Welcome to Michigan, President Trump. About that economy you promised …

Tony Johnson, right, and Kara Miller eat at the Griffin Grill & Pub in downtown Battle Creek. Johnson voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, but said President Trump has been good for the economy. (Bridge photo by Jonathan Oosting)

Update: On day he’s impeached, President Trump implies John Dingell may be in hell

BATTLE CREEK — Just hours after he is set to become the third president in American history to be impeached, President Donald Trump will step off a plane in a city far more amenable to him than Washington.

Trump is hosting a rally Wednesday night in Battle Creek in Calhoun County, one of of 12 Michigan counties whose residents who voted twice for former President Barack Obama and instead favored Trump in 2016, propelling him to a narrow victory in the state.

Voters in swing counties like Calhoun were motivated in part by economic anxiety, top of mind in manufacturing hubs that are vulnerable to outsourcing or automation. Trump pledged to strengthen the economy and bring those jobs back

Three years later, Calhoun County has not experienced the big gains Trump promised in 2016. Jobs have decreased, as have wages when adjusted for inflation. Manufacturing — which comprises more than 20 percent of all jobs in the county — continues to be particularly hard hit. Those jobs are down 6 percent and total manufacturing wages declined nearly 18 percent. 

That trend is writ large in the other 11 counties that Trump pried away from Democrats and in the Midwest as a whole, where data indicate that counties that favored Trump are being left behind.

Make no mistake, the economy in Michigan and nationwide is better than it was in 2016. The state’s unemployment rate is lower than it was in 2016 and hit the lowest point since 2000 in October 2018. Nationally, the economy is considered remarkably strong

And in Battle Creek, a manufacturing town in southwest Michigan known as the home of Kellogg’s cereal, many residents told Bridge they’re bullish on the economy – even though numbers say the county is lagging behind the state.

Trump’s handling of the economy, in particular, has impressed Tony Johnson, 51, who helps design graphics for commercial packaging and voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Like others in the county that favored Trump 53.5 percent to 41 percent that year, Johnson said he’s keeping his options open before the November 2020 election.

“I think he’s been a great president policy-wise, but he continues to be a loudmouth that brings on just as much as [Democrats] dish out,” said Johnson. 

“I’m going to wait and see who the Democratic person is, but if it ends up being someone who’s very socialist, very progressive type, I would probably vote for Trump and not tell my wife,” he said, laughing with Trump-supporting friends as they wrapped up lunch this week. 

Mixed bag in swing counties 

While the American economy soars, growth in Michigan and other coveted swing states such as Ohio and Wisconsin is slower than the nation, while manufacturing continues to decline, according to reporting by the New York Times

A Bridge analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows the decline is even more precipitous in Michigan’s 12 counties that swung in favor of the GOP in 2016. Those counties are Gogebic, Manistee, Lake, Isabella, Bay, Saginaw, Shiawassee, Macomb, Eaton, Calhoun, Monroe and Van Buren.

 

When adjusted for inflation, wages in five of the 12 counties have declined since 2016 and more than half have wage growth below the statewide average. All but one (Eaton County) has lost jobs, and all but Macomb lag behind Michigan’s job growth of 2.2 percent.

While the 12 counties that swung for Trump have largely fallen behind Michigan’s growth, Michigan in turn lags behind the nation. 

In Michigan, jobs have grown half as quickly as they have nationwide since 2016, while workers make less money than their counterparts in other states. Wages statewide are largely flat statewide when adjusted for inflation, while they’ve grown by more than 4 percent nationwide. 

The numbers don’t discourage many residents who may remember when countywide unemployment hit 11.5 percent during the depths of the Great Recession in 2009.

“My 401(k), the front numbers have changed twice positively since President Trump took over. That didn’t happen for eight years,” said Steve Frisbie, a Republican and chair of the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners. 

The local economy is booming, he said. 

“There’s plenty of jobs available — we have more jobs open than we have people to have in them.”

No doubt, Calhoun County’s unemployment has fallen a full point to 3.5 percent from 2016. But average annual county wages have fallen slightly to $52,832, compared to the national average of nearly $60,000. And some of the biggest losses have been to factory jobs, which at an average of $59,000 are among the county’s best-paying.

 

Add in inflation, and Calhoun County’s wages look even worse.

“We make good money, don’t get me wrong, but our pay increases do not reflect what’s happening elsewhere,” said Jackie Braman, a 58-year-old secretary at Kellogg Community College who supported Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. 

