There are consequences for failure. That's the simple truth.
As a state, Michigan failed to make difficult decisions for far too long. We spent money we didn't have, our tax structure penalized job creation, and we didn't take a long-term common sense approach to planning for the state's future.
The consequences were severe — we grew an unsustainable level of entitlements, our economy faltered, and the great state that our parents knew was relegated to the national image that its best days were in the past. Nobody understands this better than the hard-working people of Michigan. They bore the brunt of our economic struggles over the last decade, and many watched as their children and grandchildren left their Michigan homes for opportunity elsewhere.
But things are starting to change. The governor and House and Senate leaders are making the difficult decisions. For the last two years, our leaders passed balanced budgets without gimmicks or surprises; they spent only what the state could afford; they reduced our debt; they created a better tax system that rewards hard work and job creation; they asked for greater efficiency and accountability for our tax dollars; improved our accountability in education and government; and they prioritized investments in areas that will provide better opportunities and a brighter future for Michigan. Coupled with the state's reimaging Pure Michigan campaign, we are seeing real growth and feeling better about our future.
But the progress we've made remains at risk from the same forces that caused our decline the past 40 years. On the Nov. 6 ballot, we all will be asked to decide whether or not we give in to those forces or we keep moving Michigan forward.
Proposal 1 asks us to decide whether or not to keep the Emergency Manager Law that is helping financially troubled Michigan communities regain financial stability.
Proposals 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 ask us to decide whether or not to permanently imbed in our constitution specific labor policy, tax policy, energy policy, and road- and bridge-building policy that promotes the self-interests of particular groups at the expense of Michigan's hardworking taxpayers and our children and grandchildren by making it more costly to live, work, and raise a family here.
To continue moving Michigan forward on a path to more opportunity and a brighter future for Michigan where we all benefit, Business Leaders for Michigan supports keeping the Emergency Manager Law and opposes the proposed amendments that attempt to entrench special interests in our constitution forever. We cannot afford to return to the days of out-of-control spending, no accountability, and our children and grandchildren moving away for greener pastures.
At Business Leaders for Michigan, our vision is to make Michigan a Top Ten state for job, economic and personal income growth. The work to achieve that vision has started, but much work remains. Let's keep moving Michigan forward and get the job done.
About the author: Stephen M. Kircher is president of Boyne Resorts' Eastern Operations. Business Leaders for Michigan; by e-mail at: email@example.com. Business Leaders for Michigan is the state's business roundtable, composed of the chairpersons, CEOs or most senior executives of the state's largest job providers and universities.
About the forum: The forum is a periodic column of opinion written by Record-Eagle readers in their areas of interest or expertise. Submissions of 500 words or less may be made by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include biographical information and a photo.
There are consequences for failure. That's the simple truth.
Forum: State gets ‘F’ for hidden campaign money
Just how much money was spent independently of candidates on elections for Michigan state office last year?Continued ...
Forum: Clean energy, energy forums crucial
Developing a long-term energy plan and investing in clean energy is crucial to Michigan’s future. Gov. Rick Snyder’s recent energy forums are important first steps in developing such a plan.Continued ...
Forum: Mich. dairy farmers wait for Congress
For farmers in Michigan like me, observing how Congress dealt with farm policy in 2012 was like watching a football game: plenty of shouting, lots of movement, a cloud of dust … and then the ball ends up in about the same place where it started.Continued ...
Forum: Don't look to Germany as energy model
The average cost of electricity for a German household has risen by 66 percent since they established a feed-in-tariff (FiT) system in 2000.Continued ...
Forum: Transportation funding and need
With spring finally upon us, memories of the long winter are fading. But the even longer pothole season is still with us. It’s a good time to discuss the condition and funding of our roads.Continued ...
- Sunday, May 5, 2013
Forum: Region blessed with many great farmers
I set up at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market last June with a table full to bursting with peas, carrots, beets, chard, kale, spinach, salad mix and green onions. The stalls were bustling, the sun was out, I had a cup of coffee —the recipe for a perfect market.Continued ...
