[Photo of Michael D. LaFaive]

Michael D. LaFaive

Director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative

Michael LaFaive is director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, where he has worked since 1995.

He is the author or co-author of hundreds of essays, commentaries and blog posts and 12 studies on fiscal policy topics as varied as local and state privatization efforts, corporate welfare, school finance, state budgeting and cigarette taxes.

Among his studies is the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s largest, a nearly 200-page state budget analysis that recommended more than 200 ideas for trimming some $2 billion from the state budget without cutting Medicaid or School Aid funding. Many ideas first presented by LaFaive in 2003 have been adopted or adapted by lawmakers in Lansing.

He is also the originator of the Center’s annual school privatization survey, which routinely garners a 100 percent response rates from districts. There is no database of competitive contracting like it in the United States. In addition to this product, LaFaive authored in 2001 a 26-page, full-color edition of Michigan Privatization Report specifically dedicated to fixing Detroit. The ideas in that publication are more relevant today than when it was published.

LaFaive is perhaps best known, however, for his cutting-edge, scholarly work examining state “economic development” programs. His studies and frequent commentaries on this topic have garnered him a national, if not international reputation as a respected government development critic and were probably influential in the decision to kill the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, the state’s high-profile corporate welfare program. 

LaFaive has been interviewed more than 1,300 times by the media in the last ten years. He is typically interviewed more than 125 times a year by members of the press seeking comment on fiscal issues and remains a popular public speaker.

He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from Central Michigan University.

LaFaive is married and resides in Midland, MI.

Trim Corporate Welfare to $0

A Better Way to Protect Detroit Pensioners

Make it a "contract city" … more

Happy Anniversary Proposal A

Economics 101: Minimum Wage Kills Jobs

When prices go up, quantity demanded goes down. … more

Detroit Should Look to Pontiac

Detroit: Possibility of Real Privatization, Savings

Emergency Manager's plan filed in bankruptcy court. … more

Looking to Pontiac for Detroit Solutions

Reason Foundation roundtable discussion. … more

Trim Corporate Welfare to $0

Do Politicians Understand Economics?

Minimum wage proponents don't appear to. … more

Mark Schauer's Support for Corporate Welfare

He had lots of help from the GOP along the way. … more

Detroit Should Look to Pontiac

Money for Nothing

Detroit bailout comes at expense of statewide taxpayers. … more

Gov. Snyder Keeps Pace in State of the State

Bipartisan track record is to expand government. … more

Don't Bail Out Detroit with State Tax Dollars

It would be unfair to taxpayers statewide. … more

Minimum Wage Earners: Many Still Live at Home

Average family income is almost $57,000. … more

Minimum Wage, Minimum Employment

Center Research Question Addressed

Minimum Wage Drumbeat Grows Louder

Minimum wage popping up on national scale.  … more

Public-Private Compensation Gaps Still With Us

The public sector's misconception of reality. … more

Tax Cut ‘Fever’?

Happy New Year: The Center Looks Back and Looks Forward

Great News for Michigan on Migration Front!

How to Save Cities Millions

A Tax Hike Al Capone Could Have Loved

How to Save Cities Millions

Right-to-Work Laws Improve Growth Prospects

State Fairgrounds to be Sold

Delay costs state millions. … more

Republicans Backsliding After Solid Reforms

State 'Super' Sizes Movie with Subsidy

Hollywood getting more corporate welfare from your pockets. … more

Right-to-Work Laws Work

New study shows economic advantages. … more

Economic Growth and Right-to-Work Laws

This study aims to measure the impact of right-to-work laws on states’ economic performance. It uses average annual growth rates in employment, real (inflation-adjusted) personal income and population to measure the economic well-being of right-to-work states. On the whole, the results of this analysis show that right-to-work laws have a statistically significant and economically meaningful positive impact, although the results vary. … more

