A letter to the editor: Like the Daily Press & Argus, I oppose government subsidies.
Government subsidies for the film industry are best described as corporate welfare. It is nothing more than politicians giving away taxpayers' hard-earned dollars to wealthy Hollywood elites.
Many politicians, on both sides of the aisle, love to dole out goodies to their friends under the guise of economic development. Well, the best form of economic development would be to reallocate all corporate welfare funds to repairing our roads and bridges. Corporate welfare includes more than just film subsidies and would add up to hundreds of millions of dollars for our roads.
I find the whole corporate welfare racket especially troubling when Republicans leaders advocate for subsidizing wealthy companies and individuals who ought not to be feeding at the public trough. I expect Republican leaders to unabashedly support free-market principles, and just say no to corporate welfare.
Just as it is wrong for government to squander your tax dollars, it is wrong for those in Hollywood to keep reaching into your pockets for more of your hard-earned dollars. This behavior was recently highlighted in CapCon, a Mackinac Center for Public Policy publication, where it was reported that a media figure living in our county was asking for an increase in film subsidies. CapCon reported, "When actress Melissa Gilbert recently told a local newspaper that she wants to boost Michigan's economy by starting a theater company near her home in Howell, the 'Little House on the Prairie' star added some conditions. Gilbert wants the state to increase the subsidies it delivers to film producers from the current $50 million annual level. She also told the Daily Press & Argus that her theater company plans are dependent on her choice for governor — Democrat Mark Schauer — winning in November."
Given Schauer's loss, I wonder if her desire for government subsidies has subsided.
Read more about film subsidies and corporate welfare at https://www.mackinac.org/20599. I believe once citizens look into these subsidies, they'll agree — just say NO to Hollywood handouts!
Wes Nakagiri, RetakeOurGov