William Crandell: The true state of the state

Published 9:14 am Friday, January 24, 2014

By William Crandell

In Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State address last week he referred to Michigan as a “comeback state,” but unfortunately his tax cuts and economic policies have made Michigan anything but an emerging success story.

Too often in the past three years Governor Snyder has bowed down to the radical agenda of the Tea Party-led state legislature and their wealthy supporters. While the rest of the country is benefiting from a recovering economy, Michigan continues to lag behind because of the irresponsible agenda of our governor and his cronies in Lansing.

According to the Michigan League for Public Policy, one in four children are living in a state of poverty in Michigan because of unemployment or parents that are underemployed.

The number of participants in the free and reduced-lunch program for our school children is up 53 percent since 2005 and those numbers are continuing to climb and 50 of our state’s school districts are now operating in a deficit because of Governor Snyder’s cuts to their funding.

Under Snyder’s tenure families in Michigan have witnessed a $5,000 decline in their yearly average income and have had their tax bill increased by $700 per year.

Michigan’s unemployment rate is still close to 9 percent and, even though the governor bragged of a 15.6 percent increase in manufacturing job growth in his speech, much of that success can be attributed to President Obama’s bailing out of the auto industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Michigan currently ranks 49th in the nation in job development and has experienced five straight months of declining or stagnate job growth.

In the speech Governor Snyder also touched upon the recent budget surplus and stated that it was a sign that things are improving, but that surplus was stolen from the middle class by increasing their tax burden, from education by cutting the funding and from the elderly by imposing a pension tax that costs the average senior an additional $3,000 a year. All so Snyder can give away tax breaks to his wealthy friends.

Currently two thirds of Michigan corporations pay no taxes and it has yet to be proven that those tax breaks have produced one job.

Governor Snyder’s speech was little more than Republican propaganda designed to affect the upcoming elections in November and an attempt to fool the Michigan voter into believing that things are improving.

It is obvious utilization of the old election year strategy that if you tell the voters that life is great enough, eventually they’ll believe it, but the facts do not demonstrate that. The only “comeback” for the state of Michigan is the rich getting richer on the backs of the dwindling middle class. Michigan cannot afford four more years of Governor Snyder’s policies. We need to elect someone to lead this state that cares about the people, all the people and not just the wealthy elite.


William Crandell is a community activist and member of the Michigan Education Association and the Michigan Democratic Party. He is also a member of the South County Democratic Club where he has served as their communications director and as the chairperson of the SCDC Blue Tiger Community Action Committee.