Thursday, March 22, 2007

Granholm Starts Making Cuts

With a proposed new tax defeated in the State Senate, Gov. Granholm now has to find other ways to reduce the deficit. She has ordered $344 Million in cuts which is just over a third of the deficit. It's not what she wanted to do but it is what she has to do, and in all honesty, what the state needs to do.

Now some of the programs she is cutting are important and it will hurt. I am sure we are going to hear a lot more about day care for the poor getting its budget cut. It's already started.

Sen. Irma Clarke-Coleman, D-Detroit, chided the Republicans for their vote at a time when Detroit is closing dozens of schools, and most school districts have already spent the money the state had earlier promised them.
"These disgusting cuts paint a grim picture for Michigan," she said during debate. "How dare we sit here and cut our children to the bone. Shame, shame on all of you."

I am truly sorry Senator Clarke-Coleman but it's called reality and dreams must often bow to that. The money you are looking for is not there and you shouldn't spend what you don't have. The state budget comes from tax dollars, taxes come from income, most income comes from private businesses, and in case you haven't noticed, businesses are fleeing this state in droves and new ones refuse to come. We will not reverse this until we make this state friendlier to business and investment which means we need to cut taxes and make hard choices. It's suffer now or suffer even more later. The picture of Michigan is already grim and taxes will only make it worse. What good is daycare if there are no jobs for the poor?

I suppose we could call up the national guard and put them around businesses and prevent them from leaving, but somehow I don't think that will work too well. We have no choice but to cut spending and it has to come from somewhere. I am sorry but that's how it is.

Reality: A bunch of brutal facts destroying a beautiful theory.


Blogger Jay said...

Every business in the state has already trimmed their spending. Government is the last to do so. Like you say, you can't spend money that isn't there.

Raising taxes would have destroyed a ton of businesses. I am glad some people had the fortitude to say "no."

10:13 PM  
Anonymous gunz said...

You gotta do what you gotta do.

Expierencing the same thing here in WV.

For years the welcome signs as you crossed into our state said 'Welcome to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.'...

Wasn't very attractive to potential companies wanting to do business here and we're one of the poorest states in the Union.

A lot of changes were made and cuts made in similar programs...

The signs now read: 'Welcome to West Virginia: We're open for Business.'

Takes some getting used to, but businesses are coming here slowly but surely.

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure it can't be me that gets just a little bit more cynical when you see what little jenny cuts?
Cops, Fire Despartments. Schhols.
All the very visible stuffg that is supposed to be the purpose of these swivel servalnts.
Where are the cuts to:
Civil Rights?
Civil Service?
Community Health?
Environmental Quality?
History, Arts and Libraries?
Human services?
Labor and Economic Growth? (isn't that an oxymororn?)
Masnagement and Budget?
Natural Resources?
Most of these have hugely inflated staffs who are grossly overpaid and provide little or no (or negative value).
Of course, little jenies problem is that cutting THOSE would be cheered and lauded ... so she can't do that!

pete in Midland

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Seth said...

I had no idea that Michigan's economy was in such bad shape.

Seeing that a sensible approach, rather than a Utopian one, is being applied to meeting the state's deficit is reassuring, especially when one knows that so many other states, like N.Y., Massachusettes and California (hmmm, wonder why-- just kidding!) would simply compound the problem by spending more nonexistant money and raising taxes.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

While I'm reasonably sure that the problems didn't originate with her administration, Granholm sure hasn't helped things.

As far as Sen. Colman's statement is concerned, perhaps the school administrators should have paid for the fixes in the existing schools instead of constructing a state of the art multi-million dollar administration building.

5:02 PM  
Blogger ABFreedom said...

Really sorry you gotta go through this... we went through it up here in the mid 80's. You could have rolled a bowling ball down main street and not hit anything. The population dropped by 30 percent. It took a very strong leader, and determined population that pulled together, to make the government cuts necessary to maintain, then rebuild the economy. This is just the start for the State gov.. It will get worse for them before it gets better, as the hard reality of stopping the spending hits home.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

"The money you are looking for is not there and you shouldn't spend what you don't have"

That money WAS there until the republicans threw out the single

Yeah, who cares if the kids are running loose on the streets of Detroit while Mom works?

