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On the eve of Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s second year 2012 Michigan State Budget announcements, this ANALYSIS, in simple pictures, looks back at what historical data says.  Facts found in this fountain of tables, graphs and charts reveals much, and in many cases, might surprise many Michiganders.  It gives a unique view not only into where we are, and where Snyder Policy is trying to take us, but also where we have been and how we got there.  

Facing Wisconsin style protests across the state through most of his first year 2011, some of the largest marches in Michigan’s history continuing into early 2012, Snyder’s consultants published several reports and benchmarking metrics early in 2011 that include over 200 measurements of Michigan Government performance metrics and trends.

Missing in this pile of PowerPoints is any trace of the Republican Holy Grail, proof that massive business tax break ($1.6 billion) and education budget cuts (nearly $1 billion from public education) and policies focused on plans prefabricated in 2009 and released in 2010 and updated in January of 2012 by business leaders in Michigan that will, as their stacks of slides state, create “500,000” new Michigan jobs.

The Nerd and his small army of outside consultants did us all a great favor in the early months of his tenure by publishing Michigan’s data, learn to embrace it.

But, before going into what Snyder’s Data tells us about 2011, his turbulent first year as “CEO”, let’s take a look back and see what historical truths are included in those facts and figures going back to 1998-2008.

This first installment will focus on data from the terms of former Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) and Republican Governor John Engler (R).

The core documents used for this ANALYSIS come from supporting documents for Snyder’s Dashboard or “MiDashboard” and budget related metrics, tons of benchmarking rankings and data points from Snyder’s Citizen’s Guide to Michigan Financial Health or "Dollars and Sense: How State and Local Governments in Michigan Spend Your Money."

Michigan’s Myth of the ‘Lost Decade’
From Michigan economist Lou Glazer on December 2, 2010:

“That’s right, the state’s lost decade started years before the election of Governor Granholm. And how the state organized and delivered its economic development programming in the Granholm years had almost nothing to do with the decline.”
In their current campaign to support the big business and ‘profitization’ policies in which Michigan public assets and taxpayer monies will be redirected in privatization projects across Michigan, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy continues day in and day out ‘mything’ what we call “Mackinac Math”, or the myth of Michigan’s ‘lost decade.  

Using Rick Snyder own data sets, let’s explore the myth we have been hearing for years.  And let’s look at the policies of former Republican Governor John Engler at the beginning of this supposed “Lost Decade” going as far back as the Snyder data will let us.

Michigan’s “Lost Decade” in Pictures:

Republican Governor John Engler DEPLETES Michigan Rainy Day Fund…to the tune of $1.2 BILLION

UPDATE: Snyder Data says $1.38 Billion

Snyder’s latest goals, first announced in his first State of the State presentation included increased revenues to rebuild the “Rainy Day Fund” and improving Michigan’s bond ratings, both destroyed by current Snyder staffers and advisers under the last years Republican Gov John Engler.

Engler Taxes Cuts kick in reducing State Revenues… Cuts $4.2 BILLION as he is going out the door…

It is surprising that Revenue remains relatively stable under Granholm until Global Financial Crisis of 2008 hits following unregulated greed of Wall Street speculation.

Snyder’s $1.6 billion cut in 2011 to bailout Michigan business is just the start.  Because Michigan has a balance budget amendment, one of the tricks used to justify even greater future cuts will be the health of the Rainy Day Fund, not just at the state level, but now as policy at the City, Village, Township (CVT) and County and school district levels.  Same tactic, different pitch.

Engler Cuts to Tax Base and Revenues CREATE DEFICIT at the end of his administration…

Leaving the budget situation for Granholm, and a REPUBLICAN BLOCKING MAJORITY in the Michigan State Senate (since 1985), to deal with it.

One footnote, according to the Detroit Free Press on December 11, 2010:

Granholm said that unlike three previous governors, she will leave her successor with a balanced budget and a $400-million surplus.”
Everyone is now talking about Michigan’s new surplus and what Snyder plans to do with it. Where did it come from? One person’s surplus is another’s justified revenue, but some of these funds were already there, despite the cries of ‘we are broke’ from capitol chambers and the Michigan conservative media noise machine, and used to cut taxes for rich and tax the poor.

