Rough day for Michigan families yesterday. Despite (lackluster) efforts at job creation and retention in the auto industry the day brought one round of bad news after another. The same day General Motors announced plans to reduce their payroll by a full twenty-percent, estimated at well over 3,000 jobs, we get word that Chattanooga, Tennessee, will be the new home of a Volkswagen plant, a billion dollars in investment and 2,000 new high-paying jobs. That’s right, they’re going to be building cars in Chattanooga. Because when you think Chattanooga you think “automobile.”
You know what you don’t think, though, when you hear Chattanooga? UAW. Oh, I know, that had nothing to do with it. It was all about, um, Davey Crockett. Yeah, the guys over at VW are big Fess Parker fans so they ignored Michigan’s ready-built, ready-trained, available, eager workforce with centuries of combined automotive experience in favor of the middle-south. That’s it. Or maybe it does have something to do with Big Labor. The Detroit News reports:
Volkswagen spokeswoman Jill Bratina said in a statement that the company “has both union and nonunion plants and this decision is made by our employees. In both the union and nonunion facilities Volkswagen prides itself on a collaborative relationship with our employees.”
Volkswagen earlier this year relocated its North American headquarters from Auburn Hills to northern Virginia.
“And this decision is made by our employees.” Powerful, telling words. Way to be, Ron Gettelfinger and Bill Bonds.
Not to worry, though. All was not lost. Jennifer Granholm is a wizard when it comes to massaging non-negative coverage out of the MSM here in Michigan and she was in top form yesterday.
The Ivory Tower actually nails the headline on their coverage of the Governor’s carefully timed and politically orchestrated “I’m not as bad as you think I am” press conference. The big bold font screams in part: “The lucky 13 companies…” There were thirteen outfits that received cash pay-offs from the guv in hopes that they’d keep their promise and add a job or two.
That’s become Michigan’s economic development strategy. Pick winners and losers, some job makers get lucky, some don’t, and anytime there’s a wave of bad news you can count on the governor to try riding in like a white knight announcing she’s slain another dragon. What she doesn’t tell you is that there’s a whole forest full of dragons and they ate the rest of her job-focused army.
It took $44.4 million in TAX CUTS to convince thirteen companies to promise really nicely that they’ll add fifty jobs here and one-hundred there. Tax cuts. Seriously, people. Tax cuts.
Look, most of the Michigan left isn’t stupid. They pretend sometimes and some of them can be awfully convincing but they see this and they absolutely must understand the way these things work. They just choose to ignore reality. Wish I could understand why. I have a theory or two… and certainly there are different reasons for different individuals but in the end they all willingly ignore reality.
Decreased tax burdens allow job makers to make jobs. Jennifer Granholm knows it and she acknowledged it yesterday. Necessarily the converse is true. A higher tax burden forces job makers to eliminate jobs. But let’s set that aside for a moment. Let’s say that what’s done is done and it is all water under the bridge. There’s no wishing last fall’s massive $1.5 billion Democrat tax hike didn’t happen. It did. That damage is done. But the governor’s “job creation efforts” reveal in all her stagecraft and press conference glory that she understands lowering taxes is the right thing to do to put Michigan back to work. So the question is, where do we go from here? What is the next step?
If you’ll indulge me a suggestion… the Lansing Democrats could start by repealing their job-killing MBT surcharge! No excuses. We know it kills jobs. You know it kills jobs. We all know there are adequate savings through better more efficient government. Get it done. Because until Michigan’s prevailing Party course-corrects on this simply solved issue all they’re doing through these targeted cuts is telling tens of thousands of Michigan job makers that they aren’t important enough to the state to earn a press conference.
When you lose 56,000 jobs in May alone that’s the kind of insult none of us can afford from Lansing.