Terri Lynn Land has “solutions” for Michigan manufacturing that are as empty and false as the rest of her campaign


Not. Ready. For. Prime. Time

Republican Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land recently released her “solutions” for strengthening Michigan manufacturing. More accurately, she’s calling them “solutions “. However, they are so blatantly empty of content and, in some cases, downright wrong that calling them “solutions” strains the bounds of the definition of the word.

You can find her “solutions” HERE, a webpage that is not linked anywhere else on her website or her Facebook page. In fact, unless you go looking for it and know specifically what to look for, you won’t find it anywhere.

Here are her “solutions” to strengthening Michigan manufacturing:

  1. Fair Trade: Developing fair trade agreements will open up markets to Michigan’s exports.
  2. Predictability: Reforming the tax code will encourage job growth, increase capital investments, and make the U.S. more competitive, while providing Michigan’s business with much needed stability and predictability.
  3. Modernizing Our Energy: Increasing America’s domestic energy production and building the Keystone Pipeline will lower energy costs for manufacturers and families.
  4. Education: Working with states we can encourage and grow a skilled workforce.
  5. Mandate Relief: Providing relief from expensive and onerous Washington regulations that impose unnecessary costs on our economy will save businesses time and money.
  6. Fiscal Discipline: To get our nation’s fiscal house in order by balancing the budget and paying down the national debt.

So, let’s take a look at these “solutions”. First of all, with regard to “fair trade”, developing fair trade agreements is something that every administration works on. Even now the Obama administration is working on the Trans Pacific Partnership. It’s getting opposition primarily because opponents are rightfully concerned that the fast-track process will prevent legislators from ensuring American workers and the environment are adequately protected. But, in terms of Land proposing a new “solution”, this ain’t one.

Her “solution” of reforming the tax code is so lacking in information that it’s impossible to judge what it is her “solution” entails. If it’s reducing taxes on large corporations who already pay a tiny fraction of what they should or for reducing taxes on the über-wealthy like Land herself, those are nothing more than budget-wrecking “solutions” that were already tried by the Bush administration and which punched such a huge hole in our budget that we’re still dealing with the aftermath.

“Modernizing our energy” by increasing domestic energy production is already well underway and it’s interesting to see a Republican like Land supporting an effort that’s been championed by President Obama. However, her statement that the Keystone XL pipeline will “lower energy costs for manufacturers and families” is an utter lie. As I pointed out in a piece I wrote last year, the idea that this pipeline will reduce our energy costs is a lie beyond measure:

[M]uch of the oil that is going to be flowing through the Keystone XL pipeline is already flowing into the United States through existing spigots, mostly into the Midwest. The impact of redirecting it to the Keystone XL is that it will likely RAISE gas prices in the Midwest because there is currently a surplus in this region:

Rather than providing the US with more Canadian oil, Keystone XL will simply shift oil from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast, where much of it can be exported to international buyers – decreasing US energy supply and increasing the cost of oil in the American Midwest,” concludes a new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a New York-based environmental advocacy non-profit group, citing numerous TransCanada studies and the transcripts of Canadian federal hearings.

But that isn’t even the half of it. The ugly, unspoken truth of the matter is that the Keystone XL pipeline is nothing more than a tax-free conduit through the United States to let Canadian oil producers get their crude oil to the export market in the Gulf of Mexico less expensively and without having to bear the environmental risks in their own country. In other words that oil isn’t for US, it’s for the global market. It will be refined in Port Arthur and shipped elsewhere at great (tax-free) profit.

Read the whole piece if you want a complete debunking of this incredible lie. With the Koch brothers supporting her campaign to the tune of millions of dollars, it’s no surprise to see this as one of her “solutions”. She has essentially been paid to do so by the wealthy Big Oil billionaires.

Land’s “solution” for education of “working with states we can encourage and grow a skilled workforce” is not a solution. It’s empty rhetoric that means nothing.

She touts “mandate relief” as another “solution” but fails to point out that regulation under President Obama is actually decreasing, not increasing. This chart tells the tale:

Finally, Land proposes lowering the national debt and balancing the budget as a “solution” for Michigan manufacturing. Again, under the Obama administration, our federal deficit is falling at the fastest rate in decades. This is a fact and it’s nice to see Land on board with our Democratic President. It’s a surprise to see her pledging to “repeal Obamacare”, however since it, too, reduces the deficit.

If you want to see what real action on creating job growth, have a look at Gary Peters’ record. Peters is the co-chair of the House Innovation and Entrepreneurship Caucus and the House Auto Caucus. This is from my interview with him last fall:

How is the House Caucus group that you’re on working out? Are you seeing successes with that? What types of things come out of that process?

A big part of that is to highlight startups and the policies necessary to help companies first start up and grow. When I was at Start Garden in Grand Rapids it was Startup Day that we declared and we wanted members of Congress to go to startup areas around the country. We had 75 members of Congress participate in that around the country. Then local media could come out and talk about what is happening in the local community with startups.

Legislation that came out of that process included the [Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act] JOBS Act that I was involved with. The JOBS Act dealt with financing; getting resources to start a company and financing like crowdfunding, some of these new innovations where small companies can raise the money they need to get a start. And when they start, they start hiring and growing their business.

THAT is leadership on strengthening Michigan manufacturing. It’s something Land clearly has no clue about, once again proving that she’s out of her league and not ready for prime time.