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E-M:/ Needy (or is that greedy?) Waste Management Elbows Up to Trough

Enviro-Mich message from Terry Lodge <tjlodge50@yahoo.com>

> Yesterday, the Michigan Strategic Fund Board
> approved the issuance of $35
> million worth of tax exempt bonds to Waste
> Management of Michigan.

   Folks, this is another one of those hidden
corporate welfare travesties, shielded for the most
part from public view, part of the business-as-usual
mentality that grips Michigan (not to mention a whole
lotta other places).

   Should you wish to familiarize yourself with
Michigan's Strategic Fund statute, it begins at Sect.
125.2001 of the Michigan compiled laws, which you may
easily access from the MI legislature website


   Sect. 125.2008 sets loose, but nonetheless
significant standards governing the types of "economic
projects" to be subsidized by the Strategic Fund (and
let's be realistic here; corporate welfare recipients
like this huge multinational are being SUBSIDIZED by
MI taxpayers as well as by the tax-free features of
this loan mechanism):

    "(1) . . .Priorities . . . may give preference to
any of the following: (a) The retention of those
businesses and industries which would be likely to
leave the state absent economic incentives to remain. 
     (b) The revitalization and diversification of the
economic base. 
     (c) Generating and retaining the greatest number
of direct and indirect jobs. 
   (2) Based on the findings under subsection (1), the
fund shall establish targets by which the operations
and centers of the fund may be guided."

   I'm curious to know under which of these sections
the expansion of existing landfills, which are notably
not large employers, this $35,000,000 handout falls.
Surely this is not the best job generator, it
certainly doesn't diversify the economic base (unless
you look at trash imports as an important priority for
a "project"), and it doesn't look as though WM would
go away if its dependency needs weren't met.

    Jeff, you're a valuable watchdog ("pit" bull?).

     Terry Lodge

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