If Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette continues to aim for the things he wants for Michigan, he might want to keep hanging around with Cornerstone Alliance President Rob Cleveland. Just minutes after Schuette addressed more than 550 businessmen and women at the Business Recognition Breakfast at LMC this morning pointing to the need for more new jobs, Cleveland took to the mic and talked about the $53-million in new capital investment in our market in the past year along with the 8 business expansion projects, two new companies, 22 small businesses launched, and 115 new jobs.
Schuette's campaign for Governor continues to drive home the need for new jobs, increased paychecks and new growth for the entire state of Michigan.
He says that when Michigan was down, "We were on the floor...on the mat...and we are still 300,000 jobs short." Citing the more than 50 counties in the state that have lost population, Schuette told the Alliance and Cornerstone Chamber member businesses, "We need to continue to go forward. We can't go back."
Schuette told his audience today, "We have to make sure we are a growth state. But, when you look at Michigan vs. other states, we're losing congressional seats to those states that are growing faster." Schuette says, "We once had 19 seats in Congress, now we have 14 and when the census comes in we'll have 13. The challenge is to make sure we are a growth state and continue to convince others that there's no place better than the Great Lakes State."
Pointing to the federal tax cuts enacted by Congress and the President, Schuette says, "Those tax cuts were a great start with plants returning to Michigan, bonuses for Michigan workers, and repatriation of money coming back to America because of tax reform," but he says, "We need to do the same thing in Michigan. We need to have a 10-percent tax cut and a rollback of Granholm-era income tax increases that were supposed to be temporary, and supposed to be rolled back but never were." He pointedly admits, "We need to put more money in people's pockets, and have the government take less of what we earn."
Schuette is also actively advocating for automobile insurance reform in Michigan citing the highest auto insurance rates of any state in the nation..."$1,000 higher than any other state." He says, "When you're at the kitchen table and you have too many days and not enough money while trying to balance the budget, that's just wrong." He says auto insurance reform needs to be "where everybody has to give up a little bit to make it better for everyone."
Schuette told Chamber Members and Alliance Investors, "The future for Michigan is about the economy, which means jobs and lower taxes...and its about education." He says the latest national assessment shows that when it comes to 3rd grade reading proficiency, Michigan ranks 49th out of all 50 states, saying, "Only a third of Michigan children can read in the third grade and that's not worthy of our state. A future like that is gloomy and dim and not that 'shining city on a hill' that we all expect to be." Schuette additionally voices support for apprenticeship training and the skilled trades, saying, "Not everyone needs to be a software engineer at Google!"
Schuette concludes that "Michigan's best days are still very much ahead of us...they are not in the past, but we need an attitude of big aspirations." He says with big goals we can win again, and in fact, "There is nothing we can't accomplish when we work together."
Following his keynote address and award congratulations to the winners, Schuette was slated for several roundtable discussions with key business leaders at both Freedom Finishing in Benton Harbor and Hanson Mold in St. Joseph.
He made the wise decision based on the foggy forecast to drive in ahead of schedule last night rather than his original plan of flying in to the market this morning, because he likely would have been grounded and would have missed his multiple opportunities to preach his plan and press the flesh with supporters and fans in Michigan's Great Southwest this morning and early afternoon.