Smith: The vice president comes to Michigan

Paul W. Smith

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of American Axle & Manufacturing​ CEO David Dauch.

“Outta’ My Mind on a Monday Moanin’”

■I’ve been doing radio and TV for a long time, interviewing every sitting president of the U.S. since President Gerald R. Ford, and also a number of our vice presidents. Another opportunity presented itself this past Thursday. The man I was about to interview was also, starting in 1994, a radio talk show host, which seemed to put me on my best “talk show host behavior.” As soon as we started talking, I found him to be as likable “in person” as he has always seemed when I would see him on television.

“He” was Vice President Mike Pence, in town for a fundraiser, a business visit to David Dauch’s American Axle & Manufacturing and to explain and promote what’s being called the Trump/Republican tax plan/tax cut.

Pence seemed pleased that I reminded my WJR family of listeners that he knew a thing or two about tax cuts, as he successfully engineered the largest state tax cut in Indiana history as governor.

You’ll have to read the details to see if you agree there is something in it for everyone. Here’s what we know: It nearly doubles the standard deduction, leading many people to be able to file their taxes on one or two pages; gives us three brackets rather than seven; retains mortgage interest and charitable deductions.

■I do appreciate the VP’s Midwestern ways and overall approach to things. I told him we like what the president is doing, not always what he is saying. I asked Pence if he ever heard these words from the president, “You know you’re right, maybe I shouldn’t say it like that.”

He laughed a very hearty laugh.

Paul W. Smith is host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.