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Is Tom McMillin a Job Creator or Job Destroyer?

At Tom McMillin's recent town hall he was asked what he's done to help improve the employment situation in Michigan.

At Tom McMillin’s recent town hall held at the Rochester Hills City Hall, McMillin answered several questions about whether any legislation he’d sponsored or voted on created any new jobs in Michigan.

This is especially relevant since in recent months Michigan’s unemployment rate has increased to 9.4%, from 8.1% in April 2012. 

McMillin’s answers to creating jobs in Michigan mostly centered around the idea that getting rid of regulations is an efficient way to create jobs.

However, McMillin was a strong opponent of Michigan’s then-growing film industry that had created thousands of good paying jobs in what was then a burgeoning field. 

Raleigh Studios in Pontiac once had a goal of being able to do seven productions a year and employ 3,000 people. As of today, the facility employs 15-20 people.

As for eliminating regulations creating jobs, according to a Pro Publica article from September 2011, there doesn’t appear to be much of a case that eliminating regulation has the effect of creating jobs.

“There are many instances of regulation causing a specific industry to lose jobs,” said Roger Noll, co-director of the Program on Regulatory Policy at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. Noll cited outright bans of products—such as choloroflorocarbons or leaded gasoline—as the clearest examples.”

“That’s supported by recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which shows employers attributing a small fraction of job losses to governmental regulations. In the first half of 2011, employers listed regulations as the cause of 0.2 to 0.3 percent of jobs lost as part of mass layoffs. But the data doesn’t track the other side of the equation: jobs created.”

