Good Law: Taxes
April 15: the date calculated to strike fear, loathing, and budding deceit into the heart of every tax-payer in Michigan. This year, Michigan Capital Confidential celebrated by exposing a particularly outrageous aspect of one of Michigan’s tools of wealth redistribution: the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, or MEDC.
Administered by the MEDC, Michigan’s extravagant package of corporate favors will take $1 Billion from the rest of us this year in refundable tax credits. Their grand total exceeds $9 Billion over the last 20 years. Worse, the MEDC doesn’t think we have the right to know which corporations they have blessed with our largesse. To cap it all, they aren’t just exploiting a legal loophole when they hide this information. They’re actually breaking current law.
It’s not very charitable of the MEDC, either. I feel snubbed. I mean, some of that was my money. I could have put it to good use. Even if I no longer have the right to use it myself, it would be nice to know who ends up with it.
How can the MEDC get away with this? The legal structure public-private partnership (P3 for short) fosters corporate entitlement because it blurs the lines set by the Founders to protect our property rights. Literally, we have handed over the power of the purse to people with no accountability to voters. Abuse should be no surprise. The MEDC claims to be a private corporation when it suits them – concealing their deals from the public. It claims public authority when that suits them – handing out your tax dollars to the fortunate few.
Ravages of Bad Tax Law
What makes this bad law? It violates the principle that we are all of equal inherent worth. Each of us has equal individual rights to our own property.
It redistributes wealth. What is taken from all should be used for the good of all (think roads), not just a few.
It breaks down society. The consent to be taxed is based on trust that each of us will receive value from constitutional state functions such as roads, education, law enforcement, and the like. When that trust is violated, especially with deliberate evasion, the result is cynicism, disincentive to work, and unrest.
It’s bad for the economy. Benefiting some businesses over others destroys the market forces of competition that bring us lower prices and higher quality.
It destroys our republic’s core: self-government. Government of the people, by the people, and for the people is the way America was founded. But why participate in government, if that government allows some to be above the law? Paradoxically, citizen participation is the most effective means of reforming a representative government.
So please, don’t give up quite yet. Instead, help me get to Lansing to fight for good tax law and government accountability. Let’s shut down MEDC corruption. Make a donation at the Home Page today!