America, meet Michigan.
Mitt Romney paid a visit to Governor Rick Snyder’s state Tuesday to — as local CBS Radio put it — defy the “popular wisdom” that Michigan is lost. In fact, Romney would do well to visit Michigan more often. Michigan is America. Failed governor Jennifer Granholm was Barack Obama. New governor Snyder is Mitt Romney. And Michigan’s resurgence under former Gateway Computer Corporation CEO Snyder and his Republican legislature is dramatic evidence of how a businessman can return fiscal sanity to a government run off the rails.
“I believe we are a role model,” said Snyder as he introduced Romney in the state capital of Lansing. “It wasn’t four or five years for us — we had a decade of tough times. It’s about ‘Relentless Positive Action.’ We are the comeback state in the U.S.A. Do what we have done — fix your tax system, fix your regulatory system.”
Indeed, a simple change in leadership has brought dramatic change to Michigan. Granholm’s assive tax breaks for politically connected corporations from Big Green to Big Hollywood have given way to a broad-based, simplified, flat tax system. Businessman Snyder often rankles movement conservatives by shying from partisan battles and adopting corporate language instead of Smithian principles to justify his fiscal policies. But in a state wrecked by eight years of Obama-esque mismanagement, his focus on the fundamentals has been refreshing.
He has brought balance to a once-chaotic budget process and has tackled the state’s long-term liabilities head on after years of neglect from Granholm — an attractive, Harvard-trained, Democratic ideologue with no management experience.
Sound familiar? Obama meet Granholm. America meet Michigan.
Romney echoed Snyder’s themes in his speech. “I am increasingly optimistic about our future,” said Romney, doing his own version of Snyder’s signature ‘Relentless Positive Action,’ miles from the divisive rhetoric that has become Obama’s trademark. “Businesses will spring up across the country by instituting pro-growth regulations, pro-growth taxes, pro-growth intellectual property protections, and pro-growth labor policies.”
From Obama to Romney. From Granholm to Snyder. It’s working in Michigan.