Let me get this straight. Michigan’s unemployment rate is up (again), taxes for Michigan seniors are higher, there is a serious discussion about raising the sales tax to pay for roads and education funding, and we are now a so-called right-to-work state.
Gov. Snyder and far-right lawmakers in Lansing repeatedly claimed that these measures were tough but will create “more and better jobs” and make Michigan the “comeback state.” Governor Snyder promised that with the passage of Right to Work businesses would be beating down our doors for the chance to work in Michigan. Gov. Snyder even created a dashboard to track Michigan’s progress – and so that he could be held accountable.
So far, Governor Snyder’s promises are just empty rhetoric with no results.
That was the beginning – and the end – of One Tough Nerd. Gone are the days of dashboards and data-points, meet Michigan’s One Weak Geek. When Rick Snyder’s economic director was asked if Right to Work is in fact creating jobs, Mike Finney answered:
“It’s too early to tell since the change was made at the beginning of this year, but we are getting positive anecdotal feedback. The site location community and selected businesses are telling us that Michigan is now being considered — whereby it would have eliminated if it were not a right-to-work state.”
Anecdotal feedback? Being considered? We were told it would happen. That business “wouldn’t be able to stay away.” More importantly, that we would be able to hold our elected officials accountable if it didn’t – which is why the Nerd created the dashboard in the first place. It’s clear that Governor Snyder is falling short even by his own system of metrics.
Fortunately, there’s more than one way to skin this cat: the unemployment rate. Over the past two months, Michigan’s unemployment rate has ticked up to 8.8% while the national average has dropped to 7.4%.
There’s a reason the Snyder administration stopped talking about data-points and started talking about “anecdotes,” it’s because then they’d have to account for the promises they made to working families. There’s a reason his far-right policies failed to create “more and better jobs” in Michigan, and it’s because trickledown economics doesn’t work. It never has and it never will.
We eliminated $1.8 billion in taxes for big business – and that number will climb to almost $2.2 billion when you include the phase out of the personal property tax later this year – while cutting billions from public schools and our communities. But for what? Businesses may be earning more, but they aren’t hiring more. And isn’t that what this was all about in the first place? Cheaper overhead will encourage businesses to move to Michigan, invest in our workforce, and create “more and better jobs.” That’s the line we were sold anyway.
The worst part? We have to pay for the cuts to education with money we don’t have and jobs that don’t exist.
Thanks Michigan Republicans!