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Whitmer Champions January Job Growth, President Obama’s Economic Efforts

From the Michigan Senate Democratic Caucus
Friday, February 3, 2012

LANSING – Following the release of the national January jobs numbers today, Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer noted that Michigan and the nation continue to benefit from President Barack Obama’s economic policies.

The report showed that the national economy added 257,000 private sector jobs last month, making January the 23rd straight month of private sector job growth under President Obama’s leadership.

“President Obama has been a strong leader in restoring our national economy as it continues to grow for the 23rd month in a row, and his efforts to continue to support the auto industry and other manufacturing have benefited Michigan greatly,” said Sen. Whitmer. “The President has outlined a vision for an America built to last. It’s a blueprint based on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers and a renewal of the American values that made the middle class the envy of the world.”

When the President took office, the nation was losing nearly 800,000 jobs a month. The economy was spiraling out of control, and the economic security of millions of middle class Americans was vanishing. Now the private sector has added more than 3.1 million jobs, the American auto industry and the more than 1.4 million jobs it supports were saved, and manufacturing is creating jobs for the first time since the 1990s. But the President didn’t just address the immediate crisis and stop there; he began to lay a foundation for a stronger economy across the country so such a collapse can never happen again.

“In his recent State of the State address, Governor Snyder tried to take credit for Michigan’s economic growth, but a majority of his policies aren’t even in place yet. We have been reaping the rewards of the President’s work, not the Governor’s,” said Whitmer. “The President has been aggressive and bold in pushing policies that invest in education and our economy to generate growth. We have seen the positive impact of this strategy, and that’s why we’re pushing for the Michigan 2020 Plan here in Michigan that would offer a free college education to all Michigan graduates, preparing our workforce for the future and attracting businesses to our state.”

The Michigan 2020 Plan would provide Michigan high school graduates—public, private or home-schooled—with the opportunity to have the cost of their college education paid for in its entirety. Those who spend their entire K-12 career in Michigan schools would be eligible for the full award, equating to the median tuition level (currently $9,575/year) of all of Michigan’s public universities. Those who attended school outside of Michigan for a period of time during their K-12 years would be eligible for a percentage of that full amount.

The Michigan 2020 Plan is in line with many studies that say a college degree is the key to economic success, and has the support of leading economists and business leaders. More importantly, the plan would come at no additional cost to taxpayers and instead be funded entirely by eliminating ineffective tax loopholes for special interests and cutting costs within the thousands of contracts the state currently administers.

Details of the Michigan 2020 Plan are available online at