News Bite

Gov. Whitmer has a numbers problem

Twice in one week, Whitmer presented misleading numbers to the public

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has made a habit of touting numbers that put her administration in a favorable light, even if they are misleading. She did this twice last week.

Whitmer tweeted, “Since taking office, we’ve announced 30,000+ auto jobs – and counting. You better believe we won’t take our foot off the accelerator.”

But jobs announced are not jobs created.

Until fact-checkers evaluated her claims, Whitmer had been saying that Michigan created 25,000 auto jobs during her tenure. Her administration claimed this was a conservative estimate, based on job announcements. The number has jumped by 5,000 just since June.

Whitmer’s latest statement climbs down from the claim. But in focusing on jobs announced, rather than actual jobs, it misleads. Job announcements don’t fund livelihoods.

The Detroit News caught Whitmer using inflated numbers. As Carol Thompson reported:

Energy efficiency programs have saved taxpayers $53 million and reduced energy use in state buildings by 59%, Whitmer's office announced Friday.

But just a fraction of the state's lower energy bills occurred on Whitmer's watch.

State officials acknowledged the $53 million in savings accumulated between 2005 and 2021 and included energy efficiency initiatives that took place in the 13 years before Whitmer took office in 2019 and could influence state environmental policy.

Whitmer was in office for three of the 16 years in question, but she was prepared to take all of the credit until the media pressed for details.

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.