Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Lansing Circus

The STATE BUDGET CRISIS is turning into more and more of a three ring circus. Due to the poor economy in Michigan, the state government has taken in less revenue than it wants to spend. It has to either cut spending or raise taxes. Naturally, Governor Granholm and the Democrats want to raise taxes, while Republicans have advocated cutting spending.

The problem has been exaggerated, with the media reporting that the state has a 1.8 billion dollar deficit. But actually, this number is calculated using the Governor's desired spending increases, not what the state spent last year. The real deficit is roughly 600-900 million.

The state House of Representatives, which has a democrat majority, recently held a vote on whether to raise taxes. But about ten democrats refused to vote! They wanted to raise taxes, but they were afraid of getting recalled or defeated next election if they voted for it. They wanted Republicans to vote for it--either so they didn't have to vote for it at all, or at least so that the vote would be "bipartisan", and hence automatically good in media coverage. Republicans would be less likely to attack democrats for voting for a tax increase if some of them had also voted for it.

So they held a vote. But Republicans wouldn't vote for it, so the vulnerable democrats wouldn't vote at all. They held the vote open for several days. The Governor tried to bribe several Republicans to vote for the tax increase with offers of judgeships, etc., but found no takers. They tried again several days later with the same result. The situation remains unresolved.

The democrats turned the budget problems into a circus. Why did they hold a vote at all if they didn't have the votes to win? What a joke. If the vulnerable democrats won't take a position, they should resign and let their constituents vote for someone who will.

Note: See the recent archives of Jack Hoogendyk and RightMichigan for more details.

1 comment: said...

Thanks for the hat-tip. Yeah, things are just getting crazier and crazier. Now you've got the Governor and the Democrat Speaker of the House threatening a shutdown unless there's a massive tax hike but that SAME Speaker of the House couldn't get his own Democrat caucus to support that same tax hike only a week ago.

Completely defies logic. Only the Michigan Democrats.