- Friday, May 3, 2013
Forum: Look to Germany for energy benchmark
Working in the automotive industry for over 20 years, I saw firsthand how powerful a tool benchmarking could become.Continued ...
- Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Forum: Brown Bridge Trust Fund cap a big decision
On Monday, the Traverse City commission will be making a very important decision about the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, now at $13.5 million. It is a decision that I have been very involved with in the past.Continued ...
- Sunday, April 28, 2013
Forum: Time for carbon tax on energy producers
America is finally facing the reality of the climate crisis. According to a recent Gallup poll, 58 percent of Americans are worried about climate change.Continued ...
- Friday, April 26, 2013
Forum: Wildlife deserves sound scientific management
The Record-Eagle’s April 16 editorial about the Scientific Wildlife Management package demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of how game species are managed in Michigan.Continued ...
Forum: Bill attacks citizen lawmaking
Some politicians in the Michigan Legislature have launched an all-out assault on democratic decision-making.Continued ...
- Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Forum: More businesses should hire veterans
The Record-Eagle recently published several articles regarding local efforts to improve employment opportunities for military veterans, including the State Theatre’s initiative to give “preference in employment” to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.Continued ...
- Sunday, April 21, 2013
Forum: Actions speak louder than words
Actions speak louder than words, and we show what we value by how we invest our resources.Continued ...
- Friday, April 19, 2013
Forum: Medicaid expansion helps businesses, taxpayers
The Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce supports Medicaid expansion in Michigan. Why? Because it’s good for business and our community.Continued ...
- Thursday, April 18, 2013
Forum: In support of state Medicaid expansion
As an osteopathic physician and member of the Michigan Osteopathic Association, I am writing to express my support for Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan to expand Medicaid coverage in Michigan to families making less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level.Continued ...
- Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Forum: Conservatives, conservation can mix
I’m one of those people who believe in saving energy, preserving wild areas and treating the Earth as a finite resource that should be handled with care.Continued ...
- Sunday, April 14, 2013
Forum: Taxes and charitable giving – yes, they are related
The President has now released his proposed budget putting a cap on charitable deductions — estimated to cost nonprofits nationwide $5.6 billion in giving.Continued ...
- Friday, April 12, 2013
Forum: Food trucks — 'To be or not to be'
Traverse City Commissioner Jim Carruthers and his food truckers are actively promoting these entities into our downtown district, streets and parks.Continued ...
- Thursday, April 11, 2013
Forum: Fund every student, not every school
The country’s education spotlight was shining bright on Michigan last month, as NBC’s acclaimed “Education Nation” program came to Detroit for a series of town hall meetings.Continued ...
- Friday, April 5, 2013
Forum: Anti-biodiversity bill rolls back protections
In their misguided efforts to redefine conservation, too many lawmakers in Lansing are defining themselves as anti-science, anti-sustainability, and anti-Pure Michigan.Continued ...
- Monday, April 1, 2013
Every Day is Earth Day With NMEAC
By Ann Rogers An activist once said, "If you want something, you better make some noise." NMEAC, the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council, has been "making noise" for over 33 years. We are an all-volunteer group of people passionate aboutContinued ...
- Sunday, March 31, 2013
- Forum: Every Day is Earth Day With NMEAC
- Friday, March 29, 2013
Forum: Private companies provide safe busing
By Ronna Sable Weber On behalf of the nation's private school bus providers, I take this opportunity to respond to the editorial of March 14 commenting on the recent Federal Transit Administration's ruling on school bus operations of the Bay Area Transit Authority.Continued ...
- Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Celebrities-in-Chief are all over
"People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions - everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses" -- Juvenal Isn't it grand that we have such a cool couple in the WhitContinued ...
- Sunday, March 24, 2013
Forum: Restore and sustain our biodiversity
Michigan's Legislature quietly passed SB78 removing "biodiversity" from consideration in managing our public-owned natural resources....Continued ...
- Forum: State gets ‘F’ for hidden campaign money