Analysis: Agriculture Still Not the Second-Largest Industry in Michigan

House GOP Hides Behind Rigged 'Study'

Punting on pension reform keeps the burden on taxpayers. … more

Outsourcing Isn't the Problem

Special favors to bring jobs back not the answer. … more

Comparing Apples to Lemons in Pension Reform

Legislature needs to be transparent about costs. … more

House Pension Reform Savings are Phony

The Senate's plan is much more realistic. … more

Utah Incurred No Pension Reform ‘Transition Costs’

Michigan House Republicans should take note. … more

Michigan Already Diverges From GASB Rules

Full contributions in only two of last 10 years. … more

Teacher Pension Underfunding Hits $22B

Shows need to close fund immediately. … more

Michigan Pension Underfunding Gaps Widen

Another reason MPSERS should be closed now. … more

Analysis: Michigan’s Long History of Government Pension Problems

There Are Options to Address 'Transition Costs'

Plan would shift teachers to new pension system. … more

Commentary: Legislators Choose School Employees Over Taxpayers on Retirement Benefit Reform

Analysis: Local Governments Wrong to Call Foul On Property Tax Reform

The Public School Pension Fund’s Problem Is Not Charter Schools

Commentary: School Pension System Impacts Everyone’s Future

'Stranded Costs' Will Always Be Paid by Taxpayers

Keep charter school and contract employees out of MPSERS. … more

Commentary: Pension Reform Bigger School Fiscal Issue Than Education Budget

Close the State School Employee Pension Fund

Analysis: Two-Handed Michigan Recovery is Real

Pure Michigan’s Bid For More Tax Money

Five Options for Addressing ‘Transition Costs’ When Closing the MPSERS Pension Plan

Michigan Public School Employee Retirement Plans
in Need of Reform

This study considers the supposed ‘transition costs’ that would be effected by a state switch from a defined-benefit to defined-contribution retirement system. In it, the “transition costs” are found to be nonbinding and discretionary. In addition, the study offers the state a series of reforms that would diffuse such costs, as well as consideration for the long-term fiscal improvements that would arise from payment of the pension’s unfunded liabilities. … more

According to Beneficiaries, All Government Spending Is Worth the Investment

Tax Foundation Rates Michigan

State climbs 42 spots after eliminating MBT. … more

State Behind on School Employee Pension Reform

Analysis: Michigan Cannot Grow Out of Pension Problems

Analysis: State Behind on School Employee Pension Reform

Indiana Leads the Manufacturing Belt

Hoosier state has the most to gain from a right-to-work law. … more

Commentary: Governor Should Veto Film Incentive Bills

Michigan School Privatization Survey 2011

Majority of Michigan school districts currently contract food, custodial or transportation services
Despite increased spending in Michigan public schools, districts regularly face tough choices allocating their resources. This study surveys the privatization of the three major noninstructional services: food, custodial and transportation services. The findings are that over half of public schools have privatized at least one of these services; what is more, about 93 percent report satisfaction with the private-sector services they receive, which spells progress towards improving services while spending less. … more

Cost of Benefits Is Sinking Detroit

City could run out of money in early 2012. … more

Wasted Talent

More college grads doesn't mean economic success. … more

Film Incentive Bill Sows Its Own Expansion

Legislators want to give more of your money to Hollywood. … more

Michigan Pensions Good at Controlling Fraud

More work needs to be done on controlling costs, though. … more

School Privatization Survey Results Available

Outsourcing helps public schools save millions of dollars. … more