A massive government corporate welfare program for a Chinese corporation in Michigan has something for everyone on the political spectrum to dislike — unless you’re an elected official, of course.
Gotion, a battery manufacturer that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a Chinese conglomerate, would receive $715 million in state incentives, according to the conservatives. Environmentalists have unanswered concerns regarding the plant’s potential impact.
For Michigan Democrats, it appears to be a win-win situation.
Thursday, state lawmakers approved a proposal that would give Gotion Inc. $175 million in direct grants to invest in the $2.4 billion battery facility, as reported by MLive. The Senate Appropriations Committee’s ten votes were all cast by Democrats, while three Democrats and six Republicans voted against the proposal.
After it was reported that the Michigan Strategic Fund was lavishing grants and incentives on the project, including a 30-year tax exemption estimated to be worth $540 million to Gotion, the project began to attract scrutiny.
According to the Detroit News, the state’s liberals have touted the plan as a job creator in a poor region of the state, with Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer calling it “the largest economic development project in Northern Michigan’s history.”
“If you have actually been into this area, it’s one of the poorest communities in the state,” said Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Sarah Anthony, a Democrat who represents the state capital of Lansing.
“So I think that it is a point of privilege for individuals to say that good paying jobs … for a very rural, very low-income area should not be considered with due diligence.”
The problem is that 2,350 employment would be provided by a subsidiary of a Chinese company that is incorporated in California. Both constituents and legislators protested the vote on security and economic grounds.
Michigan Republican Representative John Moolenaar termed the vote a “historic mistake.”
“This proposed facility will be 100 miles from Camp Grayling where the Michigan National Guard has trained military partners from Taiwan to prepare for possible CCP [Chinese Community Party] aggression,” Moolenaar said.
“Yet, Michigan’s state government leaders are siding with CCP-affiliated companies.”
Marjorie Steele, a resident of Big Rapids, Michigan, in close proximity to where the facility would be constructed, also expressed security concerns.
“Your votes today, senators, are lines drawn in the sand,” she told lawmakers.
Even more bluntly, Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Kristina Karamo echoed concerns about a Chinese-run company controlling land in the United States: “If you choose to give these funds to Gotion, you are a Benedict Arnold. You are a traitor to this republic.”
Well, instead of siding with the redcoats, the Michigan Democrats have chosen to side with Red China. Jerrilynn Strong, chairperson of the Mecosta County Board of Commissioners, chose to characterize the opposition to the project as a “small but vocal” group of activists, and she was pleased that it was proceeding.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
“I believe this project will be critical to the future of our region and our state,” she told lawmakers. CONTINUE READING…