Gregory Hilton: Gov. Granholm will not be missed.
Posted by iusbvision on January 25, 2011
SHE WILL NOT BE MISSED: After an eight year tenure, Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) left office earlier this month. Granholm has a high negative rating and now says she is through with politics forever. She is moving to California to be a law professor at UC-Berkeley. We do not know what she will tell her students, but for eight years Michigan residents always heard nothing was her fault.
She ignored the fact that unemployment was 4.8% under her GOP predecessor, and 13.1% when she left office.
Granholm deserves a significant amount of the blame, and the only industry which grew in Michigan in her era was government. The state now has 20% more government employees than manufacturing jobs. Michigan’s economy was growing when Granholm took office but she quickly reversed that trend. The state lost almost one million jobs while she was focusing on various liberal crusades. MSNBC’s Chris Mathews called her a genius, and she was — in killing jobs. Organized labor also deserves equal blame for contributing to the state’s unemployment problem.
Granholm shut down the government to win a debate with the legislature, and the result was one of the largest income tax increases in state history. She also succeeded in passing a 22% tax increase on gross business receipts. Republicans were solidly in opposition, and now all of their predictions have come true. The tax increases didn’t come close to raising the revenue she promised. In fact, this year Michigan will have 33% less revenue.
Many Michigan businesses closed down or left the state. Among all states, Michigan now ranks last in economic growth, first in unemployment, and third for high business taxes. It ranks 49th in retaining young adults.
Granholm was always a mouthpiece for the AFL-CIO and was consistently hostile to business. After eight years Michigan ended up with less business, less revenue and less employment. Granholm is gone but the lessons from her mistakes remain. Liberal Democrats such as Granholm do not realize that jobs are created by small businesses and lowering costs to employers. The Granholm agenda was similar to what so many other liberal Democrats are promoting. She increased spending which required higher taxes, and then she asked businesses to carry out her social agenda with laws, rules and regulations. The latter hides the spending from political fall-out.
If you want less of something, all you have to do is tax it. She increased taxes and then added excessive regulatory burdens on employers. The result was that companies such as Pfizer and Comerica left Michigan, and hundreds of thousands of jobs left with them.