Engler Tax Cuts and Revenue cuts continue to impact into the next administration making it next to impossible to balance the budget…

An event better look at these trends is in the charts on State Revenue Sharing over this time period that show where cities and municipalities took the most of the budget hits, particularly in the daily stalemate stories of Bishop vs. Dillon (now Snyder’s State Treasurer) and the two government shutdown brinkmanship overnighters in 2007 and 2009 (More on Revenue Sharing and How Michigan Funds Municipalities and Snyder Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP) when the revisions are announced).

Only Republicans can make Government more efficient…?

Another key ‘myth’ is that Granholm and ‘the Democrat Party’ grew, or would grow in the future if they ever had total control, the size of Michigan’s State Government, when in fact the total number of State Employees decreased by over 8,000 FTE’s or Full-Time Equivalents or Total State Employees under Granholm, who was forced to make deals with the GOP Majority in the State Senate.  A decrease of over 13%...

In fact, Michigan Government won numerous awards nationally for ‘efficient government’ policy and services, like having one of the highest levels of ‘on-line’ services in the country for example (also a stated Snyder goal), under Granholm even during a very politically and economically turbulent second term.

Michigan’s Bond Ratings began falling under Engler, not Granholm…

In his 2012 State of the State PowerPoint ‘presentation’, Snyder touted stabilization in Michigan’s bond ratings. The accompanying myth is that the Granholm administration was responsible for the fall of bond ratings, and his actions are correcting Granholm’s mess, not quite right.

There are a number of sources, but we will use this Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency report “Michigan’s Bond Rating and Related Information” dated February 20, 2007:

December 19, 2001 (Last year under Gov John Engler)
Moody’s revises outlook for the State of Michigan from “Stable” to “Negative”

March 27, 2003 (Less than 90 days after Granholm takes office)
S&P also revises outlook for the State of Michigan from “Stable” to “Negative”

July 18, 2003 (Slight bump 1/2 through Granholm’s first year)
Moody’s revised outlook to “Negative” from “WatchList Negative”

November 14, 2003 (Two months before end of Granhom’s first year)
Moody’s downgraded to “Aa1” from “Aaa” the first actual drop in the rating.

Engler created Michigan’s Debt/Rating debacle by slashing state revenues and starving municipalities going into a tough economy. Bond ratings drops were well on the way down during the Engler administration, and further drops resulted directly to his fiscal and tax policies in Granholm first years in office.

So if all that the Engler administration did for twelve years was to ‘fix’ Michigan why did Michigan’s Bond Ratings drop, the first fall in Michigan’s Bond Ratings for generations? Directly following these 12 years of the “slash and burn” policies of the Engler Revolution, Michigan wasn’t a paradise, it was a starved, scorched state of affairs.  

If tax cuts and massive budget cuts alone were the answer, Michigan should have been the Promised Land by the time Granholm took office.

Snyder’s team, comprised largely of Engler retreads, call their new strategy ‘reinvention’.  If it didn’t work for us leading into the downturn of 2001, why will these same tactics work now following the global financial crash of 2008 at the end of the Bush years?  We call it for what it is, “Slash, Burn  and Repeat”.

People that know this history and economic development theory and practice, know that no business will be attracted to a State that can’t fund their infrastructure and improvement of its own ‘civilization’ (assets in our cities, villages, towns and counties) and adequately educate its youth and talent in a new, innovation driven economy.  Starved, low wage states might be just great for processing chicken, but they are not the sort of states that build out high wage innovation economies.

Snyder’s Business Tax cuts may prop up struggling business who can't manage their own books (2/3 will now pay no taxes at all), and make the rich richer, but it will never create a State people are attracted to and want to live and work by in creating a MARKET in assets, core capabilities, talent and consumer DEMAND necessary for Michigan’s real recovery.

Facts are stubborn things, and those are the FACTS, period.

MORE DISCUSSION on all this Continues BELOW...

"Whoever is governor is going to be blamed for the economic conditions whether they've had anything to do with it or not."
--- Former Gov. James Blanchard in 2010
Despite a Republican Blocking Majority in the Michigan State Senate throughout her tenure 2002-2010 some of Michigan most challenging years since the Great Depression, Granholm is able to creatively bring the budget into BALANCE all the way until the national/global Financial Crisis of 2008 hit.

