Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Michigan Fiscal Responsibility Project says 'no more cuts'

Finally! This is what we are going to need- professionals and officials standing up and speaking out.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Around a dozen mayors, police chiefs, university presidents and hospital representatives on Wednesday said the state's budget problems must be solved without more cuts.

Sam Singh, East Lansing mayor pro tem and president and CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association, said citizens need to realize that tax cuts and the state's economic slowdown have forced less spending in areas that affect their quality of life.

"We've cut too much, not only in human services but in public safety and education," he said. "Enough is enough. We need to begin to reinvest in our cities if we're to get out of this economic downturn."

The news conference was held by a consortium of universities, health associations and cities that calls itself the Michigan Fiscal Responsibility Project. All three groups have seen cuts in state funding in recent years and face additional cuts now that the state finds itself again in the red.

Thank you. In the story I blogged just below this one, Grand Rapids is wringing its hands over cuts that we are going to have to make, and our mayor and commissioners are blaming cuts from the state as the reason why.

Enough is enough.

The Michigan Fiscal Responsibility Project is a good start, apparently they have been around since last July (how did I miss that?). They have a site called "Michigan Tax Truth"- which, so far, looks to be a bunch of press releases. I hope they flesh it out a bit with some facts and figures, and for God's sake people, put these things up in HTML. PDFs are such a pain.

Looking forward to more from these guys.

And I must add this- Jack Lessenberry had a "must read" column on this issue. Oh, to be able to write like this-

Sometime in the next few weeks, Gov. Jennifer Granholm will almost certainly ask the Legislature to find a way to raise taxes. And she damn well better, or she should be removed from office for dereliction of duty.

We have to save Michigan. Raising revenues is absolutely necessary if we are to keep the essential services going that will allow the state to continue to be a decent place to live. The state has been cutting taxes, often irresponsibly, for years, thanks to selfishness, greed and cracked-brain ideologies.

Now the bottom is falling out, thanks in large part to the slumping auto industry. If we have any hope of attracting the high-paying, high-tech jobs of the future, turning ourselves into Mississippi or Haiti (i.e., a low-tax, low-wage place without decent public services) sure the hell isn't the way to do it.

Taxes sound terrible, I admit. We've been brainwashed to think they are always bad. But what do you think pays for the water that makes the toilet flush? What do you think paved the freeways and paid to teach you how to read this column? Taxes, that's what.

And the line that had me rolling on the floor laughing...

You should thank God for taxes, every time you have to go to the potty in January. True, Neanderthals never had to pay them. But outside the Legislature, there are precious few of them left.

Go read the whole thing. You won't be sorry.

Even he took issue with the Freep story, just as I did. I must be on the right track. ;-)