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Whitmer, Yellen talk up economy in Detroit visit

Governor Whitmer, and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen
Rick Pluta
Michigan Public Radio Network
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) interview each other at an event before the Detroit Economic Club.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made a joint appearance Wednesday before business leaders. Their purpose was to instill some optimism about the economy.

The duo made their pitch to the Detroit Economic Club as Michigan’s job and wage numbers are improving but President Joe Biden’s poll numbers are not. A recent Glengariff survey of likely Michigan voters showed Biden trailing former President Donald Trump by eight points.

Yellen, who also stopped this week in the battleground industrial state of Pennsylvania, said people’s attitudes haven’t caught up yet to what’s happening with inflation, employment and paychecks.

“Some prices are falling. Inflation overall is coming back down to normal levels where it’s not an issue to most people,” she said. “And I think Americans are beginning to feel better about the economy.”

Whitmer said American Rescue Plan funds helped Michigan’s economy recover from the effects of COVID-19 and rebuild infrastructure. Biden proposed and later signed that plan into law.

“It is incredible to be able to say when we have a strong economy, we really do see how all boats are rising and we can make these long-overdue investments without asking for across-the-board tax increases,” she said.

Trump is slated to make a Michigan stop on Saturday, ahead of Michigan’s February 27 primary that he’s expected to easily win.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network.