This is a crisis that wasn't there until the republicans created it.

That being said, I thought Grandholm's proposed solution was awful and am glad that it died. I favor an increase in the income tax coupled with reasonable cuts.

Anon- they have been cutting several of the departments that you have mentioned. You want Cops, you need to pay them. The money is no longer there. You are living in fantasy land if you think that abolishing a tax responsible for over a third of the budget's income will not have an adverse effect.

What it really comes down to is that the auto industry is dying and there are no quick fixes. Hopefully there will be some Federal Aid after the Democrats take the presidency in 08. In the mean time, we are left to die on the vine...

4:25 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Oh yeah, ABF-We went thru this in the 80's as well. It was very bad. It's the main reason I joined the USCG, no jobs at home and no cash for college at the time.
This time around it looks like it will be really horrendous.
There is an opportunity for me to relocate to AZ with my current company, and I am considering it, but the dessert holds no allure for me. I have had my fill of the bad news here, but I hate to uproot my two kids, especially my daughter who will be starting her last year of high school in the fall. I could also move to Chicago, but would rather be done with winter.

4:31 PM  
Blogger ABFreedom said...

" Hopefully there will be some Federal Aid" .. i really can't see why you think the feds should have to bail the state out. This problem was started way back in the mid 70's, and has been heading downhill ever since. You have to blame BOTH Republicans, and Democrats for the current situation, and to blame just one, is totally narrow minded. The demise of the auto industry was brought about by allowing the imports to be brought in without the requirement to meet North American standards in emission, safety, etc. etc. It allowed them to gain a foothold, while N/A manufacturers were not allowed to compete in their markets. In 1979 we were talking about how N/A manufactures were only allowed to have 1 ppm of NOx compared to the imports 5 ppm, which can be a huge cost advantage in manufaturing. If the N/A manufacturers were allowed to compete on a level playing field, they would have kicked import butt, yet consecutive governments kept giving them concessions. So NO, I don't feel your making a fair judgement by just blaming the current republicans, when you know deep down inside that this has been coming for decades. If you want to blame anyone, blame your bloody state government for not standing up and calling BS over 30 years ago.

8:44 PM  
Blogger pete in Midland said...


I hope you don't mind too much if I call "bullshit"?
The manufacturers you refer too were certainly third tier ... those that still have to offer 10 year warranties to sell any cars at all.
I recall very well the way that US manufacturers dealt with the competition angle. One example would be Harley going and whining to the Feds that they needed tariff protection from any imports that were larger than (about) 800cc.
You know what a tariff is, right? ANOTHER tax the customer pays to inflate the cost of an import to "competitive" rates. Traiffs are a wonderous thing that ensured income for the federal government, and the demise of domestic production of shoes, clothes, TV's and other stuff because even at inflated prices, domestic factories couldn't compete.
Instead of blaming, solely, the state (and federal) governments (Canada is just as bad) ... I will continue to blame unions and the companies that bent over backwards to their demands (while passing along the costs to the customers).
The playing field has been level for DECADES ... and consultants teach Deming, Kanban, SMED, and other techniques matured in JAPAN because the auto industry in the US were not interested (at least while union boots were on their throats). My 9 year old Sienna has been in the shop once ... for a door handle that snapped off in -30 degree weather. I don't have any friends or coworkers with Big Three iron that claim the same.

oh, and Tim ... you're the one living in fantasyland if you don't think the SBT had no effect on business. And, by the way, as I mentioned before, there are NO such things as BUSINESS taxes ... those are simply additional costs passed directly along to the consumer. While your dream of the Democrats taking over the government is a possibility, I'd urge you to see what France is like to see what the net effect will be. The constant caving in to workers, who don't reciprocate by increasing production, gives you an unsustainable burden on the public purse. Although you appear to think money can just be printed ... reality will intrude!

11:25 AM  

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