National Debt Under US Presidents - FDR through Obama
Applies just as well to Michigan as the Country – the GOP “Slash and Burn”

The Myth is that Democrats are the deficit creators, but the data shows that deficits through US economic history have been created under Republican Leadership.  This is the Reagan classic “slash and burn” or “scorched earth” economic policy targeting the destruction of ‘big’ government, or “starving the beast”.

Former Republican Governor John Engler was no different. He spent the rainy day fund, eliminated cash balances and cut revenues for the incoming Democratic Granholm administration crippling Granholm well before she took the governorship.

A little history from "Winter of Discontent" by Deborah Kaplan, March 6, 1991:

Engler's mission is to "downsize government," a phrase so oft-repeated it now has an almost liturgical ring. The Democrats' term for it is "dismantling government" by cutting and consolidating beyond what's required to offset the state's $1.1 billion deficit. And turmoil is the word for what's happening in Lansing.

Engler's campaign promise was to do more in his first eight weeks in office than former Governor Blanchard did in eight years, and Democrats say he has indeed launched what amounts to ‘an ideological attack on state government.’”


The entire state is being reshaped, and lawmakers are expecting more radical surgery yet. They say Engler has ordered his department heads to make another 15 percent cut to their budgets for fiscal 1992. And if the Headlee Tax Cut initiative; mandating an immediate 20 percent property tax rollback; is approved by the Legislature, the state will have to find some way to pay for that.”


Almost point for point, Engler seems to be following the Mackinac Center's prescription for "downsizing," as spelled out in its policy papers and studies: Cut property taxes and privatize as many of the state's functions as possible, or deregulate or dump on counties or cities what can't be contracted out to private companies. Both tax cuts and privatizing would be boons for business and, the theory goes, what's good for business is good for the state.”


The real story, opponents say, is Engler's attempt to radically overhaul state government to conform to a right-wing, "free-market" ideology espoused by certain of his informal advisers; mostly directors and policy analysts from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a right-wing think tank based in Midland. The think tank's corporate contributors include Dow Chemical and Dow Corning.

Engler had helped to create the think tank when he was on the board of the nonprofit Cornerstone Foundation in Lansing. In 1987, Cornerstone gave $38,000 in seed money to Mackinac, as the Detroit News revealed in a story that ran late in the governor's race. Incorporation papers show that Mackinac continues to operate under the auspices of Cornerstone, whose current directors appoint those of the center.”

Does any of that sound familiar? It should. The language has changed, but the people in charge and they advice they listen to are the same ones.  Snyder has caved in to pressures from the Midland surrounded by new, uncompromising "Tea Party" Republicans when he says that he keeps a copy of the Mackinac Center cheat-sheet on improving government "in my coat pocket".

Rick Snyder and his Team, comprised of a number of Engler retreads, are taking the same path and making the EXACT same relentless Engler “Slash and Burn” arguments.

Although former Milliken aids like Bill Rustem might continue to insert the old Bill’s adage that “Good Government (makes good politics)” here and there, it is clear that Snyder’s strategy is “Whatever is Good for Business is Government.”

Building Business Led "Corporatocracy" in Michigan
On a state level most of these plans for the business side of Snyder’s agenda come directly from the Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), led by Doug Rothwell, who with his wife Sharon Rothwell, both former Engler team members, headed up Snyder’s Transition Team.

Both the Mackinac Center and the Business Leaders for Michigan play key roles in the complete overhaul of Michigan law and institutions, something they have as of yet been unable to do unfettered.  But that there are also bigger forces, national Republican and think tank driven strategies, affecting Michigan as well and much of the policy and tools being use are ‘not invented here’. They are the PROCESSES and TOOLS generated by SERVICE PROVIDERS within a networked right-wing INDUSTRY funded by the same out-of-state 1% billionaires that have been put in place for decades now, and have either completely or partially, implemented these policies into the governments in other US states.  The best conservative models, or what some call ‘government in a box’ or ‘state laboratories’ for these policies are found in places like Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Utah, Missouri, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The far right’s new targets are in the Midwest in the states making all the news these days in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, where the standard of living is more evenly distributed, organized labor and unions still prevail.  This is where their vision of inequality and low wages is being implemented state by state by Republican majorities in State Houses (See 2000 Income Inequality Chart below).

