[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.

Business Subsidy Programs Grow State’s Bureaucracy, Not Its Economy

They’re mostly just in-state cronyism, not big employer “deal closing” incentives … more

Michigan Lawmakers Consider More Handouts

If at first you don’t succeed, spend millions of taxpayer dollars … more

Getting More College Grads Won’t Improve State Prosperity

Many factors play into an area's income growth … more

The Lawmakers that Voted for the Most Business Subsidies and the Least

$16 billion in corporate welfare approved since 2001 … more

Token Symbols of Growth Damage the State Economy

Select business interests have higher status with lawmakers than regular taxpayers … more

No More Additional Favors for Solar

Property taxes should tax the value of property, including solar panels … more

The Battle Between Taxes and Fees in Storm Sewer Finance

Local governments should get popular support for fiscal policies … more

State Funding for Universities Continues Upward Climb

Lawmakers should question what taxpayers get for more money … more

The Great Lakes Trough Truce

Spending interest groups only ask for more money … more

Study on Arkansas Tourism Campaign Should Make You Scratch Your Head about Pure Michigan

If economic impacts are as stated, the tourism industry should pay for its own ad campaign … more

When the Goal of Spending Money is to Spend Money

Transit should instead be about getting people places … more

A Look At The State Budget for Business Subsidies

Old ideas get new taxpayer cash … more

What Michigan Government Lacks in Transparency

Billions in business subsidies still can’t be disclosed … more

Property Tax Revenue On a Slow Rise

Value of property increased 12 percent over past four years … more

Michigan May Surpass 2000 Employment Levels Soon

An important milestone of recovery for the Great Lakes State … more

Politicians Cannot Keep Up With Dynamic Economy

Subsidies for a handful, costs for everyone else … more

Come or Go, Amazon’s HQ Decision Means Little to Michigan Economy

It’s a magnet for agenda-driven interpretation though … more

Governor Granholm Called to Underfund Pensions 6 Years Before Company Bankruptcy

There is no natural constituency for properly funding pensions … more

2017 Was Good For Michigan

State economy continues to expand … more

The Problems with the Pension and Retiree Health Insurance Bills

Recent legislation confuses legal obligations between benefits … more

Unions Complicit in Retirement Benefit Crisis

But trying to shift the blame to Lansing anyway … more

Taxpayers Shouldn’t Subsidize High Income Housing

Millions going to build luxury developments … more

The Business Climate Matters More Than Amazon

Number of jobs created apart from Amazon dwarfs that offered by retailer’s new project … more

Tipping the Scales on Solar

Mackinac Center signs open letter on trade restrictions … more

How to Solve Government Employee Retiree Health Insurance Costs

Freeze salary schedules until health insurance is fully funded … more

Michigan Local Governments Have Self-Inflicted Financial Problems

It’s up to them to stop adding retiree debt … more

Why Pension Reform Is Hard for Politicians

No consequences to kicking the can down the road … more

Taxpayers Deserve to Know Details of Business Subsidy Deals

State officials are hiding what should be public information … more

Sheriffs Float the Idea of a Kayak Tax

Just another example of the trough truce … more

Michigan Income Tax Cuts Remain Affordable

State government is very well fed … more

Giving More Taxpayer Dollars to Universities Won’t Make Michigan More Educated

No link between state spending and educational attainment … more

New Subsidies Show Which Groups Are Important to Lansing Politicians

Improving the rules for everyone puts residents first … more

New School Privatization Survey Results

Nearly three-quarters of districts contract out … more

Lansing Politicians Put Favored Businesses Ahead of Everyone Else

Another $1.2B in favors approved this year … more

Targeted Business Subsidies vs. Broad Tax Relief

State lawmakers think subsidies improve the economy more … more

Taking the Pension Task Force to Task

Governments should stop generating new pension debt … more

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

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

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

State Retirement Managers Develop Convenient, Hypocritical Excuse

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

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 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

Legislators Should Give Taxpayers the Income Tax Cut They Deserve

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

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

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

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

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

Multiplier Analyses Are Prone to Abuse

Common ways to rationalize use of taxpayer dollars … 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

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

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