Rick Snyder has released his first re-election ad touting himself as “One Successful Nerd” after just 33 months on the job. His most recent email blast implies that he has added 220,000 jobs in Michigan. Unfortunately for the governor, a portion of that job growth happened before he ever took office. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics there has only been 132,000 jobs created since the governor’s first day on the job.
The reality is that Michigan’s economy was improving long before Snyder arrived.
If we are to believe Rick Snyder is responsible for this job creation, he should be able to identify specific legislative actions that brought this improvement, otherwise the governor is just taking credit for the work of his predecessor.
When discussing the number of jobs that would be created from his tax cut plan the governor stated “Can we quantify all the numbers? No. But we know it’s going to happen.” If the governor had looked into the real world results he would see that the corporate taxes cuts he championed have had at best a questionable impact. Ironically, while the governor was uncomfortable making any predictions about the potential success of his tax cuts, he seems happier attributing any and all job growth to his policies.
Note too that the tax cuts the governor is claiming helped create jobs didn’t take effect until 2012. So even if this legislation started generating jobs on day one, the governor would only be able to attribute around 64,000 jobs to this tax cut – with Michigan actually losing jobs for five straight months after the implementation of these cuts.
The governor also felt that changing Michigan to a right-to-work state would be good for jobs, yet, according to the Christian Science Monitor, seven of the nine states with zero or negative growth rates are right-to-work states, while three of the top five highest growth states are pro-union states. If right to work was the panacea of job creation, one would expect much different results.
But even if you attribute every job created since January 1, 2011 to Rick Snyder, there are no indications that Michigan is outpacing other states in job creation.
Since 2011, every state has created jobs. So the fact that Snyder hasn’t made things worse, as every other state improves, is not a glowing endorsement. It seems more likely that the governor is just the beneficiary of general economic improvement. For instance automobile sales are set to increase for the fifth straight year – a feat only done once since WWII – and Michigan has by far the most automotive jobs of any state in the U.S.
When discussing the reasons they are adding jobs, Ford officials suggested it had to do with increased demand for products, higher costs of outsourcing work to foreign countries, and higher quality workers in the U.S. Tax cuts and right to work were not part of their rationale.
So while Rick Snyder will spend the next thirteen months using donations from many of the big corporations that he just gave $1.7 billion in tax cuts, what he won’t do is supply proof that his key legislative actions are even remotely correlated with the growth Michigan has experienced. Perhaps the governor should admit that, when it comes to job creation, he is just “One Lucky Nerd.”