How we make the call
Truth Squad assigns five ratings to the political statements we review, in descending levels of accuracy:
|Who:||Mark Schauer for Governor|
|What:||“Mark Schauer for Governor”|
"Rick Snyder's economy might work for the wealthy, but it's not working for the rest of Michigan."
This is the first ad directly from the Schauer campaign. Released last week, the ad makes reference twice in 30 seconds to an economy that should work for everyone, “not just the wealthy.”
While there are no citations in the ad to back up the claim that Snyder’s policies have only benefited the wealthy, Schauer’s campaign sent Truth Squad several articles that portray an inequitable economic recovery. One citation is to a Bridge article revealing job projections through 2023. Michigan ranked 49th among the 50 states in projected job growth, with much of the growth coming in occupations that pay so little, workers could qualify for food stamps.
Another article noted that during Snyder’s term in office, he’s presided over tax cuts for businesses and rule changes that slashed the number of low-income residents who qualified for cash assistance.
However, it’s also true that the unemployment rate has dropped since Snyder took office – from 11 percent in January 2011 to 7.5 percent in June 2014.
A 7.5 percent unemployment rate is far better than it was, though Michigan still lags most of the nation – ranking 47th in jobless rate. Michigan’s per-capita income grew faster than the national average in 2013, but the state is ranked 35th in income.
“(I’ll) reverse Gov. Snyder’s education cuts.”
In his first year in office, Snyder approved a budget that resulted in school funding $930 million lower than the previous year. But about $500 million of that cut was from the loss of federal funding, a loss that was not made up for by the state. Snyder and the Republican-dominated state Legislature increased school funding in subsequent years.
Schauer’s claim is a continuation of a fight between Snyder and Democrats over whether school funding is up or down, with both sides able to point to data to back up their view.
The claim that Snyder cut funding to education was true for one year, but is debatable over his term. The claim that the Michigan’s economy isn’t working for those who aren’t wealthy is not adequately supported by data. The fact is that some data, including on jobs, show gains that extend beyond the wealthy. It is certainly open to debate whether the wealthy have been the primary beneficiaries of Snyder policies, and if Schauer had added that nuance this claim would be harder to touch. The statement is vague enough, though, that it does not rise to the level of a foul.