Detroit, Mich. — The change we need? President-elect Barack Obama has just named Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm to his 17-member economic advisory panel.
Granholm carries respect in the Obama administration thanks to her alternative-energy “vision” — that is, heavy subsidies for alternative-fuel plants such as ethanol and renewable-power mandates on utilities.
But Granholm has presided over the worst state economy in the United States since her election in 2003. Just last year, in the teeth of a gaping budget deficit and galloping unemployment now at 8.7 percent, she raised personal income taxes 17 percent. Her energy legislation passed this year further taxed Michigan ratepayers by hiking their utility bills an estimated 12 percent while gutting Michigan’s energy market deregulation so that major utilities can deal with the coming 10-percent RPS (not to mention modernizing old coal plants in the face of a predicted federal cap-and-trade plan).
A union lackey, she has offered no major initiatives other than her “investments” in alternative energy and increased road construction (really) to grow jobs in a state suffocated by high union costs.
With her popularity ratings hovering in the mid-30s, respected state political analyst Bill Ballenger has called her “the worst governor in Michigan history.” Obviously, she has much to teach the president of the United States.
– Henry Payne is a writer and editorial cartoonist for The Detroit News.