Why Washington Needs a Nerd

Snyder2When current Michigan Governor Rick Snyder decided to run for the office, his campaign theme was “One Tough Nerd”. The theme capitalized on his business background and his impressive education credentials that include a Bachelor of General Studies, Masters of Business Administration and a law degree all from the University of Michigan and attained by the age of 23. In other words, this man can add and subtract and balance a set of books, all skills woefully lacking in the current crowd governing from DC.

One of the ironies of the two years since the 2010 Michigan elections that brought forth the 96th legislature and the first term of Governor Rick Snyder is the contrast between Michigan’s direction and that of Congress and the President. While Michigan has made immense strides in turning the state away from the central planning and labor union-centric approach of the prior Granholm administration, our federal government seems to have doubled down on this template for economic failure. Indeed, former Michigan Governor Granholm – who presided over eight years of record job loss and economic decline during her tenure – is on the short list for national Labor Secretary.

Certainly if any state needed an abrupt change in course, it was Michigan. By almost any measure of misery: unemployment, population loss, bankruptcies, foreclosures, personal income etc. Michigan had the dubious distinction of leading the nation. Some (labor unions, social welfare entitlement advocates – the usual suspects) complain that the changes taking place in our state over the last two years were too many, too fast. Anyone with that view has failed to see (or just refused to believe) that Michigan was in critical condition and needed decisive intervention in order to survive.

The same could be said about our state of affairs at the national level. We are in critical condition and we need decisive intervention in order to turn America around. We need a nerd.

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About Charles Owens

Charles Owens has been advocating the interests of small business in the Michigan Legislature for over 25 years, beginning with his tenure at the Michigan Institute of Laundering and Dry-cleaning and currently with the National Federation of Independent Business / Michigan. As the State Director of one of Michigan's most respected small business organizations, Owens is responsible for directing the NFIB in its mission to maintain the viability of small business in the face of expanded legislative and regulatory challenges. Owens has been an active participant in the legislative debate over numerous landmark Michigan issues including: the Michigan Environmental Protection Act, inheritance tax, tort liability reform, Unemployment Insurance reform, Workers’ Compensation, and Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Act (MIOSHA) issues. Owens and the NFIB spearheaded the efforts of other small business groups in the fight for fairness and equity for small business in the debate over the repeal and replacement for the Michigan Business Tax. Owens is a 25 year member of the Capitol Club, a dedicated group of association executives committed to the advancement of legislative advocacy for their respective organizations. In 2005 he was elected by his peers to be President of the organization. In 2006, Owens was ranked as number five of the top ten single interest individual lobbyists in Michigan by Inside Michigan Politics. Under his leadership, NFIB was also ranked in the top twenty lobbyist organizations and top ten single interest lobbying organizations by the same publication. Originally a native of Rockford, Illinois, Owens graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelors Degree in Finance and Business Administration. follow on twitter: @OwensNFIB
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