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With the elections in November nearing, Republican nominee for governor, Rick Snyder, has three promises to make to Michigan citizens. Snyder begins by promising to create jobs in the state. Specifically, Snyder zeroes in on the Michigan Business Tax, calling it “a job killer” and “fundamentally unfair.”
Instead, Snyder wants to replace the Michigan Business Tax with a flat, six-percent corporate income tax. “Let’s get that ‘Open for Business’ sign up,” says Snyder.
Mr. Snyder’s second promise is to restore Michigan’s cities, particularly Detroit. Snyder says the strength of Michigan’s cities is “fundamental” to the state’s success, adding, “We need to have a place, not only for the people living in those cities, so they have good opportunities to have a family life, to have a career there, but we need to open up our cities for our young people… They’re looking for an urban environment and we need to create that environment so they’ll stay here instead of going to Chicago or some other big city.”
As to how he plans to help Michigan cities, Snyder explains, “The role of governor is not to run a city, but it’s to partner with the people in the city and we can do a much better job of that.”
Speaking specifically of Detroit, Snyder says, “I believe Mayor Bing is doing a great job. And we’ve got good leadership there, but they need a partner in the State to be working with them.” Snyder says that the main challenge facing Detroit and other cities is not a problem of understanding what needs to be done. Rather, Snyder says the primary challenge is “the full implementation of the changes and the reforms that need to be made.”
For his third promise, Mr. Snyder draws on his business background, vowing to treat Michigan’s citizens as customers. The government in Lansing should be asking citizens two questions, says Snyder, namely, “How can we help you succeed?” and “How can we get out of your way?”
Snyder continues, “We need to show you value for money. We need to move away from the current bureaucratic model which is about spending billions of dollars on lots of activities, and we actually need to show that there’s some positive return on investment to society when we actually do work.”
“Fundamentally,” says Snyder, “government should be treating its citizens as a customer. That’s just something they deserve from many, many years, and it’s time to have that happen.”
As to the importance of his specific promises, Snyder says, “We need to get our state going. We’re suffering economically and we have a broken government… The role of government isn’t to create jobs. It’s to create an environment where jobs flourish.”
He adds, “If we want to have a flourishing quality of life and great places for our young people, we need to get our cities going.”
– By Eliot Johnson