“They’re lower than everyone else.”

Lansing-based pollster Bernie Porn of EPIC-MRA said the question of next year’s election will be “whether voters in those areas are going to realize the reality of their situation, or whether or not they're going to believe the president and his campaign when he comes in and says, ‘don’t worry about it, everything just great.’”

Other analysts contend voters will see the national gains made under Trump and determine he’s the best candidate to help their communities grow.  

With impeachment and a host of other factors, “it's probably too early to tell how that is all going to emerge in terms of impact,” Porn said. 

Jeremy Abbott, 30, a sheet metal worker said the Battle Creek economy is “pretty good” and he’s working more than 40 hours a week. 

But Trump is “kind of an asshole” and won’t get his support in 2020, said Abbott, who voted for former President Barack Obama in 2012 before sitting out 2016 because he didn’t like Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. 

Democrats’ plans to tackle apathy

Voters like Abbott, whose apathy toward both presidential candidates kept him home on Election Day, appeared to play a significant role in Michigan’s presidential election three years ago. 

More than 75,000 voters who voted in the 2016 general election chose not to cast a vote in the presidential race and focus solely on down-ballot candidates. That number is up 52 percent from 2012 and twice as many as 2008. Trump won the state by 10,704 votes, a 0.23 percentage margin that was the narrowest in Michigan history. 

Abbott said he hopes a moderate emerges from the Democratic primary next year but remains disillusioned by politics. 

The impeachment process led by House Democrats “is “silly and a waste of time” because Senate Republicans won’t convict the president, Abbott said. 

Beth Kelly, chairwoman of the Calhoun County Democratic Party, told Bridge that in 2016, “a lot of people put their trust in and voted for a president who made a lot of promises that they'd be doing better under his leadership. People in our area just aren’t seeing that.”

She and other local Democrats have learned their lesson from 2016; they don’t plan to let voter turnout hurt them again. Last time, “it was almost like (Democrats) thought we had it in the bag,” she said. 

In 2018, voters in Calhoun County chose former Attorney General Bill Schuette for governor by only 2.5 percent and John James for the US Senate over Sen. Debbie Stabenow by 6.5 percent, indicating Republicans recently have an edge in the area, but it's still fairly moderate. 

Local Democrats plan to remind voters of the economic realities of Trump’s policies and not assume any vote is safe. Kelly said it’s a matter of “making sure we're not leaving anyone behind.”

Economy as Trump card?

While Trump's visit to Michigan will be flavored by the pending impeachment vote, the president will be able to trumpet positive news on trade, including a "phase one" deal with China to de-escalate a tariff war that has hurt farmers; and pending ratification of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a long-promised NAFTA replacement that House Democrats appear poised to approve later in the week.

Mike Thomas dines at Ritzee Hamburgers in Battle Creek. He said he often votes for candidates of both parties but has been impressed by President Trump. (Bridge photo by Jonathan Oosting)

“I think those who voted for (Trump) in 2016 are most likely going to vote for him again,” said Frisbie of the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners. “And those who were on the fence last time are going to look at their personal financial situation, their security, and go ‘I'm better off today than I was four years ago,’ and vote for Donald Trump.”

GOP strategist Dennis Lennox told Bridge “there’s no question” that Trump’s strategy relies on counties like Calhoun, Bay and Saginaw County, swing counties that the administration is targeting in campaign stops this week. 

Suburban regions like Oakland County are “out of reach for Republicans now,” but Trump showed the GOP can still win statewide elections by carrying Macomb County and other “blue collar” areas while “running up the score” in west Michigan and up north, Lennox said. 

In what Lennox called a “brilliant move,” Vice President Mike Pence will hold a separate campaign rally in Saginaw earlier Wednesday before joining Trump in Battle Creek. Lara Trump was set to campaign in Sterling Heights on Tuesday evening, adding a Macomb County stop to the statewide blitz. 

All three regions have been hit hard by manufacturing job losses under NAFTA, making this week’s visit a prime opportunity for Trump to tout the USMCA, he said. Trump railed against previous international trade deals as part of his winning 2016 campaign. 

Trump is “doing an awesome job,” said Dave Peters, a 60-year-old tile setter at The Milton building site who votes Republican despite the risk of union backlash. “He’s straightening out the country, and he seems to be doing a better job than the last four or five (presidents).”