At the national level the myth of creating great ‘business environments’ is the core of the “GOP State Solutions” strategy in multiple Republican led US States.  State Solutions was announced by Michigan’s own US Representative Mike Rogers and led by US House Speaker John Boehner in coordination with the Republican Governors Association, the State Policy Network, using American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) tools and legislative models as part of a Republican national strategy to ghostwrite legislation to create corporate influenced government across the country at the state level.

In their own words:

“GOP State Solutions is devoted to Congressional Republicans working with reform-minded GOP governors and state legislators…”
There is every indication that these coordinated national Republican strategies are (following the local business agenda of the BLM the core Snyder donors/cronies) at the core of Snyder budgeting and policy making.  In Lansing, those tactics are at work in the Republican controlled State House and Senate and in legislation , using ALEC models and ‘academic scholars’, advisors policy papers from the Heritage/Mackinac Center as guides, being proposed and passed by new Tea Party Republicans or ‘Teapublicans” in Lansing.

Much of the justification for the use of austerity and massive cuts to public salaries and services are based on the ALEC generated reports like “Rich States, Poor States” (co-authored by Michigan’s own Jonathan Williams of ALEC, a Northwood University graduate).  The fact is that much of the roots of the current find key players from Michigan, and now that the Michigan GOP has control of the State Senate and State House (again, since 1985), they are implementing those plans this past year that have been sitting on the shelves of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy for years.

SEE ALSO: Gov Rick Snyder Sellout? Prefabricated Corporate Michigan (Government) Courtesy of Koch & ALEC Excl.

Snyder administration documents including benchmark reports, plans and presentations use ALEC data and graphics, and benchmarking work done for the Business Leaders for Michigan (Snyder’s real backers), conducted by outside consultants like the Anderson Consulting Group, Plant Moran and for their 2012 the elite consultant McKinsey & Co., to support the biggest Michigan myth of creating an “business friendly environment” on their version of the SUPPLY side of the equation that jobs will spring out of the ground like magic.

The fact is without MARKETS and the buying power on consumers (the new term for ‘citizens’ these days) and the increased DEMAND for products and services, which leads to increased sales and more jobs.

Snyder Team is repeating the same Engler policies, even compounding a new “manufactured crisis” in Michigan with tools even Engler reviewed and ultimately rejected in 1993, and dared not use.  These new “tools and provisions” are PA 4 the Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) or Emergency Manager (EM) or what is now commonly called “Financial Martial Law” are the new flavor of the day for the same old laissez faire economics and policies.

We have been there before. It failed us then, it is failing us again, right now.

NEXT TIME: Rick Snyder’s Michigan Data: How did Granholm do?
193 Nerd Centric Measurements of Michigan Government Performance Trends

Compiling the 207 metrics, eliminating the ones with no trend data, or apparently left out by the Snyder Team, Snyder’s initial 193 budget metrics or ‘dashboard’ data gives one of the most comprehensive looks at former Governor Jennifer Granholm’s legacy.

UPDATE: Former Gov Granholm Responds to a  front page New York Times article on Michigan's Rebound.

Possible topics using Rick Snyder’s Michigan Data – in the Now into the Future:
What will Gov Rick Snyder’s first year data tell us?  What is this dashboard all about and what are the facts behind data he is showing us now? And, most importantly, who are the Business Leaders for Michigan and what is on their (Snyder’s) ‘Checklist’ that has been put in place in 2011? What is on their checklist for 2012 and beyond?

Where does this data come from?  Most of them are from the Citizens Guide to Michigan Financial Health or “Dollars and Sense: How State and Local Governments in Michigan Spend Your Money

Originally posted to Hector Solon on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 01:06 PM PST.

Also republished by Michigan, My Michigan and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you so much for this. We knew Granholm (16+ / 0-)

    was working so hard to repair Engler's damage, constantly having to try to work with a divided state Congress (much like Obama has had Repub. obstruction at every turn). Good charts and data like this, make it very clear. Koch Bros., Mackinac Center and ALEC need to be thoroughly investigated by the US DOJ. for the corruption they bring to our government.

    "George Washington: "The power under the Constitution will always be in the people.... and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled." 1787

    by moose67 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 01:35:58 PM PST

    •  The NEXT PART is... (11+ / 0-)

      ...... really revealing and focused just on the Granholm Administration's performance. People think it was not up to par....

