Response to Joanne Emmons editorial
On March 7, Joanne Emmons, the former Michigan legislator, wrote an editorial in the Morning Sun titled “Granholm is leading state in wrong direction.” This is an understandable reaction.
As the chair of the Senate Finance Committee in a Republican-controlled legislature, Ms. Emmons participated in John Engler’s efforts to dry up Michigan’s revenues by cutting taxes in ways that had little benefit for the middle-class but helped businesses a great deal; rewarded Michigan companies for outsourcing Michigan jobs; undermined public education by changing the school financing structure to no school’s benefit, and enabled Engler to play a shell game with Michigan’s finances that resulted in a four-billion dollar deficit by the time he left office.
Did she do all of this single-handedly? Of course not. But she was a leader who used her votes to enable Engler in generally making a mess of Michigan’s financial, environmental, and educational underpinnings. Now that Granholm has proposed changes that will repair the damage Engler, Emmons and company did, of course she would think it is the wrong direction!
One thing she forgot to mention: until just two months ago, Republicans controlled the legislature and had stopped Granholm at every turn during her first four years in office. I hope that was merely an oversight. I also hope she was not being disingenuous as she lamented the plight of the “hard-working worker…struggling to make ends meet,” since their condition is partially a result of the policies she helped put in place in the last decade.
I'll make a bold suggestion: perhaps Ms. Emmons influence would be better used by urging the current Republican leaders to present their own plan, rather than waste her energies blaming Granholm for problems that she (Emmons) and her fellow Republicans contributed to in the long ago time of the 1990s.