Three miles away, small business owner Mike Thomas described Battle Creek’s economy as a mixed bag while sitting for lunch at Ritzee Hamburger’s, a retro joint that still advertises 79-cent burgers on its roadside sign.  

The city has become a “factory town," said Thomas, who works in landscaping property management and also fixes homes to flip. 

“There’s a lot of people working right now and hiring. Whether you have a college degree or not, you can get a job. But we still have people on the corner holding up signs.”

Thomas said he leans right politically but often splits his ticket to vote for candidates from both parties. He voted for Trump in 2016 but has supported Democrats in the past, including former President Bill Clinton. He’s waiting to see who the Democratic nominee is for 2020 but gives Trump good marks so far. 

“It seems like under the Obama administration, everybody kept their cash in the bank and didn’t spend it,” Thomas said of local small business owners like himself. “They weren’t buying new trucks and equipment. And now, with Trump in office, the economy — and my stocks — are doing good.”

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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Comments

Jill Roe
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 12:59am

Unemployment, GDP, Stock Market all setting historic highs.

Biden, Sanders or Warren, What's the difference? they all dance to the tune of the radical left......Massive tax increases.
Ending of all deportations of illegal aliens (if you get here, you stay.) Drivers licenses for illegal aliens, Voting rights for non citizens, , Welfare & Food Stamps for illegal aliens. (Warren & Sanders)
-Free medicare care for all including non citizens Warren / Sanders (taxpayer funded with a 52 trillion price tag)
-Free college for all, including non citizens. (tax payer funded), Open Borders.
Sanctuary Cities, Decriminalize illegal entry into our country, De-fund & terminate Border Patrol & ICE, Late term abortions up to 9 months.From the Democrat’s themselves. View their speeches / debates on you tube.

Kathi Geukes
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 8:48am

Just wondering how a 9 month pregnancy can be considered an abortion...that is the idiocy that tRumpers bring to the abortion conversation.....it just shows that you all will fall for anything...think for yourself and do some homework before you spout more stupid chit!!!

Lorrie
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 9:11am

That makes no sense. If the pregnancy is ended/the baby killed via abortion it is irrelevant how far along the pregnancy is. 9 weeks or 9 months, it's still an abortion.

OIF/OEF veteran
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 9:26am

Interesting that, first, you use an ad hominem to attack every Trump supporter with a lowercase "T" but upper case "R", implying Trump supporters are no better than a "rump."

Then you flat out deny that EVERY Democrat party candidate has publicly gone on the record, proclaiming their support for "late-term" abortions, up-to and including, moments before the child is born. But, it's all for the reproductive rights of the mother and has nothing to do with the wellbeing of the innocent, voiceless, unborn child, right?

You round out your argument by demanding the person "think for yourself"...this after she cited no less than 4 points of facts?

Kathi Geukes…Congratulations, you ARE the problem in our society.

Bones
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 11:13am

Cut it with the false sanctimony and disingenuous concern trolling. Republicans are in the process.of repealing pretty much every civil protection they can get their hands on. Abortion rights, minority rights, environmental rights, worker's rights. Get back to me when the Republicans do something not nakedly evil, and then we can talk

Todd
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 1:23pm

Wow, I bet you're a blast at parties. pretty sure bridge likes your type as I've had lighter comments turned down here.

Clara
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 7:38am

The facts are clear: Trump isn't helping the people he promised to help. But he's openly hating the kinds of people his supporters hate. And that, right there, is why his supporters love him. That's why they will overlook any crime he commits, any blunder he makes, any moronic statement he utters, and anything else which they'd consider grounds for investigations, impeachment, and being stood up against a wall, if done by a Democrat.

John
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 9:07am

Michigan continues to fight its way out of a very deep hole. Unfair trade and terrible Democratic policies have hit the states large manufacturing base and effectively creating a large welfare state.
Trump has create lost optimism through his conservative policies that connect. Like his base he opposes the progressive democratic large-scale immigration, wants to see a tough and effective justice system, to feel proud to be American, supports the reassertion of the role of the family at the centre of society, prefers a welfare system based around reciprocity – something for something – rather than universal entitlement, believes in the nation state, and dose not obsess about multiculturalism or trans rights.

middle of the mit
Sat, 01/04/2020 - 2:27am

[[[Michigan continues to fight its way out of a very deep hole. Unfair trade and terrible Democratic policies have hit the states large manufacturing base and effectively creating a large welfare state]]]]

MI is doing what? Fighting itself out of a hole? What hole? A hole dug buy corporate bailouts and tax giveaways while corporations were able to take advantage of the least of us that had hopes that they were going to be able to make the payments on those loans until the scam artists on Fall Street took their profits? You do know that when the shareholders take profits, markets tumble? Ask John Paulson.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/7599203...

