September 30 2011
A Lesson in How NOT to Govern
Nicole Kurokawa Neily
I’m loving William McGurn’s article in today’s Wall Street Journal exposing the insanity of former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm’s new book. The opening is just devastating:
Some politicians give us failure. Some politicians give us failure mixed with spectacle. Once in a generation, a politician gives us failure and misunderstanding so colossal that his or her bad example rises to the level of public service.
To this elite few belongs Jennifer Granholm.
In the Michigan she governed for eight long years, the roll call of despair is not in dispute. On her watch, the state's ranking in per capita GDP plummeted to 41st place from 24th, Detroit's population shriveled to its lowest level since 1910, and Michigan earned the dubious distinction of being the only state to suffer a net out-migration this past decade.
I discussed Granholm’s book on PBS’ “To the Contrary” last week on a (very stacked) panel and made a similar point – it’s absolutely ludicrous for Granholm to take credit for turning the state around when she took money from the pockets of other Americans to bail out a dying industry. The rest of the country doesn’t have that luxury – and I don’t recall Americans getting up in arms about bailing out, say, the 35mm film industry once the digital camera industry exploded.
In addition, Mr. McGurn does an excellent job of debunking Granholm’s assertion insisting that her tax cuts did not create jobs. Not all tax cuts are created equal; in fact, the byzantine system of politically-connected favors that she handed out had a negative effect on the state’s business climate. A straw man argument, to be sure – “look, tax cuts hurt my state” – a point which will bear repeating over the next several months, as the debate over the debt commission’s cuts heats up.
At the end of the day, why on earth would anyone take advice from a woman who led her state to the brink of economic ruin? As a friend pointed out, that’s akin to taking sobriety and celibacy advice from Charlie Sheen.