Education, Mark Schauer, Political Ads, Rick Snyder — September 2, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Accountant-in-Chief Rick Snyder complains about not getting credit for Michigan’s mythical recovery, distorts the facts


Governor Snyder’s reelection campaign released a new ad today that is about as puzzling as his previous ads. He has abandoned his frogman suit and creepy leering at the camera, instead appearing in a t-shirt. He starts the ad by telling us that he’s an accountant as if that should give us comfort when it comes to his political and governmental leadership.

“We’re on the road to recovery for every Michigander,” Snyder tells us. “You might not feel it yet, but you will soon.”

Back in 2006, Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm told the audience for her State of the State Address that we would be “blown away” by Michigan’s recovery. She later admitted that it was a huge mistake to say this and one wonders if Gov. Snyder will rue his version of that statement one day himself.

While it’s interesting to watch him admit that Michiganders aren’t feeling the so-called recovery, it’s lamely pathetic to see him complaining that he’s not getting credit for something our residents can’t feel.

In the ad, Snyder makes some incredibly dubious claims about his achievements that he wishes he would get credit for. First, he claims that he “eliminated a billion and half dollar deficit.” The fact is, Michigan’s constitution requires a balanced budget so there was no deficit when he took office. So that statement is patently false.

He also claims that, since he took office, “we’ve put a billion more dollars into education.” This is where Rick the Accountant takes over. Accountants are well-versed in moving shells around to make numbers work and Rick Snyder is nothing if not a consummate player of the shell game. Multiple sources have debunked the claim that he’s put a billion dollars into the classroom. I’d encourage you to read THIS ARTICLE or THIS ONE, or THIS ONE. These articles all detail how Snyder has moved the shells around so that he can make the claim that he has increased funding for schools. The fact is that the per-pupil spending on classroom education in Michigan has declined when you take inflation into account. Don’t take my word for it, though. Ask your local school board member. Every one of them will tell you they are making due with less funding from the state under Rick Snyder.

Meanwhile, later today, Michigan Democrats will release a plan to raise per-pupil-funding by $83. THAT is leadership on education.

Accountant Snyder also tells us that our unemployment rate in Michigan is the lowest than it’s been in six years. That statement could be made about just above every state in the USA and the fact remains that Michigan currently has the third highest unemployment rate in the country.

So, if Rick Snyder wants credit for that, I’m more than happy to give it to him. He SHOULD be held accountable for this and he SHOULD get the credit.

The Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson had this to say about Accountant Snyder’s new ad:

The fact that the Snyder campaign is changing their message yet again shows that people aren’t buying what he’s selling. Snyder’s campaign is increasingly desperate because voters know that his billion-dollar education cuts and new taxes on families and seniors aren’t working for the middle class, and no amount of whitewash and spin will make people forget that. Michigan needs a governor who will build an economy that works for everyone, not Rick Snyder’s 90% pay raises for his Wall Street investment executives, and special treatment for his family and political friends.

The Schauer campaign released this statement about the new ad through their Press Secretary Cathy Bacile:

This ad is confirmation that Republican Rick Snyder’s policies aren’t working for the middle class. The fact that Snyder is lecturing voters about when they’ll “feel” a recovery, and complaining about not getting enough credit, just shows that this governor is not on the side of regular people. Seniors are feeling the Snyder Retirement Tax. Parents are feeling higher taxes since Snyder eliminated the child tax credit. And students are feeling Snyder’s education cuts with larger class sizes. Michigan needs a governor who will build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy, and that’s exactly what Mark Schauer will do.

Bacile is right: We ARE feeling the impacts of Accountant Snyder’s time in office. Just not the way Snyder thinks we should.

[Snyder caricature by DonkeyHotey from photos by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog]