It's the stupid, economy!

They say that laughter is the best medicine, and apparently that's what President-Elect Obama plans to use to cure the ailing economy:

Gov. Jennifer Granholm and former U.S. Rep. David Bonior will serve on a panel of financial luminaries and corporate experts advising President-elect Barack Obama on the nation's hard-bitten economy, ensuring Michigan, its troubled auto industry and labor has a seat at the table.

The meeting took place yesterday in Chicago. Take it from somebody who lives in Michigan:  unless Granholm and Bonior are going to be seated at the "examples of what not to do" table, we could be in for a long economic haul.

Michigan has been called the "France of North America" (though "the Chernobyl of the business world" is also acceptable). Businesses and individuals are exiting the state at such a high frequency that only HAM radio operators and dogs have picked up on it. In 2006, United Van Lines said that Michigan was the number one state in the nation for outbound move rate. How was this problem addressed by Democrats? Apparently to tax people until they can't afford to rent United Van Lines trucks in order to move out. 

Michigan remains a stew of everything businesses hate. It's heavily unionized, much of the government is run by theorists who live in a vacuum, and the tax schemes are unpredictable and shift more often than a cycler in the San Francisco Grand Prix.

When there's a new idiotic tax, if we're lucky, it's recognized later on that it was a stupid idea, and thus repealed. Businesses looking for a base of operations analyze Michigan and know that, even though a particular tax has been repealed, it will be replaced.

For example, Michigan's "Single Business Tax" was repealed. Why? Because it was a dumb idea, of course (prosperous states have politicians who can recognize a dumb idea before it's enacted - perchance to dream). The problem is that, given the state's deficit, the government knew they had to replace the $1.9 billion brought in by the Single Business Tax with something else -- it's just that nobody knew what it would be. During this time, Governor Granholm continued to try to lure all those businesses into the state that don't have a fear of the fiscal unknown--all none of them. It's been like watching somebody try to fish with no pole, line, hook, bait or water.

Here's another piece of classic Granholm and an example of the kind of sage advice Obama can expect: A couple of years ago the governor promoted a petition on the State of Michigan website that people could "sign" to demand action against high gas prices and "obscene" oil company profits. What was not mentioned was detail that was reported by the Detroit News at the time: The Michigan state worker pension system held $832 million worth of Exxon-Mobil stock.

Granholm was in essence encouraging state employees to sign a petition demanding the devaluation of their own pensions. Brilliant!

This is the kind of advice that President-Elect Obama can expect, and that the rest of us will be forced to endure if it's implemented.

If President-Elect Obama has asked Governor Granholm to advise him on economics, I can only assume that Joseph Hazelwood will be on Obama's EPA advisory committee, Lindsay Lohan will provide her expertise to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Courtney Love will be tapped to head up a nationalized finishing school for young ladies.