Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is seeking more federal tax dollars to bolster her proposed $80.7 billion 2025 budget.

Whitmer is in Washington for two days this week to meet with President Joe Biden’s administration and lawmakers to boost federal spending in the state from the $12.4 billion currently pledged.

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The governor could be exploiting Biden’s poor poll numbers in Michigan, which has been identified as a key battleground state in this November’s presidential election. Biden is currently polling 2.5 points behind Republican opponent Donald Trump, according to an average of six polls compiled by 270 to Win on June 4. In polls including third-party and Independent candidates, Biden trails Trump by 1.5 points.

“Michigan is competing for every federal resource and dollar so we can build on our economic momentum, including the more than $12.4 billion of direct investments the Biden-Harris administration has already made in our state,” Whitmer said in a statement released Tuesday morning.

“This week, I’m in DC to meet with leaders in the administration to advocate for Michigan and talk about several key priorities ranging from economic development to land conservation,” she continued. “I am excited to work with allies in our congressional delegation and my cabinet to win more investments, create more jobs, and revitalize more communities back home in Michigan. Let’s keep telling our story and working together to get stuff done.”

Among the “stuff” Whitmer says she wants to accomplish is free universal preschool and free community college tuition.

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It also includes $500 million to continue what economists dub “corporate welfare” programs, such as $500 million for the Strategic Outreach Attraction Reserve fund; $100 million for a research and development tax credit; $60 million to establish an Innovation Fund to invest in industry startups; $25 million for the Build Ready Sites program to identify and prepare sites in Michigan for future development or redevelopment; $20 million to continue the Pure Michigan campaign, on top of the $15 million in the existing general fund for the program; $120 million for programs to stimulate job creation and private investment; $75 million for employer-based training; $20 million for economic assistance for businesses locating to or expanding in Michigan; and $16 million for arts and cultural programs.

The governor’s 2025 budget includes $14.3 billion for the state’s general fund and $19 billion for the school aid budget. In her news release Tuesday morning, Whitmer asserted that Michigan has already secured nearly $13 billion in federal largesse.

University of Michigan-Flint Associate Economics Professor Chris Douglas told The Midwesterner that it shouldn’t be surprising that Whitmer is seeking more federal dollars because the federal government isn’t mandated to balance its budget, whereas the state is required to spend within its limits.

He said the nation’s children and grandchildren will be forced to pay the bill for states’ bloated budgets. He added that the influx of federal COVID-19 relief has almost run out, and the Michigan governor is looking for another hit.

Mackinac Center Fiscal Policy Director James Hohman concurs with Douglas. He noted that budgets under Whitmer’s leadership have skyrocketed, costing taxpayers $1,600 per household yearly. Meanwhile, tax revenues have stagnated as median household income is well below its 2019 peak, Michigan jobs have increased only 0.3% since the pandemic, and Michigan has a labor force participation rate of only 62.2%. All this as the state scrambles to stem population loss.

“If Michigan held the line on spending from where it was before the pandemic, allowing adjustments for inflation and growth of the state’s population, taxpayers would save $6.5 billion,” Hohman told The Midwesterner. “That’s enough to cut the personal income tax rate in half.”