Opinion

Granholm’s expertise in how to torpedo an economy lands her a Politico column

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Patrick Gleason
Director of State Affairs, Americans for Tax Reform
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      Patrick Gleason

      Patrick Gleason is Director of State Affairs for Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). ATR is a coalition of taxpayer groups, individuals, and businesses opposed to higher taxes at the federal, state, and local levels. ATR organizes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks all candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to oppose all tax increases.

      Gleason handles state tax, budget, and energy issues for ATR. Prior to joining ATR, Gleason was head of state government affairs for an international trade association based in Washington, DC. Gleason's writing and commentary have been published in the Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Times, Arizona Republic, Chicago Daily Herald, and the OC Register, among others.

Life under Granholm wasn’t bad for all Michiganders. In fact, government workers did quite well, especially during Granholm’s second term. According to a review of Bureau of Economic Analysis data by the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, private sector compensation in Michigan decreased by 10.3 percent between 2007 and the third quarter of 2009 while state and local government employee compensation increased by 5.5 percent.

The interests of taxpayers and the private sector were never much of a concern for Granholm. Through either ignorance of basic economics or sheer ineptitude, Granholm protected government workers at the expense of those who pay their salaries, effectively putting the nail in the coffin of the state’s golden goose, the private sector. Granholm signed a $1.35 billion tax hike into law in the fall of 2007 to avoid necessary spending restraint. The state’s unemployment rate then skyrocketed, rising from 7 percent at the time she signed that tax hike into law to an annual average of over 12 percent when she left office at the end of 2010.

In light of all this, it’s going to be comical to read Granholm’s forthcoming columns slamming the economic policies proposed by Republicans. However, her column could be so much more than mere ironic hilarity. Granholm should consider making “how not to govern” the angle of her new column. She’s eminently qualified on the subject and such an approach could yield information that is genuinely helpful for lawmakers, candidates, the media and the public.

Patrick Gleason is director of state affairs for Americans for Tax Reform.