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Former Governor Engler: No kicking the can

Engler, John.jpg
Joe Ross
Creative Commons
Former Governor John Engler (right) greets Governor Rick Snyder during his inauguration in 2011. Engler credit Snyder with improving Michigan tax code for businesses.

Former Michigan Governor John Engler says politicians in Washington need to make important decisions now, despite the general election coming in November.

Engler is now President of Business Roundtable, a national association of CEOs.

He says politicians have a lot of tough decisions to make to keep the U.S. competitive globally. That includes decisions on energy and education; but most importantly, he says, decisions about the tax code and the federal deficit. Engler says those decisions need to made as quickly as possible.

“The alternative is unthinkable. And there will be a day of reckoning and the longer we put this off the harder it gets to make the decision,” Engler said to a gathering of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids Monday. Engler said lawmakers need to make long-term decisions about the tax code instead of one time quick fixes he says only add uncertainty for U.S. businesses.

Engler says uncertainty about energy prices and the future of the new national health care law are also dragging down the economy.

He gave Congressman Paul Ryan credit for putting out a plan to cut the federal deficit. But he says politicians must be willing to take action now. “Hope is not a good action plan,” Engler said.

Engler, a Republican, credited current Michigan Governor Rick Snyder for improving the tax code for businesses at the state level and for helping cities and school districts avoid bankruptcy by appointing emergency managers.

“Look at the options that Detroit does not have any longer because they’ve waited and waited; denied, denied, denied. And now they’re out of time and they’ve long been out of money. And we don’t want the nation in that situation,” Engler said.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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