WHY DO THE WEALTHY GET TO TO TAKE THE WEALTH AND REST GET AUSTERITY?

IS that what Jesus wants?

And even though WE ALL KNOW THAT IS NOT WHAT JESUS WANTS, Why do you continue to believe that is so without also taking into consideration the fact that the more the WEALTHY ARE PAID THE MORE EVERYONE ELSE HAS TO PAY ALSO WHICH DOES NOTHING BUT RAISE PRICES?

Have you noticed that in 2007 you used to buy a 5lb bag of sugar...and now that is a 4lb bag for the same price?

BLAME THE WORKERS!!

PSHYYYCE!!

OIF/OEF veteran
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 9:29am

Trump's accomplishments since taking office:
•Almost 4 million jobs created since election.
•More Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in our history.
•We have created more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since my election.
•Manufacturing jobs growing at the fastest rate in more than THREE DECADES.
•Economic growth last quarter hit 4.2 percent.
•New unemployment claims recently hit a 49-year low.
•Median household income has hit highest level ever recorded.
•African-American unemployment has recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
•Hispanic-American unemployment is at the lowest rate ever recorded.
•Asian-American unemployment recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
•Women’s unemployment recently reached the lowest rate in 65 years.
•Youth unemployment has recently hit the lowest rate in nearly half a century.
•Lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for Americans without a high school diploma.
•Under my Administration, veterans’ unemployment recently reached its lowest rate in nearly 20 years.
•Almost 3.9 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps since the election.
•The Pledge to America’s Workers has resulted in employers committing to train more than 4 million Americans. We are committed to VOCATIONAL education.
•95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future—the highest ever.
•Retail sales surged last month, up another 6 percent over last year.
•Signed the biggest package of tax cuts and reforms in history. After tax cuts, over $300 billion poured back in to the U.S. in the first quarter alone.
•As a result of our tax bill, small businesses will have the lowest top marginal tax rate in more than 80 years.
•Helped win U.S. bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
•Helped win U.S.-Mexico-Canada’s united bid for 2026 World Cup.
•Opened ANWR and approved Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines.
•Record number of regulations eliminated.
•Enacted regulatory relief for community banks and credit unions.
•Obamacare individual mandate penalty GONE.
•My Administration is providing more affordable healthcare options for Americans through association health plans and short-term duration plans.
•Last month, the FDA approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before in history. And thanks to our efforts, many drug companies are freezing or reversing planned price increases.
•We reformed the Medicare program to stop hospitals from overcharging low-income seniors on their drugs—saving seniors hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone.
•Signed Right-To-Try legislation.
•Secured $6 billion in NEW funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
•We have reduced high-dose opioid prescriptions by 16 percent during my first year in office.
•Signed VA Choice Act and VA Accountability Act, expanded VA telehealth services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mental health care.
•Increased our coal exports by 60 percent; U.S. oil production recently reached all-time high.
•United States is a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957.
•Withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord.
•Cancelled the illegal, anti-coal, so-called Clean Power Plan.
•Secured record $700 billion in military funding; $716 billion next year.
•NATO allies are spending $69 billion more on defense since 2016.
•Process has begun to make the Space Force the 6th branch of the Armed Forces.
•Confirmed more circuit court judges than any other new administration.
•Confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
•Withdrew from the horrible, one-sided Iran Deal.
•Moved U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
•Protecting Americans from terrorists with the Travel Ban, upheld by Supreme Court.
•Issued Executive Order to keep open Guantanamo Bay.
•Concluded a historic U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal to replace NAFTA. And negotiations with Canada are underway as we speak.
•Reached a breakthrough agreement with the E.U. to increase U.S. exports.
•Imposed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum to protect our national security.
•Imposed tariffs on China in response to China’s forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and their chronically abusive trade practices.
•Net exports are on track to increase by $59 billion this year.

