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Bezotte: Whitmer plan to cut Auditor General seems like retaliation
RELEASE|March 31, 2024
Contact: Bob Bezotte

Something that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention outside of Lansing is Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to cut the Office of the Auditor General budget by 28 percent.

Don’t fall asleep – this isn’t a boring article about budget numbers. This is a warning that the governor is trying to neuter the organization that exists to provide oversight of her administration.

The Office of the Auditor General is a non-partisan office housed within the Legislature. It performs audits of our state government to make sure that funds are being properly spent and that programs are operating as intended. It’s basically an internal government watchdog.

Whitmer’s proposed 28 percent reduction works out to a net cut of $8.3 million. Normally I’m all for reducing the size of government, but $8.3 million is decimal dust compared to the approximately $80 billion state budget. And it doesn’t make sense as a place to cut, because the Office of the Auditor General saves taxpayers money by rooting out waste.

So why was this office targeted when the governor has otherwise proposed increasing government spending nearly across the board?

Let’s take a walk down memory lane.

Last Sunday was the fourth anniversary of Whitmer’s emergency stay-at-home order at the start of covid.

We now know, thanks to the auditor general, that literally billions in unemployment funds were lost during the pandemic due to fraud and improper payments. We now know, thanks to the auditor general, that the number of people who died in nursing homes was seriously undercounted and the true death count was obscured from the public.

It seems like this proposed cut to the auditor general is retaliation for embarrassing the governor by exposing these blunders. If there is a better explanation, I’d like to hear it.

In my experience, you can always tell when a politician is upset about something because they immediately cut your budget. So much for transparency.

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