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The most underreported story of 2011
One of the things I’ve learned during my first year as governor is that the most important government reforms often fly under the radar, virtually unnoticed.
Take for example action the administration recently took to deal with Michigan’s unfunded liabilities problem. This reform will save taxpayers $5.6 BILLION by asking state employees to contribute to the cost of their retirement health care benefits.
Saving $5.6 billion may not sound like much at a time when the federal government is racking up debt in the trillions, but to put that number and what it means to our state in perspective, that’s comparable to a family with a $145,000 mortgage refinancing its loan agreement and reducing the amount it owes to only $89,000.
That’s a huge savings! Michigan basically cut this long-term debt by a third.
So, does this mean taxpayers can expect a hefty refund from the state? Unfortunately not yet; after decades of mismanagement and chronic overspending, we still have a lot of work to do to get our fiscal house in order. But it does mean that in the future instead of spending money to pay off long-term liabilities, we can direct that money to other priorities such as education.
2011 was not easy. But by making the tough decisions now we’ve laid the foundation for Michigan’s economic recovery, leading The Detroit News to write that 2011, “Might go down as Michigan’s most consequential year in terms of unshackling the state from its obsolete economic past and positioning it for new prosperity in the 21st century.”
And we are already seeing results. Michigan is experiencing the 2nd fastest economic recovery in the nation and our unemployment rate is below 10 percent for the first time in more than three years. With the new, simplified Corporate Income Tax now in effect, we should see continued improvement and job creation.
2012 belongs to Michigan.
Gov. Rick Snyder
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EDITORIAL: Michigan finally moves to get business right (Detroit News)
Last January, Michigan ranked at or near the bottom of most measures of economic activity and attractiveness. Today, its recovery is leading the nation, and the people who make decisions about where to invest are viewing the state in a far more favorable light.