If you listen to the ad the Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recently released, an authoritarian narrator informs you that Michigan was once number 50. Dead last. He doesn’t actually tell you what we were last at but it’s clear that we were just the bottom of the barrel, the ole Mitten State. “Never again”, says the narrator.
Governor Snyder is spending a half million dollars to run this ad in Michigan. And he claims he hasn’t announced his candidacy yet. Imagine the money he WILL spend once he does, particularly when he’s supported by someone like Donald Trump.
So, technically, the ad is true. We aren’t number 50. According to a Forbes piece out this week, we’re actually number 47 in terms of “Best States for Business”. This comes after the good governor himself signed legislation making the birthplace of the modern labor movement a right to work state and giving a nearly $2 billion tax break to corporations. Not only are we #47 overall, we’re also #47 in the “Economic Climate” category AND #47 in the “Growth Prospects” category.
It’s nearly comical to watch this millionaire governor spending so much money this far away from an election in which he is an incumbent to try to convince Michiganders that the grass is blue and the sky is green. He seems to think that we’re going to buy his pretension that he’s some sort of nerd that’s pragmatically making tough decisions that are making Michigan the “Comeback State”. That we won’t see him for what he is: a corporatist who makes decisions that routinely benefit the corporations who fund his campaign.
After 3 months of rising unemployment, scads of bankrupt and closed schools, and municipalities across the state essentially becoming wards of the state, there are few people who feel that a true comeback in Michigan is actually underway. But Rick Snyder is spending a half million dollars to convince you that it is, despite all of the evidence suggesting quite the opposite.
Make no mistake: I am a life-long Michigander and I always will be so this news does not make me a happy guy. It depresses me that all of the things so many of us have been saying for so long are actually true.
We said all along that it will harm the state to pay for corporate tax breaks on the backs of students and senior citizens.
We said all along that raising taxes on over half of the residents in Michigan was going to cause problems.
We said all along that knee capping the unions was not going to create jobs.
So here we are today, faced with a stark reality: We’re not the “Comeback State”.
We’re number 47.