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Posted on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 10:52 a.m.

Rick Snyder: 'Backsliding' in U.S. economy hurts Michigan, but state is still heading in right direction

By Nathan Bomey

(See related story: Gov. Rick Snyder: Personal property tax reform in Michigan could take 5 to 10 years)

Gov. Rick Snyder today acknowledged that Michigan’s economy has gotten caught up in a broader slowdown that’s affecting the U.S. economy, but he maintained that the state is heading in the right direction.

“The national economy and the world economy have become more difficult, and there’s been some backsliding,” Snyder said this morning in a meeting with’s editorial board. “And it’s applying not just to Michigan but to the majority of states in some fashion.”

The first-term Republican added: “The positive is we’re still a point better than we were a year ago. And compared to the rest of the country as a whole, they’re only a half point better. So in a relative sense we’ve made more improvement than the rest of the country, but that’s not good enough. We need to keep working hard to do even better.”

Snyder’s comments come as Michigan has endured several months of negative job reports.

The state’s unemployment rate has increased four straight months after falling for the first four consecutive months to start the year.


Gov. Rick Snyder speaks this morning with's editorial board.

Angela J. Cesere |

The jobless rate in August was 11.2 percent, up from 10.9 percent in July and a low of 10.2 percent in April. It’s down from 12.2 percent a year earlier.

Nationally, economists have suggested that a double-dip recession is possible.

“We can’t change the nation or the world, but we can make sure we’re prepared; we’re doing the things to say we’re going to do better in a relative sense to the rest of the country and the world,” Snyder said. “And I feel pretty good that compared to the rest of the country, we’re on a path, a motion, a direction to say we’re moving from a bottom-tier state to a top-tier state.”

Pressure is building on Snyder — a former Ann Arbor venture capitalist and computer executive who took office Jan. 1 — to deliver an improved economy.

“The governor needs to make jobs his top priority right now,” Michigan Democratic Party chairman Mark Brewer said in a statement Thursday. “We have a growing unemployment rate of 11.2 percent and the number of jobs is shrinking. When are the governor and the Republicans going to focus on jobs? When are they going to start focusing on putting people back to work in this state?”

Brewer said Snyder’s actions stand in stark contrast to the leadership of President Barack Obama, who “has his eye on that goal” of creating jobs.

Obama, of course, faces his own wave of political pressure — but Snyder declined to blame Washington for Michigan’s economic problems.

“I don’t blame anyone for anything,” Snyder said. “That’s not part of my model.”

In the first half of the year, Snyder worked with the Republican-controlled state Legislature to reform Michigan’s tax code, cutting business taxes by about $1.8 billion, slashing business tax credits and implementing a phased-in tax on pensions. He also cut funding for public schools, higher education and municipalities.

Collectively, the actions structurally balanced the state’s budget but contributed toward a decline in Snyder’s approval ratings.

But this morning Snyder reiterated a belief that the majority of the state supports his efforts.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 11:49 p.m.

I applaud the Governor's efforts. Don't make him your scapegoat and blame him for your woes.. Do you buy Michigan products, do you promote your you volunteer to help others. What are you doing to revitalize Michigan...complain?


Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 7:25 p.m.

I know History is one of the those obsecure liberal arts studies & economic History is just too boring; but where do these comments come from? Unless the Staste is hiring how do politicians create jobs? The public can ask for tax stimulents tax cuts or public works jobs similat to the 30's. One major difference between now & the 30's is the amount of Federal borrowing already on the books. Another is other countries have large industrial production capacities. Michigan had lost production to other States long before production went overseas. Primarilty Agricultural & Tourism have provided income & jobs to Michigan. Michigan has excellent universities, a past trained work force in production who have not worked for a while, and number of jobs that many of us will not take. Several Michigan companies employ our college graduates in highly technical fields. Lets keep doing that. Maybe we should demand another 1930's public works program to employ those out of work & ask for tax incentives to expand Research & Development has we have in the past. Would more pharmaceutical companies return to Michigan? We can complain or we can do as many are trying to do now start a small business. Maybe the regulators will allow the banks to lend again; so a business can expand? It's up to us & business to expand business activity.


Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 5:37 p.m.

Did anyone notice under the article about the 4,000 families living in poverty who are loosing their help from the state that Gov. Rick had established 3 funds for himself? One fund had contributions from individuals to help him with the personal cost of being the govenor. The expression 'social welfare of the govenor' was actually used. Also, Michigan personal income taxes are going up and there is a reduction of the charibitable contribution deduction. Most conservatives suggest that churches should pick up the slack for children and women in trouble. The reduction of the charitable contribution does not help the agencies who are desparately trying to keep pace with the hungry and impoverished. "I was hungry and you fed me..."


Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

Why don't you just take more from the teachers---they haven't given enough -----you haven't yet taken the shirt off their backs!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

This is just SLICK RICKS opion not the general publics opinion.


Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 3:11 a.m.

sure we are slick Rick.You'll be gone after 1 term when reality sets in


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 9:40 p.m.

Hah ... wondered how soon it would be before he started looking for others to blame for misguided policies, trickle down economics, intrusion into local government decision making, increased personal income and pension taxes, reduced business taxes, and his parties focus on measuring and tracking body weight, reducing education and municipal funding, fighting unions, and fighting benefit policy decisions made at the local levels.


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 7:58 p.m.

To anyone blaming workers and their organizing for Michigan's problem check out what happens when states only look out for big business....what happens to the average wage in the state. Good information. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 1:35 p.m.

One last point in reply to gyre: The &quot;taxpayer&quot; pays for job creation no matter who creates the job. If the government creates the job I pay for it through taxes. If private business creates the job, in many cases (e.g,. the aircraft carrier) I pay for it through taxes. In others, I pay for it through the products and services I buy that increased demand that led to the job creation. The vast majority of economists, no matter their political stripe, agree that the government plays a huge role in creating jobs. What they disagree about is the efficiency of such and about the opportunity costs of government spending the money rather than private individuals and businesses. And the day teapartying conservatives start talking about government spending in those terms is the day that they deserve to be taken seriously. But, until then, it is simply ignorant blather. Yet the lemmings keep drinking the Kool Aid. GN&amp;GL

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

gyre: 1) When was the last time private industry built a road without money from the government? Or an aircraft carrier? Or a tank? 2) Private business receives money from the government (e.g., oil company subsidies). The day teapartying conservatives complain about THAT is the day they have any intellectual consistency to their arguments. Until then, their agenda has nothing to do with the creation of jobs and has everything to do with who gets that money. 3) It does not matter to me who creates jobs so long as there is a good reason for the job. Never understood why prison guards employed by the state are a bad thing but employed by private contractors is a good thing--except that in the latter case it was a way to funnel taxpayer dollars to profit-driven companies, otherwise known as corporate welfare. See point two above about the intellectual inconsistency of the teapartying conservative position. 4) The fact of the matter is that private business is NOT creating jobs right now. Were it stepping up to the plate, this discussion would be moot. But it is not. And, contrary to teapartying conservative mythology, there is no historical evidence whatsoever that cutting taxes and regulations create jobs. Teapartying conservatives are using the jobs crisis as a ploy to pursue an agenda they've had for decades, which is to end government regulation and return us to the era of &quot;The Jungle.&quot; But keep on drinkin' that KoolAid. GN&amp;GL


Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 1:17 p.m.

grye, If it's not Rick's job to create jobs, then he shouldn't have taken money from the poor and elderly and given it to big business. Thanks for clearing that up!!!


Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

grye, I'd rather have people paid a living wage. I don't want to live in a state where a job at McDonalds is considered substantial. But everyone has their own standards. I see yours. These are mine.


Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 12:23 p.m.

