Whitmer ignores inflation woes, says that things have gotten cheaper

It’s easy for those who live in the governor’s mansion to dismiss concerns about the cost of living

Either Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is not living in the same Michigan as the rest of us, or she is spreading untruths.

“It’s been one year since President @JoeBiden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, and Michiganders have experienced the benefits,” Whitmer tweeted Aug. 16. “We’ve seen savings on utility bills, lower health care costs, and investments in our infrastructure.”

If our soaring bills are benefits of the Biden law, one cannot imagine how disconnected the governor is from her constituents. It's insulting that the governor of Michigan would make such insensitive comments when people are struggling to make ends meet.

Is Whitmer serious? Does she believe what she said, or is she just hoping that if she says it enough, people will believe it?

Let’s look at reality in 2023. The person making $60,000 in January 2020 would need a raise of $11,098.92 to have the same buying power in July 2023, as measured by the consumer price index calculator. How many people received a cost-of-living raise to match the inflation rate, which was supposedly reduced? Inflation has run at 17% since the start of 2020.

Michigan has the highest utility rates of any state adjacent to the Great Lakes, according to Jason Hayes, director of energy and environmental policy at the Mackinac Center. The state's 2021 electricity rates were 28% above the national average and 37% higher than Ohio's.

As of Aug. 6, the average price of a gallon of gas in Michigan was $3.76, up 26 cents from one month before, according to the Michigan Business Network.

Health care costs for employers rose 5% in 2022, and forecasts call for them to increase another 6% in 2023.

Rosy statements about the poor economic state of Michiganders’ affairs are disingenuous, given that Whitmer lives in an 8,700-square-foot mansion paid for by those same people. While people could hardly pay their bills this month, Whitmer also presented taxpayers with a $1 million bill for a new driveway at her residence, complete with electric vehicle charging stations. It sure must be good to be governor. And when she wants a vacation, she can stay at the Governor’s Mansion on Mackinac Island.

No wonder the newly released song, “Rich Men North of Richmond” has resonated with Americans from all walks of life and is climbing to the top of the charts. Perhaps Whitmer’s next tweet will be “let them eat cake.”

Jamie A. Hope is assistant managing editor of Michigan Capitol Confidential. Email her at

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.