Whitmer’s strong economy claim is false
Michigan’s recovery is among the weakest in the nation
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer claims Michigan’s economic recovery is one of the strongest in the country. The facts do not align with her statement, and the governor’s own policies are part of the reason.
“We’re seeing the fastest small business growth in 23 years and securing critical investments that are creating thousands of jobs,” Whitmer tweeted October 15.
There are 23 states that have fully recovered jobs lost due to the pandemic and government responses to it. Michigan is not one of them. In fact, it has the seventh-weakest recovery among the 50 states. State employment is still down 94,500 jobs from when the pandemic began, a 2.1% decrease,
There are 19 states that have fully recovered jobs lost due to the pandemic and government responses to it. Michigan is not one of them. In fact, it has the ninth-weakest recovery among the 50 states. State employment is still down 96,000 jobs from when the pandemic began, a 2.2% decrease, according to James Hohman, director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Hohman attributes the slow recovery to Whitmer’s stance on taxes.
“Michigan has fallen behind other states, and Gov. Whitmer’s refusal to sign tax cuts has kept the state from recovering faster,” Hohman told Michigan Capitol Confidential.
He points to several opportunities Whitmer had to work with the Legislature to enact tax relief. Instead, the governor vetoed the following bills:
House Bill 5570 would have created a gas tax holiday from April 1 through Sept. 30, which would help those struggling with price increases. Had Whitmer succeeded in her original plans, by contrast, the gas tax would have gone up by 45 cents.
Senate Bill 768 would have lowered the rate for both the individual and the corporate income tax.
House Bill 4568 would have cut the state income tax rate for individuals from 4.25% to 4.0% and allow a $500 nonrefundable child tax credit. According to MichiganVotes.org, it would have increased the amount the state adds to the federal earned income tax credit that low-income households receive. The state would have increased its supplement from 6% of the federal amount to 20%. Also, residents 67 years of age and older would have received an increase in their income tax exemption from $20,000 to $21,800, and disabled veterans would have received tax credits.
This bill would have saved taxpayers approximately $2.5 billion annually, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency.
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.