To be fair, McMillin has actually focused on some things we agree on, such as a bill to allow homeowners to opt out of DTE’s smart meter installation program. There are health and privacy concerns with the meters. McMillin also mentioned a bill he is working on that would make it harder for people to be priced out of being able to obtain documents under the Freedom of Information Act by putting limits on what can be charged by government entities for complying with FOIA requests.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jason Strobel September 29, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Bruce, really?? Using Democrat talking points? So ALL the money Romney made came from shipping jobs to china? So every time I go to a staples its in China? Or did he invest wisely, use savy business management skills, and outsource when necessary? Come on, don't spout MSNBC talking points. Hey I bet most the stuff in your house was made in China, so does that make you a bad person now too?
Jason Strobel September 29, 2012 at 09:14 PM
I agree, the film incentive was more of a "hey look at us" type of deal. A highly educated workforce is definitely the way to go. If my tax dollars are going to be re-distributed to hep restart Michigan it should go to something more sustainable. But I would prefer to keep more of my own money if I could. My taxes are out of control. Federal taxes, state taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, etc.... I just feel taxed up to my eyeballs.
Adams Bando September 29, 2012 at 11:37 PM
McMillin has created controversy with Muslims and Gays.
doug September 30, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Bruce: if the 42% film credits were such a good economic idea, how come the other 49 states didn't match them? Are we just smarter then them? Based on our states record over the last decade, that would be a hard argument to make. Michigan has not been a competitve place to invest or do business. The current Govenor and Legislature have been making some progress to reduce those barriers. Multiple sources like Fortune have recognized that effort. This coming election could reverse thst trend if several of the special interest backed propositions were to pass, although that is unlikely. Oh by the way, it was President Bush who created the original auto bailout. President Obama just followed suit by backing the bankruptcy process. They were both correct.
Richard Happening September 30, 2012 at 11:42 AM
A small, very vocal (and whiny I might add) minority is all about the film credits. It is nothing but a scam. It does bring jobs, but at an outrageous cost. We could pick any other industry, give half the incentive amount and attract just as many jobs. If a party of 30 people come to town from elsewhere and have dinner at Ocean Prime and have a $3500 bill, that is excellent for the restaurant and its employees. Just tell me why the taxpayers of Michigan should pay $1470 of the bill. This is exactly what happened. The servers say "hey, that film credit was great. We never had such awesome business!". It all boils down to the cost. In this case, a ridiculous one. It is nothing short of hilarious to see those who are against tax cuts say they support the film credit. It IS a tax cut on steroids- a tax CREDIT! it helped rich actors and producers and "small" people in our area. But so would cash in an envelope- which I believe was a technique used in getting the credits passed to begin with.
Gus September 30, 2012 at 11:38 PM
As a Muslim I would like to ask Mr McMillin how a racially motivated bill like his Shariah law bill creates jobs.
Bill Monroe October 01, 2012 at 12:09 AM
You might want to get your facts right. Mr. McMillin didn't write any Shariah law bills. There's an American Laws for American Courts bill that's still sitting in the house, sponsored by another legislator. The real disappointment isn't Mr. McMillin, but that anyone actually believes that family honor killings under Muslim law should trump Michigan or Federal law. But while you're on a fake political crusade, what would Joanna VanRapehorst do to create jobs? What are her specific details?
Beth Rayner October 01, 2012 at 09:21 PM
There seems to be so much discrepancy in these studies of the monetary impact of film incentives. I'd just like to mention that the film could be, was, uniquely compatible with Michigan. What other industry can be invited to plunk down and set up shop in the vast urban landscape of abandoned, rundown and still mysteriously beautiful architecture of Detroit? What other industry considers vacant, unused high rises a plus?--and brings in thousands of employees to eat, drink, stay and play in our state? Or, invites celebrities and film crews to advertise it for us free of charge? And Joshua, the fact that another industry invests in a building doesn't necessarily mean they're going to put down roots or leave the community better than they found it simply because they've erected a building; we could ask Flint or Pontiac or any number of Michigan cities about that. We all know that incentives have made more than only the film industry nomadic, it's just the way it is. There's another benefit to inviting film into Michigan from LA or NYC. The folks who live in these cities are used to their housing dollar affording them a tiny bungalow, compared with the kind of home they could have here. I had the pleasure of meeting many of the cast and crew members from Detroit 187. The housing affordability was an inticement for many of them considering a longer stay here before the film incentive was yanked and the show was cancelled.
doug October 01, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Beth: The film industry came to Michigan for one reason....We were the only state in the country dumb enough to pay them 42 cents for every dollar they spent. The minute that was reduced, they ran for the hills. Just about any industry would come here for a credit like that. Government can't manipulate the free market system long-term. That is why Solyndra failed, Volts come with massive credits, etc... It is fair to say that the government can lay the seeds for some new industries as an investment, but outright manipulation fails. Before someone says the internet, remember that the Defense Department created the inital version of the Internet. NOt exactly the favorite department of the liberal leaning crowd.
Andrew October 01, 2012 at 10:37 PM
I agree with McMillin. We don't need more "alternative" lifestyle people in this area. All those movie people don't have values.
Bruce Fealk October 01, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Bill, so answer me this, why in the world are we still giving the oil companies government subsidies? They are are the most profitable companies on the planet, but our money is still being redistributed to the oil companies. Not only that, the President and democrats have tried to eliminate the welfare for the oil companies and the Republicans block it every time.
Beth Rayner October 01, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Doug, what Bruce just asked...? Long term manipulation for what? We also have the greatest divide in wealth distribution since the great depression and we are telling the trust fund babies to sit back and ride on their George W. Bush tax cuts as long as they please. It's a tired, failed over and over again notion that recovery can come from the top down. Republicans are now asking the middle class to foot the bill for another extension...did the last one work? Did jobs trickle from the tight fisted? Or did it just afford another opportunity to beef up their Swiss bank accounts?
Bill Monroe October 01, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Great strawman argument. Nevermind the fact that the President got everything he wanted the first two years of his Presidency, why wasn't one of them "ending oil subsidies"? I'm guessing Obama and the Democrats don't really want to end oil subsidies, or it would've gotten done. The facts are pretty simple: the State of Michigan doesn't give subsidies to oil companies. You can count on Tom McMillin to vote against Corporate Welfare bills. Like I said earlier, Bruce, I would've thought you and McMillin would agree on this point. But your question illustrates your hypocrisy, Bruce. You're so angry and bitter about the Feds giving out Corporate Welfare, but then you sit here and try to tell us McMillin is bad for voting against Corporate Welfare. Hypocrite.
