The Michigan Chamber of Commerce today expressed its opposition to a series of possible ballot proposals announced yesterday by Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer, calling the package of proposals "anti-jobs and anti-growth."
"Mark Brewer is playing with fire," said Michigan Chamber President & CEO Rich Studley. "The political and economic uncertainty caused by these anti-business proposals would do serious damage to our state's economic competitiveness."
"Why would CEOs even consider locating in Michigan once they hear about these proposals?" added Studley. "These proposals will almost certainly be used by governors and economic developers in other states to encourage businesses to leave Michigan."
"If the Governor and Lieutenant Governor do not speak out against these dangerous ballot proposals, Greg Main (President & CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation) should seriously consider resigning because the Granholm-Cherry Administration will have little or no credibility with the business community in terms of economic development," Studley noted.
"If, in fact, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor fail to speak out against these proposals, there is little or no reason for the Michigan Senate to take up the bill to expand the MEGA tax credits administered by the MEDC," Studley continued. "There is no amount of company-specific tax breaks or Jeff Daniels commercials you could run that would undo the damage these proposals would do to our state's economic competitiveness."
"We encourage other high-ranking, responsible Democrats to also speak out against these proposals," said Bob LaBrant, Senior Vice President of Political Affairs and General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber. "As we discovered last year with his Reform Michigan Government Now proposal, just because Mark Brewer does something, that doesn't mean everyone within the Democratic Party agrees with him."
"Another lingering question that needs to be answered is what kind of oversight does Mark Brewer have as chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party(MDP)," LaBrant continued. "Was there any discussion of these proposals among high-ranking Democrats (including Granholm and Cherry, who are both listed as party officials on the MDP letterhead) or does Brewer just get to make this stuff up and spend money?"
The following descriptions of the MDP proposals announced yesterday have been taken verbatim from the MDP's news release. The proposals are:
-- Mandating all employers to provide affordable health care for their employees and dependents or pay a penalty. -- Raising the minimum wage from $7.40/hour to $10/hour and covering all workers with no exceptions. -- Increasing unemployment benefits by $100/week, making all workers eligible and adding six months to the time one can receive benefits. -- Cutting utility rates by 20%. -- Imposing a one-year moratorium on home foreclosures.
"This anti-jobs, anti-growth package of proposals has cast a dark cloud over our state's economic development efforts. I'm not sure Mark Brewer understands the damage he has done. He has demonstrated a profound ignorance of economic reality and the very real challenges Michigan job providers already face," Studley concluded.
The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 50th year as a statewide business organization, representing more than 7,000 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce.
First Call Analyst:
SOURCE: Michigan Chamber of Commerce
CONTACT: Rich Studley or Bob LaBrant, both of Michigan Chamber of
Web Site: http://www.michamber.com/