      But, despite all the crap she inherited from Engler's rush to slash everything in the last couple years before she took office, they did remarkably well on a large percentage of the 'metrics' Snyder consultants are now tracking. Surprising really.

      For the occasional reluctant tweet

      by Hector Solon on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 01:41:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Secretary of the MI Treasury Kleine, under (12+ / 0-)

      Granholm, recently and rightly spoke up in defense of Michigan's management of its finances under Granholm. Michigan was ranked fourth in the nation despite the collapse of industry in the state. By the end of this year, and certainly by tax time next year, many of the voters who empowered the teahadists here will have much to wail about. Let's hope they take a hard look at themselves, stop listening to the corporate slobberers on RW radio here, and decide that the shadow government of the Kochs, DeVoses, Olins, ALEC, and the Mackinac Center should probably go through an election process themselves rather than having folks vote for their stoolies. And keep your eye on where public assets land when the EMs start selling them off.

  •  Excellent analysis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hector Solon, Alma

    But some of your links are broken, esp. the ones to older news items. Were you perhaps working from saved sources?

    "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

    by DrLori on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 02:21:45 PM PST

    •  Probably DetNews or Freep... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alma, Neon Vincent

      ... links. Will check them, sorry. Yes, working from files normally, things 'disappear' on occasion.

      OK... You must be talking about "Winter of Discontent" by Deborah Kaplan, March 6, 1991 which was a link to the MetroTimes article archives. Not finding new link that one though.

      MetroTimes has moved their archives several times over the years, love that old Curt Guyette stuff.

      Only a few care about history or doing long posts anymore. It's the land of the "tweet and now". Of course, have posted stuff 6 years ago with 10-20 comments on Kos, and they STILL are first page Google hits.

      For the occasional reluctant tweet

      by Hector Solon on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 02:52:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent Post (12+ / 0-)

    It's so frustrating how Republicans pretend that MI was an economic paradise and Granholm screwed it up. Michigan's economic woes clearly preceded her. It's even more frustrating that I've seen some Dems buying into the GOP talking points. She worked hard to keep MI going under horrible circumstances and I'm happy she was governor. Right person at the right time.

    Snyder, on the other hand, has been a disaster. He's done nothing to create jobs. I hate seeing people give him credit for MI's improving economy despite the fact that our unemployment rate had been declining for quite some time before he came into office. It's Granholm and Obama's hard work he's taking credit for. Of course, the media won't call him out on it or report data accurately ...that would take actual thought.

  •  Engler, the guy that invented the POTHOLE (11+ / 0-)

    SNYDER, the guy that PERFECTED it.

    Living here, with the constant GOP noise, hate, and arrogance.

    Granholm's only mistake was wanting the job in the first place.

    The conservative attack on Michigan was just a practice game for the rest of America.

    GREAT diary

    •  Tough to be... (6+ / 0-)

      ... totally out gunned by the rad-right noise makers, that just repeat the same stuff over and and over, cycle after cycle. Their Detroit and auto industry bashing is not helping anything.

      Granholm - Not defending Granholm, per se, just setting up some of the ground work for more Snyder analysis.

      I remember sitting there watching folks take positions in her second term thinking, wow that is courage.

      Practice Game - We dodged a bullet beating DeVos, but looks like that was only a delay of game. This EM stuff will become national strategy if we can't figure out how to slow it down. Should have stayed on the think tank state models and strategies (like ALEC and State Policy Network - the whole Heritage/CNP orgs) which we were looking at in case DeVos won in 06.

      For the occasional reluctant tweet

      by Hector Solon on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 03:09:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Engler - the scourge of Michigan. (9+ / 0-)

    He's the man who also gutted the teacher retiree medical insurance fund. It was supposed to be prefunded. Engler spent the money that was in the fund, then complained that retiree health care was costing too much. Had he left the fund alone, contributing additional funds as the plan was originally designed to operate, he wouldn't have gotten the state into the mess than ensued. Thank goodness he didn't succeed in getting the Michigan Education Association affiliated MESSA health insurance plans for currently working teachers under his control. It is one of the best-run, highest customer satisfaction plans in the country. It is low cost for the coverage it provides. Had Engler's insurance buddies have gotten control of our health insurance plan, I'm sure it would be far more expensive, and would have provided far less coverage.
    Engler did so much damage that teachers in a number of districts started a grassroots effort to persuade people to vote in the Michigan Republican primary for the candidate Engler did not support, thus preventing him from possibly gaining a cabinet position, a possibility widely talked about before the stunning defeat in Michigan primary of Engler's pick, George W. Bush.

