Cross-posted on Right Michigan at www.RightMichigan.com.
Jennifer Granholm made a rare appearance yesterday, acting in her capacity as the Governor of the state of Michigan and not a shill for one political candidate or another. Two of them actually.
Last month we talked pretty extensively about legislation that moved its way through the Capitol city, granting DTE and Consumers Energy uncontested monopolies in Michigan’s energy market, complete with the ability to impose massive, uncontestable rate hikes… oh, and legislators imposed a new surcharge on each of us while they were at it. “Surcharge,” of course, is code for “tax increase.”
Apparently tax and hike are the magic words one must speak to conjure up the Governor for a little professional business. The Associated Press reports the incantation was uttered twice.
Granholm held two energy bill-signing ceremonies, one in Detroit and one in Eaton Rapids southwest of Lansing. She said the new measures will create new renewable energy jobs.
Oh, job creation. Right. I forgot, silly me. The lefty thinking process behind this legislation, going back all the way to March, was that by killing competition these Big Energy companies would somehow create 400,000 jobs. No exaggeration. The Governor actually stated, more than once, that her legislation would replace every single one of the 400,000 manufacturing jobs the state’s lost under her watch.
Last week Jack Spencer had a fantastic piece in Lansing insider publication MIRS. He took the Chief Executive’s repeated claims and tried to back them up. The Governor frequently defends her numbers by pointing to Sweden, but according to Iowa State economist Dave Swenson she’s going miles and miles further when she makes her outlandish claims.
“When they make these predictions about producing a great deal of jobs they’re just taking a trip to Mars,” said Swenson.
If you were to take a trip across the Atlantic to visit the Gov’s favorite European cold spot you’d find they’re actually creating somewhere in the neighborhood of 26,000 total alternative energy jobs. And they are, unquestionably, the global leaders in alternative energy production. They are also roughly the same size as Michigan.
That’s one big number that doesn’t have much rooting in reality.
MIRS pointed out (to Leonard Johannson of the Swedish Consul General’s office) that it’s virtually impossible to find verification for the 400,000 jobs figure — other than references to Granholm.
“I know,” Johannson said. “We do not do statistics very much in Sweden.”
Maybe it is Martian reality. The only big numbers Michigan residents need concern themselves after yesterday’s bill signing is the skyrocketing figure in the “amount due” box on their monthly heating bill this winter. This legislation is going to end up being the Christmas gift that keeps taking.
Not that we should be surprised. Jennifer Granholm and the Lansing Democrats have had a bad habit, lately, of putting cynical politics above fixing problems. In the process they create more and allow others to fester. Take a gander over at the Wayne Westland school district we talked about yesterday.
Jennifer Granholm and the Democrats paint themselves as the friends of education and friends of working class parents with kids in public schools and yet their silence over an illegal teacher strike, now entering day two, is deafening. Apparently they’re closer friends with the teachers’ unions than they are the students. The Ivory Tower reports:
The district cancelled classes today for its K-12 graders, according to its Web site. District and union officials were unable to reach an agreement Monday.
The situation marks the first time Michigan teachers outside Detroit Public Schools have been willing to face fines authorized under a 1992 law that rewrote the penalties public school employees could incur if they strike.
“Everybody in the entire state is watching Wayne-Westland,” said Rosemary Carey, communications consultant for the Michigan Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union. Asked whether what happens in 13,000-student Wayne-Westland could trigger other strikes, Carey added, “Each situation … is different, and that’s a decision the local makes. But yes … people are looking at it differently.”
That’s a pretty powerful statement. There’s saber rattling and then there’s saber rattling. Rosemary basically just threw the gauntlet down across the state, signaling to parents and lawmakers that her union is ready, willing and prepared to stage mass walk outs across the mitten. And the response from Lansing… to an ILLEGAL strike and the not-so-veiled threat of many more… silence. Crickets chirping. Ah, leadership.
Apparently the Governor was too busy daydreaming her way to interstellar job creation.