Analysis: 6 proposed expansions, 2 limitations in Snyder's address

Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2014 State of the State address included six proposed expansions of government and two limitations, according to Mackinac Center Fiscal Policy Director Michael D. LaFaive, who has tallied and categorized annual State of the State addresses as far back as 1969.
Tribune Staff
Jan 16, 2014


Among the biggest expansions was a call for an additional $65 million to be spent on the Great Start preschool program, although the program’s effectiveness is highly questionable. Gov. Snyder also called for “long-term funding” for roads, but he did not put a price tag on the request as he did in last year’s speech when he said the state should spend an additional $1.2 billion on infrastructure.

The governor also said he would issue an executive order creating a Michigan Office for New Americans aimed at attracting legal immigrants to the state. He held up as examples the founders of The Dow Chemical Co., Meijer Inc. and Masco as examples of Michigan-based companies founded by immigrants. (Technically, Herbert H. Dow was born to American parents who were located in Canada due to his father’s job. The family returned to their hometown of Derby, Conn., six weeks after his birth.)

“Immigrants have long played a crucial role in shaping the success of Michigan and the country, but they didn’t need a special state-run office to do so,” LaFaive noted. “Their work ethic and desire to embrace entrepreneurship needed no government program.”

Gov. Snyder also proposed expanding state government to make Michigan a “no-wait” state by increasing funding for senior services such as Meals on Wheels. He also said he would request in the fiscal 2015 budget that more money be put toward an invasive species program.

Gov. Snyder addressed House Bill 4595, which would expand the scrap metal theft law’s scope and put additional regulatory requirements on scrap metal dealers.

The governor’s only suggested limitations of government were a mention of an “opportunity for tax relief” due to a projected budget surplus of $900 million and a request to the Legislature to pass a resolution calling for Congress to add a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The results of the annual tally are below. The tally has long been premised on proposed limitations and expansions of government as presented in the speech. Analysts at the Mackinac Center are sometimes required to judge whether a statement indicates an actual expansion or limitation of government.

Expansions and Limitations by Administration Since 1969

Gov. Milliken, 1969-1982  Avg.   High  Low

   Proposed expansions  5.6  12 (’71, 80)  0 (’74)

   Proposed limitations  2.9  8 (’73)  0 (’70, ’79, ’82)

Gov. Blanchard, 1983-1990  Avg.   High  Low

   Proposed expansions  8.6  19 (’89, '90)  1 (’85)

   Proposed limitations  2.1  7 (’84)  0 (’87, ’88)

Gov. Engler, 1991-2002  Avg.   High  Low

   Proposed expansions  8.4  18 (’00)  3 (’91)

   Proposed limitations  4.3  11 (’95)  1 (’02, ’97, ’03)

Gov. Granholm, 2003-2010  Avg.   High  Low

   Proposed expansions  16.25  24 (’08)  7 (’05)

   Proposed limitations  3  6 (’03) (’09)  0 (’05)

Gov. Rick Snyder, 2011               
        Proposed expansions: 9       
        Proposed limitations: 3

Gov. Rick Snyder, 2012       
        Proposed expansions: 5       
        Proposed limitations: 1

Gov. Rick Snyder, 2013       
        Proposed expansions: 8       
        Proposed limitations: 2

Gov. Rick Snyder, 2014       
        Proposed expansions: 6       
        Proposed limitations: 2

Proposed 2014 Expansions:
Increase funding for the Great Start preschool program by $65 million.
Seek long-term road funding.
Issue and executive order creating the Michigan Office for New Americans.
Increase funding for senior citizen programs such as Meals on Wheels.
Increase funding for invasive species eradication programs.
Increase the regulatory requirements for scrap metal dealers via House Bill 4595.

Proposed 2014 Limitations:
Use a portion of a projected $900 million budget surplus for targeted tax relief.
Pass a resolution asking Congress to adopt a balanced budget amendment.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a research and educational institute headquartered in Midland.



The Mackinac Center is a right-wing pressure group established by right-wing activists to promote free markets and pro-business policy. They are generously funded largely by the DeVos and Walton families, as well as the....Koch Bros. They are also roommates with ALEC.

They've been pushing the Right to Work law in Michigan since 1990. They also support the Emergency Financial Manager law.

Of course, they oppose:

* Environmental protections

* Climate Change

* Renewable Energy

But support:

* Privatization of prisons

* Privatization of education

In other words, they actively support and promote Corporate America, Wealth Redistribution, failed trickle-down "voodoo economics", pessimistic and antiquated Robber Baron policies that do nothing to enhance and project forward a USA that will remain a healthy, vital, and strong leader in the 21st century.

They also helped create the online website, Michigan Capital Confidential (echo5oscar...). Within this context, I look at their analysis in this article with the feeling that they are promoting confusion rather than clarity.

Tri-cities realist

Free markets and pro business policy, oh the horror... gasp.

If they oppose climate change, isn't that a good thing? Or do you think we need more climate change?

And those evil DeVos, Walton, and Koch guys. What were they thinking, by taking a risk, they provided thousands of jobs and made a bunch of money for themselves and others, they need to be punished!


#1. If the MC just provided topical research to businesses, no problemo. But it has heavily expanded it's influence to the state capital, thus making it's tax-exempt status a bit murky. Sound familiar?

#2 They deny climate change, which is way worse. And also very bad business policy. The energy renewables industry is booming, and is a top choice of savvy investors.

#3 They all do lots of good things, like fund programs and re-invest into communities. They provide jobs to thousands, and more money for themselves than in nearly any time in the history of the world. But they have done it thanks to the support, tax breaks, subsidies, incentives, and other corporate welfare policies of the government they strive to diminish and destroy.

Odd, isn't it, that we never hear about Bill Gates and Warren Buffett badmouthing government, and using it as an excuse for why they don't make even more billions than they already do?


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