    "Experience declares that man is the only animal that devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general preying of the rich on the poor" - Thomas Jefferson "I don't care about the very poor." - Mitt Romney

    by bigrivergal on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 03:17:04 PM PST

  •  We should remake (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, Hector Solon, Neon Vincent, Matt Z

    the tune/jingle/ditty that he used "Just think of what John Engler can do for you" and substitute "Look at what John Engler did to you."

    Never separate the life you live from the words you speak. --Paul Wellstone

    by Cordelia Lear on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 04:45:40 PM PST

  •  Informative Diary, Hector (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladypockt, Hector Solon, Neon Vincent

    While I am no longer a Michigan resident, as a born-and-raised Detroiter, it pains me greatly to see our majestic state being subjected to the level of financial abuse heaped on it by the right wingers whose agenda is to dismantle public institutions and sell off public assets for their own corporate benefit... Any doubt? Just look at Benton Harbor.

    And as for Snyder and his conservative enablers: ALEC, the Kochs, DeVos, fu*k all of 'em...

    For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

    by dagnome on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 09:17:56 PM PST

  •  Outstanding work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hector Solon

    Unfortunately, GOPers have these data and they like what they see. All those charts are proof the plan is working.

    You might also note that currently Michigan is the most extreme gerrymandered state when measured by party seats in relation to state vote share. There are always more Dem votes (or almost always) in the aggregate, often by significant margins, yet the GOPers dominate the state legislature and have a slight majority of the Reps from Michigan. The only reason they can continue to do this crap to our state is because they have power created and preserved through massive gerrymandered districts.

    By the way, the basic ratios and the metric above is exactly the one used by GOPers to pick up 6-7 seats in Texas under Delay. In other words, I am using their argument and logic from that case - where gerrymandering that favored Dems was characterized as a fundamental assault on democracy and tantamount to disenfranchisement - to critique the state of affairs in Michigan. If that is not a persuasive argument anymore, then they should give back those Texas seats.

    •  Bad timing... (0+ / 0-)

      ... is part of story related to your great observation as well.

      The bad timing is that Dem influence/power in census years or following year 1990-91, 2000-2001, 2010-2011 where it seems Dems are not in the majority or blocked by the GOP, which has impacted redistricting for 3 census cycles in a row now in Michigan.

      Not cool that will have to wait another decade for the next round. Wonder how that will turn out?

      For the occasional reluctant tweet

      by Hector Solon on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 05:37:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've reached the conclusion that deficits don't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hector Solon, ChemBob

    matter, balanced budgets don't matter, and surpluses are dumb ideas. Here is why: Imagine going to a dinner party with several people and a dinner budget of $500. Well, who-ever eats the most expensive meal wins. What republicans have figured out and systematically been doing is spending any and all surplus (and deficit) on their cronies, then hitting up the general fund either through tax increases or general budget spending cuts.

    Bush did it with Clinton's budget surplus, Snyder is doing it in Michigan, they do it to pensions funds, they do it to the postal service, and they really really want to do it to the social security surplus. I really think the only way to keep government funds from getting pilfered is to minimize them to near-bankrupt levels.

    I'm not sure if Snyder knows he is doing this or if he is a dupe. He seems to have white-mans-burden syndrome, so I'm going with dupe. I still don't like him either way.

  •  Granholm not only (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hector Solon, Hugin, blueonyx

    had to contend with the economic wreckage left behind by Engler and a loss of manufacturing jobs, and an obstructionist Republican state Senate, she had to deal with a House led by fake Democrat Andy Dillon, who now serves in the Snyder administration.

    It's a wonder anything at all got done.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 07:10:58 AM PST

  • (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hector Solon, blueonyx

    which is the reorganized effort to recall Snyder. Very good article.

    I, personally, didn't realize what a good job Granholm did and what she inherited (grew up in Mi, live out of State, only became more aware and involved in Mi politics more recently).


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