Monday, October 01, 2007

Not the Right Answer

The state government was shut down for just a few hours while the politicians and bureaucrats tidied up the mess they had made.

They plan to cut 440 Million from the budget which is a start, but raised about three times that amount in new taxes. Jenny (our beloved governor) calls it "1 dollar per person per week" in new taxes. Let's see! With Michigan's population that would be less than half a billion dollars but the new taxes are over a billion in revenues.

Already people are mad! I have not heard a good thing said about Governor Granholm in several days. Right now in this state she is probably less popular than President Bush.

It's a solution that does not face reality. We need to make deep budget cuts and get more for every tax dollar the state collects. We need to lay-off a lot of redundant bureaucrats and replace many of them with ones who understand that they have to work for their money like everyone else. We have way too much dead-weight in the bureaucracy.

The legislature and the governor's mansion both need to take pay and benefit cuts.

Michigan was a rich state 40 years ago, but is now a poor state. We are now in the condition that Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama were in two generations ago and we have to face that fact. GM, Ford and Chrysler no longer flush tons of cash into the state economy and probably never will again. We need a whole new model for our state economy. We need to be able to say "Come to Michigan and make a profit" to businessmen and mean it. That means low overhead and low labor costs which means a total remake of our mindset. Until that happens Michigan will just keep getting poorer and poorer.

We have a lot going for us if we look at it. We have more miles of coastline than any of the 48 "continental" states. We have more varied natural resources than any state east of the Mississippi. We have minerals, oil, metals, natural gas, farm and forest products. We can be and should be a rich state but we need to start thinking in a whole new paradigm. The auto industry spoiled us and now it's time to start over.

On the other hand we are a model of what happens when people expect too much from the state and expect the state and the wealthy to take care of us. We are a warning to the entire nation not to let that happen.

There is hope. This video, narrated by native Michigander and actor Jeff Daniels, shows that we have potential and everything shown here is good, but is not enough. We need more and we need to do more of what is shown here.

8 Comments:

Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Every time that I see one of those Jeff Daniels ads on TV, I think about what I've read on your blog. We've got similar problems in Oregon.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Goat said...

Michigan, California and a few other states can be held as case studies on how not to do it, while Dixie is booming.

10:14 PM  
Blogger pete in Midland said...

a buck a week would work out to about ... what ... grade one math ... 104 bucks a year for my wife and I ... yet, according to my grade two math ... this is going to cost me about $700-600 more per year. And that's just on income tax.
They didn't include haircuts, so I guess I can still get those here ...
What a friggin' pile of morons! Adding yet more taxes to a state that is floundering on the brink of bankrupcy ...
y'know ... I've liked it here ever since I was transferred form Alberta 10-1/2 years ago. This area is beautiful, peaceful (as opposed to the violence of Saginaw, Flint and Detroit). I was in no hurry at all to plan on moving when I retire (anytime after February) since I enjoy the hobby farm, enjoy the area, and enjoy the people.
BUT ... since it is becoming completely unaffordable to live here ... it appears as though I'll be on that long, long list of "used to live in Michigan" folks.
Time to check out the economic and political climate in Kentucky, Arkansas and Missouri ...

9:15 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Pete in midland, we're doing well in Texas. The best thing about Texas is we have any sort of terrain you want. We have a coastline, mountains and deserts, depending on where you settle, and steak is cheap! Where I am gas is still well under $3.00 but I don't know how long that's going to last.

Michigan is a beautiful state, Shoprat. This is such a shame! There definitely is hope, as shown in that video. It's going to take a lot of work but it can be done. This is definitely a warning to others but the problem is we have so many people who don't ever take lessons from examples set by others or pay attention to history even if they know anything about it. We are up against ignorance and stubborness and people who want free handouts from the government even though those free handouts aren't free, but come out of our pockets because the government doesn't have any money other than what it takes from us in taxes. It's not the government's money, it's ours, but freeloaders don't care as long as they get a free ride.

10:28 AM  
Blogger pete in Midland said...

Gayle,

my wife is an (almost) lifelong Texan ... so I'm well acquainted with the state, at least the Eastern half. We're headed that way in about a week to visit her son in Nacogdoches and possibly another in Dallas. (She has a granson she hasn't seen yet, LOL, I've been down a dozen times on business so I've seen everyone lately).

As great as the piney woods and the hill country are, you do have one thing that keeps me from considering Texas. Besides hurricanes and tornadoes, of course ... H-E-A-T.

I'm a northern boy ... spent time in the arctic ... and I've learned that I can always layer clothes to stay warm ... but I can only (legally) take off so many clothes.
LOL

BTW ... taxes are one reason I don't like to visit Texas (or many other places). Houston is one of those places that loves to build crap like stadiums on the backs of visitors. The extra taxes on hotel rooms and rental cars in Houston is enough to give one visions of the Boston Tea Party .... talk about taxation without representation!

Just as you have Autin to keep the state from being completely red, we have Detroit, Flint, Ann Arbor and Saginaw (and possibly Grand Rapids) to keep us from being conservative. You find all the idiot policies and tax-and-spend politics coming from those towns - mainly because that's where the non-working leeches (primarily) live. I'm constantly amazed at the articles of corrupt Chicago-style politics reported in the local rags ... amazed since this is 2007 and we supposedly have laws and the ability to recall.

On a side note, when I visited Alberta a couple of weeks back ... the most expensive gas we found was $1.19 a litre -- about $4.50 a gallon. And the gas is coming from that area ... not the mid-east.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

You'll say it and mean it when Fornicalia says it and means it.

BZ

3:49 PM  
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