By George T. Darany
It is no secret that many Michigan families are still facing challenging economic times and struggling to make ends meet; which is why it is now more important than ever for us to put Michiganders back to work. Job creation needs to be one of our top priorities if we want to move Michigan forward.
This year alone we have witnessed a massive tax shift that places Michigan’s financial hardships onto the backs of our most vulnerable citizens and public sector employees. Our teachers, first responders, and construction workers have all been hit hard by Michigan’s economic downturn and they have taken drastic concessions to save money while making sure their co-workers remain on the job.
Raising taxes on those who can least afford it, cutting resources for our local governments, and slashing school funding will not reinvent Michigan. And what makes matters worse; these proposals were implemented by the leadership in Lansing without the guarantee of a single new job.
Job creation will be key to Michigan’s future, and we need to make sure we are doing whatever it takes to bring opportunities to our workers. Families choose to live in Dearborn because of our world-class schools, exceptional parks and cultural attractions, top-notch public safety departments, and industry leaders located in the heart of our community.
And businesses choose to locate in Dearborn because of our highly skilled and educated workforce and proximity to reliable infrastructure. However, if we continue to impose drastic cuts and one-sided thinking, we will see these businesses pack-up and leave and take the jobs they offer right along with them.
We need a jobs plan that continues to invest in our schools and infrastructure. Businesses need good infrastructure to get their goods and services to market and putting workers on the job to build and repair our roads, bridges and railroads is good public policy.
Funds for school repairs, including energy efficiency and technology upgrades, are investments that will save money over time and give our children the ability to compete for the jobs of the 21st century. Investing in our schools and our children’s education is money well spent.
We must create more jobs in Michigan now, which is why I was happy to see President Obama unveil his American Jobs Act earlier this month. This set of ideas has been supported by both Democrats and Republicans and the purpose is simple: put more people back to work. This plan will be fully paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.
It will cut taxes for small businesses, the engines of job creation, and help them hire and grow right here in Michigan, including Dearborn. It will put laid off teachers back to work, teachers that were laid off because of unnecessary state budget cuts. And it will provide opportunities for workers to rebuild our roads, bridges and schools. It will put more money in the pockets of working residents and will lead to new jobs in our state.
It is time to move Michigan forward and to work together to make Michigan a great place to live, work and raise a family. As U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) recently wrote in a newspaper commentary, “This partisan viciousness needs to stop.” His comments ring true not only in Washington, D.C., but also in Lansing. By finding common ground and working together, we should use our brightest ideas and best practices to secure Michigan’s future.
(State Rep. George T. Darany represents the 15th House District. To contact him, call (855) 775-1515 or email him at [email protected]. To sign up for his e-newsletter, visit his website, house.mi.gov/gdarany.)