Four years ago, Rick Snyder talked a lot about how things would run if elected governor. Unfortunately the governor failed to keep his word.
For example, during the gubernatorial debates, when asked about taxing pensions, Rick Snyder's response was "that's not how you address tax reform," yet that is precisely what he did to pay for his 83 percent tax cut for Michigan businesses.
On the campaign trail, when asked about government incentives for business, Snyder stated: "As a practical matter, my view is government shouldn't be picking winners and losers because those incentives aren't free." Yet in one of his many press releases touting his work, Snyder mentioned 14 different companies he awarded taxpayer funded incentives to, also known as handpicked winners.
In a later portion of the debate, Snyder spoke about his opinion on increasing the tax on gas. His answer to the question was "I don't support an increase in the gas tax," yet that is exactly what he has proposed to improve Michigan roads.
When discussing education, Snyder said, "It's too much about spending money when you go to Lansing. All they talk about in Lansing is this funding level or that funding level," yet now that he is back on the campaign trail he said: "In the last three years we've increased educational spending at the state level for K-12 each and every year to the point where we've invested $660 more per student than there was previously before I took office."
While trying to convince Michiganians that his flip-flop on right-to-work legislation was good, Snyder said people should have the "freedom to choose," yet when voters repealed the Emergency Manger law he worked with the Legislature to nullify the people's choice by simply passing another version of the law.
Gov. Rick Snyder has shown over and over again that his word is worth very little. So it comes as no surprise that when it comes to job creation, the one thing Snyder hung his hat on four years ago and is making a core aspect of his re-election campaign, the numbers show his results don't match his rhetoric.
Before the 2010 election, the Snyder campaign stated that "He's the only businessman running so he's the only one that even knows what he's doing." To temper any expectations Snyder also made a point to say "government doesn't create jobs. Government creates an environment where jobs can flourish." But the question is, what is the result of the environment that the governor created?
There are more jobs now in Michigan then when Rick Snyder took office. But there are more jobs everywhere. All Michigan has done is kept pace with the rest of the nation. After all of his work Forbes still ranks Michigan as the 47th best state to do business. One doubts that Snyder's definition of success for Michigan was being bottom-of-the-pile.
Even though data shows only a questionable impact, Gov. Snyder believes his tax cuts created jobs. How many? Well, Snyder says, it's tough to say: "Can we quantify all the numbers? No. But we know it's going to happen."
Well, when you actually do quantify the numbers, Gov. Snyder's faith in tax cuts seems to be misplaced. Before he was elected, Michigan was in the top three states for job growth. Nearly three years later and Michigan has slipped to 15th.
Most of the jobs that have been created in Michigan over the past few years are a result of increased automotive sales. These jobs have little to nothing to do with Snyder's "environment." As a matter of fact when Ford executive Bill Ford Jr. was asked about his company's resurgence, he credited labor unions for saving the company but gave no mention to Snyder or state government.
While Republicans have made unions out to be the reason for poor jobs numbers, other reports show 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.
The governor also stated "Michigan cannot be a great state until Detroit is on the path to being a great city," yet of the 10 major cities hardest hit by the recession, the recovery of Detroit, on Snyder's watch, has only outpaced that of two other cities. If Detroit is supposed to be the cornerstone of Michigan's resurgence, the fact that so few jobs have been created there has to be considered a failure of the Snyder administration.
Data also shows former governor Jim Blanchard oversaw a quicker recovery from a worse recession than Rick Snyder inherited, yet that hasn't stopped the governor from boastfully calling himself the "comeback kid."
So far in this election cycle, Snyder and his team of experts have proven to be very good at creating catchy nicknames and misrepresenting data to make it appear the governor has had a positive impact. His own words also show that the governor is very accomplished at completely contradicting himself.
Unfortunately for Michiganians, the real data tell quite a different story.