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Even before she was elected in November 2002, liberals had identified Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as one of the fresh faces to watch: a post-feminist moderate who would bring not only a fresh face but fresh thinking to a tired old Democratic Party.
If Granholm were really serious about jobs, she would have a word or two with her friends in the environmental community, who have all but shut down oil and gas development in Michigan and elsewhere. If it's jobs you want, nothing would help quite so much as bringing the price of oil back down from $45 to $50 a barrel.
Republicans in Michigan and elsewhere need to do a better job themselves of pressing for tax and regulatory reform if they want to credibly oppose such job creation nonsense. But Republicans in the Michigan Legislature were right to sit in stony silence while Granholm argued for saddling average Michiganians with huge subsidies for well-paid engineers and scientists to pursue unrealistic dreams.
The governor's proposed cuts to balance massive state budget shortfalls have some education officials accusing her of breaking a promise to increase higher education funding.
The root cause of this performance is not that investors are unwilling to provide start-up financing for new firms, or the inability of our fine research institutions, which already receive tens of millions of dollars from the state, to commercialize their research in Michigan. Rather it is the dour economy that makes investors unwilling to provide venture capital or take new ideas into the market in Michigan.