If you follow Rick Snyder you know that he is very proud of his “accomplishments” as governor. Even going as far as to use taxpayer funds to promote legislation he previously termed “too divisive,” because nothing attracts new business to a state like leadership that is not only willing to openly retaliate against its opposition but also to completely contradict itself.
Governor Snyder’s most recent self promotion involves a collection of corporate investments in Michigan that the governor claims will create 4,590 jobs. The numbers for this promotion come from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), which is a taxpayer funded organization that acts as the state’s marketing and business development arm.
Unfortunately for the governor, past MEDC job creation projections have severely exaggerated the number of jobs created. According to Michigan Capitol Confidential, the actual number of jobs created is around 28% of the MEDC estimate. This means that the 4,590 jobs the governor is promoting will end up being more like 1,285 jobs.
While the governor is more than happy to discuss the $1.1 billion invested by the 14 companies in the report, he seems less interested in talking about the $44 million dollars in tax breaks these companies will receive to create these jobs. Additionally there doesn’t seem to be any requirement that these companies use Michigan labor or products made in Michigan as part of their investments. For all we know the materials and labor for these projects could originate from out of state or overseas instead of from struggling Michigan construction and supply companies.
Of course the bigger concern here is the long list of broken promises that these investments exemplify.
The governor ran on the premise that his business background would help create jobs in Michigan and he laid out a specific vision for this job creation that he appears to have completely forgotten.
On the campaign trail when asked about government incentives for business, the governor stated, “As a practical matter, my view is government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers because those incentives aren’t free. Basically, they come on the backs of other people having to make up those tax differentials.”
Yet here he is picking 14 different companies as the winners and using taxpayer funded incentives to do it.
In the gubernatorial debate the governor stated that “government doesn’t create jobs,” yet his press release regarding the 4,590 jobs coming to Michigan certainly appears to give his administration credit for these jobs.
Also in the debates he was asked about taxing pensions and his response was, “That’s not how you address tax reform,” yet that is percicsly what he did to pay for his 83% tax cut for Michigan businesses. It was a move that the governor said was made to increase jobs in Michigan, yet the number of people employed in Michigan has gone down since this bill was signed into law, while the number of unemployed in Michigan has steadily increased since last January.
In a later portion of the debate the governor spoke about his opinion on increasing the tax on gas. His answer to the question was, “I don’t support an increase in the gas tax” – yet just this past week that is exactly what he proposed to improve Michigan roads.
Of course the governor will also point out that he is for “giving the voters a choice” on how to pay for these road improvements, yet when the voters chose to repeal the emergency manager law Rick Snyder was quick to dismiss the voters’ choice and signed new legislation that included funding for new government jobs which eliminates the voters’ choice to repeal the law in the future.
Whether you support the governor or not, this list of broken promises is embarrassing and concerning. Rick Snyder came to this job touting his business roots and his ability to turn things around with a laser-like focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs.” His willingness to constantly abandon the ideas that got him elected in favor of big government self-preservation doesn’t instill confidence in the leadership capabilities of a man who can now be more aptly described as “One Unprincipled Nerd.”