Ghost: Would you rather pay higher taxes to create jobs or have private industry create jobs? Private industry doesn't cost the taxpayer where as your scenario would have us paying higher taxes every year to push the money back into the economy. If this is your idea of utopia, then let's do away with all private industry and have the govt fund everything.


Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 3:19 a.m.

and grye who are you to say how much someones salary is too much?Arrogance at its finest

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 1:30 a.m.

&quot;He can only create more government jobs. Nonsense. Spending highway funds, for but one example, creates private sector jobs. And even government jobs lead to private sector jobs--whether providing equipment and supplies to be used by public sector employees, or the consumer spending undertaken by public sector employees. Go talk to the folks who live in Jackson to see what has happened to their private sector as the number of prison employees there has been drastically reduced over the last decade. Time to quit drinking the Kool Aid and live in the real world. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 8:57 p.m.

What do your want Cash, more jobs or more pay? Would be good to have more jobs available. Those with current jobs wold keep their current salaries (some salaries are way more than the employee is worth). Newer jobs may be at a lower salary but they will be jobs. Want to keep the jobs away, keep the staus quo. And for those that want Rick to create jobs, that is not his job. His job is create an environment and have policies that will help job creation. He can only create more government jobs. We don't need more of them.


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 7:23 p.m.

I wouldn't expect manufacturing to make a big comeback as long as we have such an aggressive union environment. Other industries maybe have a chance. Of course, people who get paid from the state coffers are going to hate Snyder no matter what because he's trimming their sails.


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 6:40 p.m.

Michigan has grown more jobs than some states in the last 12 months. This January will be the first time tax returns will be filed under the new tax laws, so no one has actually filed based on the new tax laws yet. I see signs of more jobs at not only GM, but a number of smaller companies. I also see abandoned businesses across the state. We drove from traverse City home on Sunday - using some of the smaller highways. The number of boarded over store fronts and factories is shocking. It will take time to get even some of these running again. You have to have someone that wants to buy what you make or do, to be able to make or do more of it. No matter what happens in Michigan over the next 12 to 24 months the reality is that the market for most of Michigan's goods and services is outside Michigan and we need a robust market to be able to create a large number of new jobs. I am looking forward to the result of the Governor's review of regulations, that more than tax changes may make a difference to companies coming to Michigan and new start ups. This is not a problem that will disappear overnight or in a year or even 2, we are a decade into this mess and it will take a decade to crawl out.


Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 4:21 a.m.

The majority of the job growth has been auto related and that is solely due to Obama saving the auto industry. MI has still lost jobs every month that Snyder has been in office!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 1:26 a.m.

&quot;Michigan has grown more jobs than some states in the last 12 months.&quot; Link to support please? More jobs per capita? Because it could have grown more jobs than Wyoming did without having any impact on the state's economy. What &quot;signs&quot; are you seeing? Because I'm seeing businesses closing, people leaving the state, and little confidence that things are going to turn around anytime soon. So please enlighten us as to the data we are all missing. Good Night and Good Luck+


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

A BMW plant has opened in South Carolina. Boeing wants to open a plant there. Until Michigan mirrors the business climate in southern states, you can forget about jobs. I see a statement by a democratic party official but I do not see any solutions from him other than do what the President proposes and that has not turned out very well so far.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 1:23 a.m.

Yes, the South Carolina business climate is SOOOOOOOOOO friendly that its unemployment rate is .1% below that of Michigan. Source: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

South Carolina? With 11% unemployment? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

hut hut

Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 7:50 p.m.

And how big were the tax breaks that BMW got from SC? And how much in debt is that state? You can't have it both ways, give tax breaks and expect to reduce debt and deficit.

John Q

Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 5:56 p.m.

South Carolina is awesome. Check out their unemployment rate compared to the rest of the county and then tell us how great a job they are doing.


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

Alright how many of you commenters created more jobs then Rick has? Then step back and let him do his job, Obama been in office much longer and you still blindly support him, what gives?


Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

@nixon41 --- what a name first of all. In terms of your post: President Obama will go, as soon as he completes his second term of office in 2017.


Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

Obama needs to go

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 1:18 a.m.

&quot;When Govenor Snyder was the CEO of Gateway, he created more than 70 percent of the jobs at Gateway. He presided over Gateway's major expansion. &quot; A link to that so-called &quot;fact&quot;? Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 9:08 p.m.

Obama inhereted a bad economy from Bush, just like Snyder inhereted a bad economy from Granholm.


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 6:34 p.m.

When Govenor Snyder was the CEO of Gateway, he created more than 70 percent of the jobs at Gateway. He presided over Gateway's major expansion. When he was on the board, Gateway, like most US computer makers were facing the wave of low cost imports (e.g. e-machines, toshiba, etc) that flooded the market. He was on the board when jobs were sent overseas to allow some Gateway jobs to remain. If they had not sent manufacturing overseas, Gateway would have folded faster. HP, IBM, Dell and others all moved significant portions of their PC manufacturing overseas during this time period. Walmart brought in container after container of Chinese made PCs and the American public bought them - why - because they were CHEAP! Was it right to ship jobs overseas, in retrospect, Gateway was too small to succeed in the new global computer market, they could have just closed the doors a couple years earlier by continuing to manufacture on shore.


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

The president accepts his constitutional oath without re$ervation. See the problem?

hut hut

Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 5:15 p.m.

Sure. How many jobs did Snyder ship overseas? How many lay offs? And the result in net jobs increase is?


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

hut hut how about these jobs? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> hut hut do you care to comment futher?

hut hut

Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

Unlike Snyder, Obama never shipped any jobs out of the country.

hut hut

Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

I want to see the NET jobs that Snyder has created in his entire life. Please include layed off workers, small businesses that he caused to close while CEO at Gateway, and jobs that he sent overseas in your count.


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 4:16 p.m.

Since Slick has actually lost jobs, starting with his destruction of Gateway and his class warfare attacks on working people since he became governor, I'd say any one in a neutral position has created more jobs than Slick. Let slick do his job? I wish that he would start. His job is to represent the majority of citizens in this state, not the top 0.01%. I guess your definition of his job is different from mine. As far as your irrelevant comment about my support of the president, you are in fact wrong again. I don't support the president's failure to stand up the right wing extremists, especially on their anti-environmental agenda, and have sent him emails telling him that. The answer is clearly no.


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

Hey, everybody. Look who found someone to talk to. Thank you Who knows what other part of the constitutional Michigan he would have otherwise deconstructed?


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

wrong what hurts the economy is your plans.....

hut hut

Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 4:29 p.m.

Snyder's blaming the economy because it messed up his plans? LOL!


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

How quickly Michigan's economic woes became a problem of national backsliding rather than a non-business friendly environment in Michigan! I thought the trickle down from the money Slick took from the K-12 education fund and threw at his wealthy friends would have jobs pouring in by now....NOT. Does anyone believe a word out of this guy's mouth?

Dr. Rockso

Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

Rick has taken money out of the pockets of people who spend it at local businesses etc. Rick has given the money to people who pocket it. Ricks friends fail to create more jobs with the extra cash. Now Rick is trying to explain away his failed policies.

Hot Sam

Tue, Sep 20, 2011 : 10 p.m.

What the Dr meant to say is that the governor allowed people to &quot;keep&quot; more of their money...


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 7:16 p.m.

@hut hut: Your laughable assumption that all business owners have yachts aside, isn't gas a purchase?

hut hut

Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

Let's see, give businesses and rich CEO's tax breaks and... wait for it... NO JOBS! Why? Because it went into their pockets to pay for gas for their yacht.


Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 5:10 p.m.

Give us one example of money the Governor has given to someone who was able to put in a pocket.

hut hut

Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

Where are the jobs, Rick? Backsliding or not, it's you and your corporate buddies economy now. Nobody to blame but you and your unbalanced policies that favor the rich and connected over the working class and the poor.