Trump is Winning!
Trump2020LandslideVictory

LS
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 10:09am

To understand reported statistics, you need to look behind the numbers. Assuming the numbers are accurate . . . as unemployment goes down, the average wage may very well go down with it --- at least for a while! Why? Because the unemployed that are re-employed are not likely being added back into the workforce at the highest pay levels. Understandably, they will initially have the impact of depressing the "average" wage level. Until all are employed, one cannot compare wages from year to year.

Adam Smith
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 10:28am

It’s curious, but I suppose inevitable that presidents, even first termers, take credit (and get blamed) for the curr3nt state of the national economy. Production, employment, GDP are all measures of economic activity that more accurately reflect long term trends. 11 years ago, our national economy cratered, beginning the longest and deepest slump since the Great Depression. Since then, largely under policies implemented under the Obama administration, the economy has grown slowly but steadily, to where it is today. Those who credit that growth to the current administration might as well also credit the crowing rooster with the rising of the sun.

Gary
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 11:27am

Agreed. Presidents perpetually take the credit and blame for the economy when the fact is they have almost nothing to do with enhancing or detracting from it. It's the smoke and mirrors of politics -- the nothing sandwich that our political process has cooked up to market to the voting public. You are nothing but one vote needed once an election cycle; nothing more than a necessary evil to hang onto their government job, which starts with an oath to protect the Constitution -- an obligation they all seem to rapidly forget. Our government is no longer "for the people, by the people." Stop drinking the KoolAid.

Amazed
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 2:08pm

Really?? You are just going to repeat what Trump says instead of actually looking at facts and stats? Like how he is de-escalating the trade war with China as a positive thing for him? He CREATED that trade war! Now wants kudos for starting to de-escalate? He has made a mockery of our country with all of his never seen before antics, and what other President has had practically all of his family members working in the White House? And PLEASE someone take that phone away from him so all these blasted tweets will stop!

Tim
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 9:47am

Make no mistake, the economy in Michigan and nationwide is better than it was in 2016. The state’s unemployment rate is lower than it was in 2016 and hit the lowest point since 2000 in October 2018. Nationally, the economy is considered remarkably strong. Bridge Magazine*

Bones
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 11:09am

The stock market is better than it was in 2016; the economy is not. We've got record low unemployment, but that doesn't begin to tell the whole story. Most families are living paycheck to paycheck, and those much vaunted jobs are largely in the gig economy, where desperate folks work erratic hours with no security or benefits. Wages are still stagnant, while the various debt bubbles (college loans, auto loans, home loans) continue to inflate. GDP growth on the year is likely going to be below 2.5%, which is absolutely pathetic given that we're less than two years into Trump's tax giveaway. Meanwhile, the global economy is slowing down, and everyone paying attention can see the next crash coming. But please, continue lauding the god-emperor right up until the bottom falls out

Mary
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 11:11am

Yes, the economy is better than it was in 2016. That doesn't mean 45 gets all the credit. I recall that had it been up to the Repubs, they would have had the auto companies file bankruptcy back in 2008-2009. Let's remember it was the Republicans in power that got us into the 2008 mess to begin with. 45 loves to take all the credit, even for the sun rising. If the economy runs into problems again, who will he blame? He won't accept any responsibility. Give credit to 45 where it is due, but also give credit to Obama.

gunnd1
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 10:24am

The problems listed sound like a city, county and state issues that need to be worked on. You can't blame this on the federal government, our Communities/counties/state have to compete for jobs (it really doesn't matter what party the President is). I want to see an article on how the county and city leaders AND the Govenor are drawing in businesses to Michigan.

R.L.
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 11:00am

I never hear anyone bring up the FACT that when Obama took office the unemployment rate was 11.4% when he left office it was 4.3% Yes it is 3.5 but be fair and report the facts. He supposedly has lied or misstated things 15000 times I don't know but many things were lies. Look up the word Gestalt . Look at the entire picture and the man who is our President. He has divided our country like never before. Only history will tell the rest of the story. Peace R.L.

Tess
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 11:17am

The economy is a house of cards. In all fairness it's been a house of cards for a long time. The American Dream is predicated upon massive debt, federal and personal, both of which are at an all time high. The middle class props up the economy by taking on more debt. They purchase stuff they can't afford and our GDP increases annually. That's a horrible burden for the middle class and we're not rewarded for our contribution to the economy, we're penalized. There's no bailouts for the struggling middle class who by the way are falsely claiming that title as they drown in debt. Our federal government is also debt laden, the highest debt in the history of our country. If and when they decide to pretend to deal with this debt, they will naturally ask the middle class to pull in their belts. I have been living debt free for decades. It's a unpopular lifestyle, one that is rarely talked about. It's a kind of FREEDOM that few experience. Free to carry a gun or vote or write or speak your thoughts is great, but freedom from a lifetime of indentured servitude is rarely if ever mentioned by freedom seekers. Propaganda doesn't encourage pursuing a debt-free lifestyle.

