Governor Snyder has a new ad out this week called “Generations”. Like his previous ad, his voice has been altered to sound lower in pitch than his actual voice, a manipulation that is the perfect metaphor for the way he manipulates the facts in order to take credit for things that either didn’t happen or for which he had no role. The Detroit Free Press gave him a 50% rating on its truthfulness.
I give it a 25%. And I’m being generous.
Here’s the ad:
There are four claims being made in the ad. He says that when he was elected governor:
- Michigan had a billion-and-a-half-dollar budget deficit.
- Spending was out of control.
- Budget battles were an annual embarrassing nightmare.
- Four balanced budgets in a row.
Here is the reality:
Claim #1 – As the Free Press notes, Michigan has a balanced budget requirement in our constitution. Therefore there was no deficit except for the one created by the giant tax cut given to corporations by the Republicans. The fact that the Stimulus funding ran out at the same time didn’t create a deficit. The Stimulus money was always known to be a stopgap to help out states heavily impacted by the Great Recession.
Claim #2 – The Free Press is correct in saying that spending was hardly out of control when he got into office. In fact, thanks to the Great Recession, Michigan’s budget had been slashed and slashed again to make up for plummeting revenues. Saying spending was “out of control” is absurd.
Claim #3 – Yeah, our state government’s budget battles when Jennifer Granholm was in office were a nightmare. However, that was largely because she faced a Republican-controlled Senate and House during her first term and a House led by pseudo-Democrat Andy Dillon during her second term. She was fought by them every step of the way in trying create budgets that didn’t destroy our state. Sure that ended in 2011 when Gov. Snyder took office but when you’ve got a state legislature completely dominated by members of your own party, you can hardly take credit for “fixing” that particular problem.
Claim #4 – Again, Michigan has a balanced budget requirement so this isn’t any sort of accomplishment. In fact, by my count, there have been, 51 balanced budgets in a row since the constitution was amended in 1963. Snyder can’t take credit for something required by law.
Nice try, Governor Snyder. Too bad the pesky facts get in the way of your effort to take credit for things that you didn’t actually do.