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How Jennifer Granholm Put Michigan Retirees on the Hook for Hollywood
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On December 4, 2012 @ 10:20 pm In The Point | 2 Comments
This New York Times story is getting a lot of attention for the specific dollar figure, $841,145, that Michael Moore’s anti-capitalism propaganda flick, “Capitalism: A Love Story” got back from Michigan’s inflated Hollywood tax credits under ex-governor, talk show host and demented DNC shrieker, Jennifer Granholm.
But we already knew that Michael Moore had made Capitalism by dipping into the taxpayer’s till, and had been against it before he was for it. That’s not the ugliest revelation in the New York Times piece. This is.
Granholm, a former aspiring actress, which explains a lot about her, bet everything on bringing Hollywood to Michigan. Including the pensions of retirees.
Ms. Granholm announced the project in her 2009 State of the State address, saying she thought the industry would create a flood of new jobs. “It was very exciting,” recalled Ms. Granholm, a Democrat. “A classic transformation, the phoenix rising from the ashes. This plant in Pontiac — it was a really great moment for a community that really wanted and needed hope.”
And there’s nothing that liberals love more than empty prattle about hope… while robbing the people blind.
Jennifer Granholm did have a pal in the White House who could slip her Hollywood pals some cash.
At the time of the deal, the governor was speaking regularly with Mr. Obama, who was negotiating the General Motors bailout. Edward B. Montgomery, who was leading the White House’s efforts on communities and workers affected by the automaker’s bankruptcy, was engaged on the studio plans.
Mr. Montgomery said in an interview that he had expressed support for the studio and other projects that he believed would help diversify Michigan’s economy. He said the studio’s investors received assistance from the Treasury Department to qualify for a federal tax credit program.
But Federal dirty money wasn’t enough for Granholm and her Hollywood dreams. So she went straight to the wallets of the people that she claimed to be protecting.
Not long after, he and the other studio investors hit a major hurdle. They would be borrowing around $18 million in municipal bonds, but they needed someone to back them.
Over the objections of some local officials, the state agreed to use the state workers’ pension funds to guarantee the bonds. If the investors failed to pay, the retirees would be on the hook.
Granholm’s Hollywood gimmick failed. No jobs were created and the movies moved on. The retirees were stuck with the bill.
When the bill for the studio’s bond interest came due in February this year, it paid only a portion, $210,000. The state pension fund had to pick up the remaining $420,000.
Doug Smith, an official at the state’s economic development agency, said that the state pension fund may “end up owning these studios.”
There should be a movie made about this. Call it, “Hollywood: A Love Story.”
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