The Ripon Forum

Volume 47, No. 2

Spring 2013 Issue

In this Edition

By on August 11, 2014 with 0 Comments

According to political experts, one of the key constituencies of the past few elections has been “Walmart moms.” 

These are the moms, these same experts tell us, who have at least one child at home and shop at Walmart at least once a month. In all likelihood, they are also moms who shop at Walmart because they are looking for a good product at a fair price. In other words, they are looking for value. 

Now there’s a word you don’t hear much about in Washington these days. In fact, it seems like the only time value is ever mentioned in politics is when there’s an “s” at the end of the word. And yet one could argue that Washington’s perceived inability to provide taxpayers with something of value is the reason confidence in government is at an all-time low. 

The IRS scandal is just the latest in a string of federal failures over the past decade that have left people fuming about the taxes they pay and what they are getting in return. What makes people even angrier is that neither political party seems to care about this concern. It seems that all Democrats want to do is make government bigger, while all Republicans want to do is get government out of our lives. And yet there are millions of hardworking people in this country who simply want government to work. 

In this edition of The Ripon Forum, we focus on a Republican Governor who is trying to do just that. His name is Rick Snyder, and he is the Chief Executive of Michigan. We talked to him recently about his efforts to turn around Michigan’s economy and provide value for the taxpayers of his state. This edition also features an article by Joseph Lehman, the President of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, who looks at the Governor’s actions in this regard, and how he is using an online dashboard to measure state performance and achieve this goal. 

No examination of Michigan would be complete without also looking at one of Governor Snyder’s biggest challenges – the fiscal emergency in Detroit and his decision to appoint an emergency manager to pull the city out of the red. For analysis, Detroit Regional Chamber President & CEO Sandy Baruah tells us why the manager is needed, and why it is critical that he be successful in his job. 

This edition of the Forum also includes a tribute to the late Margaret Thatcher written by House Armed Services Committee Vice Chairman Mac Thornberry, who talks about the evening he was called upon to introduce the Baroness at a speech she was delivering in his Texas District, and the principles she spoke of that night. 

And in our latest Ripon Profile, we shine a light on Deb Fischer, who is not only Nebraska’s newest Member of the United States Senate, but the first female Senator from the state since 1954. 

As always, we hope you find this and other essays in the Forum interesting, and encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have.

Lou Zickar
The Ripon Forum

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