WingsWorld on Fox Business

LaFaive on Fox's "Money" discussing Detroit … more

Happy Birthday, Milton Friedman

LaFaive reflects on anniversary of Friedman's birthday … more

Lansing Pols Recycle Press Releases

Tiresome and demeaning to taxpayers. … more

One More Time: Minimum Wage Laws Hurt People

Protestors are well-intentioned but misinformed. … more

Detroit Bankruptcy

It should never have come to pass. … more

John Adams Repents in Heaven

Pelosi needs refresher on American history … more

Resolution for 'Talk Like A Pirate Day' Introduced

Best proof yet for a part-time Legislature. … more

Balance Increased Road Spending with Cuts

Gas Tax and Fee Discussion Worth Having

Balance Increased Road Spending with Cuts

Tax, spending cuts should be pursued. … more

Alcohol Reform on Tap

Lawmakers must be tougher on monopolies, price fixing. … more

Choice Between Two Tax Hikes No Choice At All

Lawmakers need different approach for road funding. … more

Smuggling Undermines Tobacco Tax Hike Goals

North Dakota Policy Council taps Center expert. … more

Gas Tax and Fee Discussion Worth Having

Cigarette Smuggling Remains High in Michigan, Elsewhere

Three Cheers for Michigan House Democrats

Questioning MEDC transparency is the right thing to do. … more

Cigarette Smuggling Study Explained

Interpretation by special interests, not methedology, is flawed. … more

Minnesota Eyes Higher Tobacco Taxes

Center analyst shows it will result in more smuggling. … more

History, Economics and Right-to-Work

Michigan a Cigarette Smuggling Haven

10th highest rate in the nation, according to new study. … more

WingsWorld

Michigan Migration in a Holding Pattern

United Van Lines 2012 data released today. … more

Transparency Law Escapes Big Labor Chokehold

Election RECAP

RTW Passes; Congratulations to Dr. William Wilson

Lost job for supporting right-to-work due to union backlash. … more

Work Slowdowns and 'Free Riders'

How do they relate to right-to-work? … more

Right-to-Work Laws Influence Migration

Attracting more jobs would stem Michigan's population loss. … more

Media Shouldn't Whitewash Big Labor's Past

Long history of union violence, intimidation gets ignored. … more

State Budget Issues Big and Small

Right-to-Work and the Mackinac Center

The Overton Window is shifting in Michigan on right-to-work. … more

Shouldn’t Enhancing Your Neighborhood Be Up to You?

Proposal 5 of 2012: An Assessment of the Supermajority Tax Vote Requirement

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy recently published “Proposal 5 of 2012: An Assessment of the Supermajority Tax Vote Requirement,” which addresses Proposal 5 on the Nov. 6, 2012 ballot.
The study examines the amendment to the state constitution that proposes to require a two-thirds supermajority vote of both the Michigan House and Senate, or a simple majority vote of the people in a November election, to impose new state taxes or increase any state taxes that currently require only a majority vote of the Legislature. The study concludes that Proposal 5 is likely to provide additional protection against state tax increases, though it may be appropriate to ensure state lawmakers take further steps to ensure the original intent of the proposal.
The Policy Brief was authored by Michael D. LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.  … more

Milton Friedman at 100

Proposal 6: Who Is Right About New Bridge?

Is it necessary and who gets the final say? … more

Prop 5: Protecting Taxpayers from the Government

Tax limitation amendment would force fiscal responsibility. … more

Prop 4 Would Put Union Scam in Constitution

SEIU has skimmed $32 million from the disabled so far. … more

Video Confirms Negative Union Stereotypes

Threats of violence even against their own members? … more

Prop 3 Would Cost Taxpayers Billions

Mandate means higher costs, more corporate welfare. … more

Proposal 2: More Power for Government Unions

Protecting public employees at the public's expense. … more

Proposal 1 a Referendum on PA 4

Mike LaFaive breaks down the ballot proposals. … more

Prop 2 May Put FOIA on Ice for Media, Others

UAW Video Shows Political Influence

How much more will they get if Prop 2 passes? … more

Stop the Presses! All of Michigan's Problems Solved

Bill would make Iosco County "birding capitol" of Michigan. … more

The Perils of Politicians' Promises

A radio blast from the past with Congressman Bill Huizenga. … more

'Protect Our Jobs' Could Increase Gov't Secrecy

Freedom of Information Act at risk? … more

Tax Limitation Amendment May Greet Voters in November

Analysis: 25 by 2025 'Green Energy' Studies Ignore Costs

Really? A 150 Percent Business Tax Hike?

More central planning folly from Lansing. … more

Detroit Tries to Salvage Water Department

Center recommended privatization a dozen years ago. … more

Scaffolding for Plunder Part II

"Enhancement" levy a tax, not a voluntary assessment. … more

Standard Fair

Private state fair nearly a decade after Center suggested it. … more

Are You Prepared for 'Taxmageddon'?

What will a $494 billion tax hike fix? … more

Million-Dollar Beer Babies