Bill Monroe October 01, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Interesting question, Beth. "Did jobs trickle from the tight fisted?" The answer is pretty simple. I never worked for a poor person, Beth.
doug October 01, 2012 at 11:36 PM
President Obama has done one thing very well...Convincing people that tax cuts for the rich are the root of all evil and they just need to pay there fair share and things would be wonderful...The facts just done support that ....good politics though... You could tax every penny earned by the top 1% and it would barely dent the debt we have accumulated. If they republicans were smart, they would go along with the Presidents tax plan. Then what...... Just a few facts (2009) -Top 1 % paid 36.7% of all taxes -Top 10% paid 70.5% of all takes -Top 50% paid 97.7% of all taxes This is before any tax increases scheduled to take affect in January. All that said, oil subsidies make no sense and President Obama could have eliminated them in his first two years in office if he were serious about it.
Beth Rayner October 01, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Bill, you likely never worked for a 1%er either. This is stagnant wealth, money that makes its own money; it doesn't build anything or employ anyone. Heaping more on to it doesn't improve our economy one iota. Recovery comes from a healthy middle class. We get growth from small business. (Film crews are made of several small businesses by the way.) When we ease up on the middle class, suddenly Mom & Pop can finally replace that car or get a new roof. 1%ers needs are met in any economy.
Beth Rayner October 01, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Bill, nobody said all will be well when the wealthiest contribute what they used to before W's term. But why should they be exempt?--feelin no pain?
Bill Monroe October 01, 2012 at 11:58 PM
If the wealth is stagnant - not earning anything - then what makes you think raising INCOME tax is going to tax that 1% money? And who are you, of all people, the one to decide what someone else should do with their money? But maybe you're right, the top 10% of income earners paid 70% of all taxes in 2011. In fact, Romney's 2011 tax return shows he paid more in taxes than the bottom 49% of income earners combined. Clearly those millionaires are not paying their fair share! I think the biggest lie I keep hearing from leftists is that "Recovery comes from a healthy middle class." Wrong. Recovery comes from a healthy country as a whole. Remember John Kennedy's "a rising tide raises all ships"? Recovery comes when ALL the boats are rising. Not just the poor, not just the rich, not just the middle class. Let's work to grow our economy, not redistribute it and move pieces around to our pet causes - like film subsidies for Billion Dollar Film Studios.
Dr. Craig October 02, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Doug, you make a good point. This presidential election is about who is going to tax the middle class first. I'm for taking the medicine first and therefore leaning Romney. Locally, McMillin has to go. The guy is way out of touch and runs with a scary breed.
Bill Monroe October 02, 2012 at 12:15 AM
This must be the same Dr. Craig that donated to Joanna Van Rappahorst.
Beth Rayner October 02, 2012 at 12:25 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/21/poor-americans-state-local-taxes_n_1903993.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share I did say that "it" makes "its" own money. And you sound smart enough to realize that percentagewise, the wealthiest are still not carrying the load that the rest of us are being asked to do.
Bill Monroe October 02, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Really? I make a very nice salary (puts me in the top 15 or 20% of wage earners nationwide, and my effective tax rate is only 6.38%. How much did Romney pay? 14.1%? And another 15% to charity. I guess he's not paying his fair share - if he was willing to just give away 15% of his income, it should go to Momma Government, right?
Joshua Raymond October 02, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Beth, I have worked for a 1%er. He started a number of companies and employed a few thousand people. His is not stagnant wealth and many of the others who have started businesses and become 1%ers do not have stagnant wealth either.
doug October 02, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Beth: You can get numbers to say just about anything. For referecne, my statistics came from the US government. I am not sure I trust anything from the Huffington Post. Ariana Huffington is an Obama cheerleader.
Beth Rayner October 02, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Joshua, I really wasn't dissing the wealth of the 1%ers by saying that it is stagnant. It's just that when the economy is in a slump like this, growth will come from where it MUST, the grow or die, kinda scenario. If you have enough safety wealth, you can hang on and BE safe. You can wait it out. The truly wealthy do not need another free ride to make them "feel" safe enough to start hiring. Like I said earlier, many don't punch a clock anymore, they just allow their money to make them more money. Hey, who wouldn't? BTW, Bill, if you want to pay what the poorest 20% of households pay, you better kick in another 4.52%.
Bill Monroe October 02, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Sorry, Doll. The effective tax rate on the poorest 20% is negative - because of all the tax credits from state and federal governments. So on top of paying 0% in state and federal income tax (withholding isn't a tax), they get cash back from the government in the form of EITC and other "credits", resulting in an effectively negative tax rate.
Scot Beaton October 02, 2012 at 02:33 AM
   WOW... One of best emails I've ever received   Welcome to Greece, only it will be worse... http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/EW5IdwltaAc?rel=0 note: The World Trade Center scene was to over the top and uncalled for -- a different scene could have made the same point.
Richard Happening October 02, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Beth, If there are so many reasons to work here, they don't need the scam credit. Read your post. Makes zero sense.
Dee Kay October 02, 2012 at 11:09 PM
"We don't need more "alternative" lifestyle people in this area. All those movie people don't have values" This statement pretty well shows your bias of trying to negate opposing viewpoints. All of these "alternative" lifestyle people don't have MY narrow views on what is good or what is bad, so that means they shouldn't be allowed any rights. Does that pretty well sum up what you meant Andrew? Your religious views, my religious views, "their" religious views, are just that, each persons individual view. What gives you the right to try to impose your views or values on another person? Why doesn't someone with an opposing view or value have that same right to force their views on you? Trying to persecute others based upon your religious values, and being called out or stopped from your intended goal, does not mean that you are being persecuted. If you don't like "those" people or their views, don't associate with them or practice their beliefs. Don't think that you have the right to persecute others based on their views or values through theocratic laws though unless you are willing for others to make theocratic laws against your chosen view/values/religion. Politicians trying to legislate their personal beliefs upon the entire country, deserve no place in government. Professing your belief does not belong in politics, it belongs in the church. You can let your beliefs guide you, but you can't try to force your beliefs onto others through legislation.
Scot Beaton October 07, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Though I love to read -- both sides -- our community's opinion of State Representative Tom McMillin... Rochester Hills does not give a damn who is their State Representative -- they just care what political party they are affiliated with... just look at the facts. http://rochester.patch.com/blog_posts/sad-but-true-c1f0e37f

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