If you’re on Governor Snyder’s email list you recently received his most recent glitter bomb of self-congratulation. In it he points out that Michigan’s unemployment rate has dropped by half from 11.2% in December, 2011, but offers no reasons for this drop. It’s reasonable to assume the drop is primarily related to the increase in auto sales along with the national economy moving at a less sluggish pace. Is this because of GOP policies or Obama’s? If Snyder’s own policies explained any good news he would be touting something specific about that decline in unemployment, something like that mass migration of businesses to Michigan once Right to Work legislation was passed.
Governor Snyder clearly wants us to think things are becoming rosy because of his policies and so do his sycophants who are now whispering loudly about Snyder making a possible run for president.
But here’s the thing about the fantasies his celebration is based on: In the same notice about the unemployment rate the Governor cites a program called Welfare to Career as an example of his new vision for how Michigan government should work and his Rivers of Opportunity. The only problem is that this onsite program, initiated by Fred Keller, Grand Rapids businessman and philanthropist, was in place long before Snyder even ran for governor.
Further, Governor Snyder would have us believe that it was his idea to have DHS case workers placed in schools, when this was first done under the Granholm administration in order to improve school attendance and MEAP test scores and galvanize the connections among families, students, schools and government service providers in areas of high poverty.
It will be difficult to justify any continued placement of case workers in private enterprises like Keller’s if there are pending layoffs of state workers due to the DHS/DCH merger. But keeping them in public schools may continue to be part of school districts’ plans for improving their students’ performance, parent engagement, and the general learning atmosphere of the schools in high poverty areas.
At any rate, the governor’s trotting out older programs that he did not institute and using them to embellish his own image seems not only phony, but politically craven. Mr. Snyder, please cite something your own administration has instituted that has been successful. Platitudes, catchy phrases, and implications will not get you to the White House.