Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Low Standards for Grading Snyder

Rick Snyder drew an easy grader when the Detroit Free Press recently decided to editorialize about his first year in office.

The newspaper graded Snyder in several categories regarding his performance, including "Jobs," "Kids," and "Leadership."

For some reason, the editorial writer thought Snyder deserved a "B" for his policies regarding the health and welfare of Michigan's children. That is hard to fathom when you look at the record.

The editorial has a vague reference to "strict new four-year limits on cash welfare." Translated, that means some 12,000 children in families who will lose cash assistance if a court challenge fails. That's a heartless decision that will have devastating consequences on the "health and welfare" of those children whose families suddenly will have no money for rent, few prospects for employment in a slowly-recovering economy, and few resources to fall back on.

For children in working families, Snyder slashed the Earned Income Tax Credit from 20 percent of the federal amount to 6 percent. Those dollars helped families get by when paychecks just won't stretch to cover everything and Snyder's action raised taxes by $330 million on nearly 800,000 working families, including many with children. The tax credit meant an average of $432 for working families who were on the edge of poverty even with a job. Without the tax credit, some 14,000 children may cross the line into poverty, despite having parents who are working. And businesses will lose customers, since ever $1 spent on the Earned Income Tax Credit generated $1.67 of economic activity in Michigan.

Snyder also tried to make it harder for people to qualify for food stamps by trying to force families to sell their cars. That counterproductive policy would have made it harder for people to get to work, look for work, or go to school so they can find a better job and not need food stamps.

And for this Snyder gets a "B." What does a guy have to do to earn a failing grade?

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