Todd
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 1:22pm

Trump 2020!! The democrats helped him win a second term, hands down. They have nobody to blame but themselves.

stubradley
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 2:24pm

For a news outlet that brags about being neutral on politics you have a great deal of trouble saying anything positive about any Republican.

Kevin Grand
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 6:27pm

I'd love to see the coverage provided by The Bridge tomorrow on Pres. Trump's rally in Battle Creek.

Most of the reporters covering Lara Trump's appearance in Sterling Heights yesterday were skittishly looking over their laptops as they were writing their articles.

If they wrote an honest assessment of what occurred, what could they possibly be afraid of?

Bernadette
Thu, 12/19/2019 - 9:40am

Open your eyes Kevin. Sure Trump showed up and insulted John Dingell and his widow. What a guy you have there.

Bones
Thu, 12/19/2019 - 10:12am

It doesn't matter if they write an honest assessment, you and your cult buddies will claim it's fake and ignore it. You've created a cycle of self-deluded victimhood around your idiot god-emperor and nothing will pierce that bubble

Tricia
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 3:56pm

Michigan's economy would be better if the democrats would allow
companies to employ people without restricting how and when
they incorporate policies.

Bones
Thu, 12/19/2019 - 10:19am

Love to see vague talking points repeated uncritically. Which restrictions have the Democrats put in place? When did they do it? Given that the Democrats haven't had complete control of the state government at any time in the last thirty years, while the Republicans have had it for 14 of those years sure makes it seem like you have no idea what you're talking about.

To GOP Delusionals
Wed, 12/18/2019 - 6:50pm

Detroit was on an amazing comeback until the doofus in chief started disrupting trade. Since then all the projects have been delayed and down-scaled "bigly" (ha ha) only because of the tantrum-throwing orange diaper-wearing cheeto who continues to unnecessarily throw wrenches into the economy. Businesses likes certainty and doofus in chief loves chaos. What do you expect from a failed phony "businessman" fond of nepotism and filing bankruptcies? Building materials cost dramatically more now for no good reason. The economy is trying to improve despite doofus, not because of doofus.

Allan Blackburn
Fri, 12/20/2019 - 10:54am

Over 50% of Michiganders are living paycheck to paycheck and are one crisis away from financial disaster. Great economy. In the north much of what is available is service based, not enough hours given so the company is not responsible for any benefits while they laugh all the way to the bank. Many people I know are working multiple jobs just to get by. While their wages have not gone up the cost of housing has skyrocketed along with healthcare, food and other essentials. Even a college degree isn't a guarantee to a decent wage paying career like it used to be. Under Bush we experienced the Great Recession. It was cleaned up under Obama and has improved since. This president is 3 years in to an 11 year recovery and claiming credit for it all. I lost over 50% of my IRA gains during the Great Recession yet was fortunate to be paid well and I pounded over $600 per pay period in to my IRA. I have recovered nicely yet I know many seniors who will never be able to experience retirement. They will work until they are planted in the ground. I certainly don't thank Trump for this economy. He has deregulated many of the protections that the banks got involved with which led to the last financial catastrophe this country experienced. The debt load of individuals and the country as a whole are staggering in order to keep this house of cards propped up. All because we don't wish to tax higher earners and we carry some of the most regressive tax policies imaginable. I always hear that Democrats wish to raise your taxes. What a lie. They don't wish to raise it on the average person. They wish to have corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share. When a wealthy person can game the system by making most of their money through capital gains which are taxed at 15% and I pay 28% on my regular income, something is seriously wrong. Trump is a foul mouthed un-presidential idiot that has divided much of us as a nation and which has destroyed our world standing for his entire presidency. As a latter Vietnam era veteran and cold war veteran Russia is not our friend nor are any of the other dictators we are cozying up to. Wise up all while we still have an America as we are destroying ourselves from within.

Laurie L Romanow
Tue, 12/24/2019 - 8:57am

You have no right to decided anything about another's health care! Worry about feeding the babies that are already here!