Just like in 2007, the State of Michigan is in danger of finishing a fiscal year without having a new budget in place for the coming year. FY2010 starts on Oct. 1. However, this time a government shutdown may be avoided, since lawmakers have agreed on a temporary continuation budget to be implemented if no FY2010 agreement is reached by midnight tonight. Most likely, that would only postpone the inevitable clash for a few more weeks.
We're back to the same old disagreement: Should budget cuts take precedence over tax increases? Or should there be a mix of the two. Only this year, there's a new twist: Democratic House Speaker Andy Dillon actually advocates cuts over raising taxes, and his GOP counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, agrees.
It's the spineless, tax-and-spend Democrat governor, Jen-Jen "Tinkerbell" Granholm, who wishes to patch up the nearly $3 billion deficit with stimulus funds and by increasing revenue through a 1-cent per bottle tax on bottled water, an extension of
the 6 percent sales tax to tickets for live entertainment, and a 25-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase. Wait a minute: When taxes were raised two years ago, didn't she promise that was all we'd need?
California serves as a prime example that many politicians are just never satisfied with the amount of revenue with which they have to work. They'll keep sticking it to the people, over and over again, until the higher earners and middles class residents begin fleeing the state en masse to states where they will not be compelled to support a bloated welfare state in conjunction with obscene public employee pensions and healthcare costs.
Amusingly, there are still flaming liberals on the Left Coast who blame their present problems on Proposition 13, the 1978 property tax limitation amendment designed to put the big spending liberals in a straightjacket. That's like an obese person bitching out his wife because she didn't supersize his order for a triple cheeseburger, fries and chocolate shake. Some folks can NEVER get enough, and will NEVER be satisfied unless they get MORE.
That insane mentality prevails here in Michigan, where labor unions have wreaked havoc on Detroit and other cities, and public unions of state government employees obstinately refuse to take their heads out of the sand. Yes, they've already made wage concessions and accepted furlough days. Yes, maybe the annual raises when they do come are only 1 percent. But their benefits are generous, and their salaries above average. And they have jobs. That's more than can be said for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders. Get with the freakin' program, people!
There is still PLENTY of room for Michigan to make cutbacks in personnel, and do further streamlining and privatization. I know from firsthand experience and from talking to other state employees of the inefficiencies, waste, and deadwood in state government.
Governor Granholm will go down with the ship if she has to, to suck up to her union cronies. The only consolation is that her equally useless Lt. Governor, John Cherry, presumably the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, stands a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected, given Tinkerbell's dismal economic track record.