Batman V. Superman, brought to you by Michigan taxpayers

There’s a small part of my psyche that’s very libertarian, and that small part’s blood gets boiling when I hear about nonsense like THIS:

Michigan paid $35 million to incentivize the film’s production in the Wolverine State, after it already paid for the privilege of hosting “Red Dawn,” the films in the “Transformers” franchise and, somewhat ironically, Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story,” among other movies. In fact, Michigan has been a major player in the film subsidy game, spending about half a billion dollars overall to draw productions into its embrace.

There are lots of reasons for why subsidizing movie and TV production is crummy policy, as I’ve outlined here, here, here and here. The programs rarely recoup the money spent on them, never mind generating an actual return; the jobs they create, where they exist at all, are usually temporary, often go to out-of-towners and cost an outrageous amount per position.

And, of course, there’s the small matter of spending taxpayer money to subsidize a humongous movie production house and its billion dollar profits. A plucky underdog, Warner Bros. is not.

Today’s ‘Pigs and the Trough’ Award goes to Warner Bros., who benefited to the tune of $35 million for this Krypton-sized boondoggle.


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