From former Governor Jennifer Granholm’s new show The War Room on Current TV. This is good stuff. Very good stuff.
This is what’s got me fired up: Today, on the front page of the New York Times, there was a story about Michigan’s rebound. Believe it or not, the state of Michigan now has a $457 million surplus. Tax revenues are flowing in, the unemployment rate is dropping – it’s fallen 5 points since 2009. Hallelujah!
During the past decade, Michigan had the toughest economy in the nation due to the implosion in our manufacturing and our automotive sectors. That meant that I had the unpleasant task of cutting more out of government than any other state in the country. By far. It had to be done, but those cuts were not what caused the turn-around. In fact, they made the problem worse because they cause more people — government workers — to be unemployed.
So, while I would love to take full credit for the turn-around, I can’t.
My successor, Governor Snyder, would probably like to take full credit, too, but he can’t either since the tax policies he enacted just took effect a few weeks ago.
But you know who can take much of the credit is President Obama and, to a lesser extent, even President Bush. The rebound of Michigan began in late 2009, early 2010, after the restructuring of the auto industry. What saved Michigan was the federal government’s decision that the auto industry was too important to the nation to be allowed to fail. It was a smart, active federal government that began Michigan’s turn-around.
I’ll say that again: it was an active government, not a passive one. A strategic government. Not a big one, but one that was willing to ACT.
The “drown government in a bathtub” crowd would have let the auto industry die. Mitt Romney would have let Detroit go bankrupt. All the presidential candidates on the Republican side opposed a bailout. But, without federal intervention, Michigan’s unemployment rate would have been at 20% and saving the auto industry also saved 1.6 million American jobs.
The Republicans are a broken record with “bailout this” and “bailout that”. But here is some news: it is half-time in America and the game is not over. But the quarterback, President Obama, can still take a bow.
[Transcribed by Chris Savage]
Great framing, great passion. What a stark contrast from our current leadership. I’ve long said that the seeds planted in Michigan by Jennifer Granholm and her team would blossom after she left and that her successor would look good because of it. I’m more convinced now than ever that this is true.