On November 2nd, 2010, Michigan voters will decide who will be the next Governor of Michigan. The race is down to either Republican Rick Snyder or Democrat Virg Bernero. Bernero, the current mayor of Lansing, has succeeding in creating jobs in Lansing and cutting costs without lowering taxes. Snyder, a businessman, was previously the CEO and Chairman of Gateway while currently being the same position at Ardesta LLC, a company he co-founded.
The focus around both campaigns is centered on the creation of jobs. Both realize that previous administrations have failed to create a competitive job market in the state of Michigan and both have ideas as to how to turn things around and improve Michigan’s economy. Bernero believes that small businesses are the key to economic recovery and plans to introduce measures to help small business thrive in Michigan the same way they have in Lansing. One such measure is to introduce a state bank that will allow businesses lacking in credit to get the loans they need to create jobs. Snyder plans on eliminating the Michigan Business Tax and replacing it with a flat tax which he claims will save Michigan businesses a billion and a half dollars in taxes. Snyder claims that businesses can then use this excess to hire workers and create jobs in that sense. Bernero believes that the flat tax, which Snyder states will be set at 6%, will only harm small businesses and that the Michigan Business Tax should only be modified to be more accommodating to those small business, something Bernero claims he has already done within Lansing.
Both have criticized one another, however, for their own failings. Snyder in the past has claimed that despite Bernero’s efforts Lansing still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state and that these jobs Bernero supposedly created were actually in place before Bernero became Lansing mayor. Bernero adamantly points out that Gateway outsourced thousands of jobs while Snyder was still part of the company and that it was ultimately sold overseas. Bernero calls Snyder a confirmed outsourcer of jobs while Snyder calls Bernero a “career politician”.
Frankly, I don’t think the past should have much importance in this matter especially when it comes down to name calling and accusations. Regardless of whether Bernero was Lansing mayor at the time those jobs were created; the fact is that Lansing has still created jobs. Gateway may have outsourced jobs while Snyder was with the company, but Snyder is not its only decision maker. What’s more, Snyder plans to eliminate what he believes was the reason why Gateway had to make its unfortunate moves. The past should not be an issue, only the futures which these two men are trying to bring.
I am personally fonder of Snyder’s plan more than I am Bernero’s. The two plans aren’t that different when it comes to jobs, education, or even trying to fix Michigan’s “broken government” in the words of Snyder. There are key differences between the two, particularly when it comes to job creation and I believe Snyder’s plan, one which asks for more of an overhaul of the system in place, may be the kick Michigan needs to finally get out of the rut it has been in the past few years.
Virg Bernero, Plan for the Economy, votevirg.com
Michigan Official Website, The Michigan Business Tax, michigan.gov
Rick Snyder, Eliminating the Michigan Business Tax, rickformichigan.com
Associated Press, Virg Bernero, Rick Snyder spar over jobs creation records, mlive.com/politics