Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Dollar-A-Day for the State GOP, Nothing for the People of Michigan

The naysayers are determined to ruin our state. Senate Republican leaders said they will turn down Granholm's budget-balancing plan because they oppose a tax hike she proposed. How do they propose dealing with Michigan's $800 million-plus deficit? That can be entirely closed by making cuts according to Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester. Naturally, he wasn't specific on where the cuts would be made, although he was clear school aid reductions are on the table. I'm so flabbergasted, I'm at a loss for words, so let me quote Wizardkitten:
And there, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of the sad state of the MI GOP, the party that is continuing to hold your future hostage to their outdated and damaging fiscal policies. They are proud to say "NO" to your kids, to retraining displaced workers, to alternative energy, to creating jobs... well, proud to say "NO" to Michigan in general. And they still won't tell you what they would do instead.
The tax they're objecting to is the 2% tax on services that will cost the average family $65 a year - or 18 cents a day. Meanwhile, the MIGOP website asks Michigan Republicans to join the Dollar-A-Day Club so they can keep the party on the job every day fighting for America's future. What about fighting for Michigan's future?

You would think Granholm had been calling for tax hike after tax hike the way the GOP whined, but that's not the case. The Traverse City Record-Eagle recently addressed how our state got to this point:
For years now, as the systemic tax cuts created by Gov. John Engler have drained revenue streams and the auto industry has obliterated jobs by the tens of thousands and millions in income taxes, Michigan government has survived only through round after round of budget cuts.

Schools, local governments, bridges, roads and parks have all taken hit after hit, to the point that nowadays, all they can manage is to go through the motions. We're getting the minimum because that's what we're putting in.

And year after year other states have gained on us. Michigan's K-12 and higher education programs used to be among the best in the nation but now they're a shell of their former selves. Michigan has lost its reputation as a place where highly skilled workers helped innovation become reality.

To begin making the changes so necessary to compete in the new global economy Granholm has dared to speak the dreaded words: Tax hike. She has proposed a 2 percent sales tax on services, such as hiring a lawyer and getting a haircut, a five-cent hike on cigarettes and a 5 percent hike on liquor.
The paper concluded that the plan was fair and that Michigan must invest in itself to compete on the world stage. It also pointed out that her proposal was more than just a tax hike, it also included the following:
* Two years of community college education for free for displaced workers.
* Commuting the sentences of some elderly and non-violent prisoners. Michigan, incredibly, spends more on prisons than K-12 education and costs must be cut.
* Giving those who buy a new vehicle a sales tax break. Buyers could subtract the value of their trade-in from the cost of the new vehicle and pay sales tax only on the difference.
* Make more than $400 million in cuts from this year's budget.
* Cut next year's budget by more than $300 million.
* Schools and local governments will be expected to cooperate more in terms of sharing services and reducing costs. Those that do will be rewarded.
The Governor's plan was a chance to give Michigan a future, but we can't have that future unless we're willing to make an investment. State Republicans want you to invest a dollar-a-day for their Party, but they turn their noses up at 18 cents a day for Michigan. That tells me they don't care about Michigan or its citizens, they only care about politics.


Cathleen said...

You can watch the whole press conference at WZZM 13 from GR.

I think she wants them to "put the plan on the table". ;-)

Lew Scannon said...

Nicely done and a good point. Too bad many Republicans are so myopic they can't see they'd be better off paying the lesser amount to the governent than to their party.