Saturday, September 29, 2007

The AP admits it's political

Thought this was interesting. The media has mentioned before many times that the Democrats were trying to protect vulnerable members on the issue of a tax increase, but yesterday, the AP, through veteran reporter Kathy Barks Hoffman, presented a more balanced view of the situation and admitted that the problem is mostly political- on both sides.

The holdup in negotiations seemed less related to fights over the size of possible tax increases or spending cuts than over upcoming elections. Democratic leaders have tried in recent weeks to protect vulnerable lawmakers who could be hurt in the 2008 or 2010 elections by voting for a tax increase, while Republican leaders have worried that GOP legislators who support a tax increase could face recall threats.

It's not all about the money, as the pols would like you to believe, it's the politics. They are trying to cover themselves. But we figured that out long ago anyway, didn't we?

Still, it was refreshing to see it brought out in the traditional media like that.

Later in the article-

So far, the House has been unable to pass a tax increase even though Democrats hold a 58-52 majority in the chamber, while Senate Republicans -- who hold the edge in that chamber -- haven't yet put up the votes for all of the government reforms they say they support.

It's both of them. Of course it is. In one sentence, she describes the reality of the problem. Both sides are afraid to do what they know must be done.

Saul and the "drown government" crowd that control the Michigan Republican Party are making it that much harder for their own members. Yes, we like that, but still, their adamant refusal to support any kind of taxes makes closing the deal difficult to complete, and they keep turning up the heat on the pressure cooker.

We all know a tax increase is coming. The MRP continues to back their own people into a corner.

The fight over what the budget deal should look like took to the airwaves Friday afternoon, as the Michigan Republican Party began running a 60-second radio ad saying the party doesn't agree with raising taxes and urging the governor to sign a budget extension.

It was a bit stronger than that. They are calling this "Granholm's shutdown" and they repeatedly mentioned they don't support a tax increase. Bishop just challenged the Governor to "put politics aside", but as usual, the people that run the MRP continue to make it worse.

Their own members in the House wouldn't vote for the cuts that would be required without the revenue. And these miracle "reforms" never seem to materialize into viable savings; they are all about breaking the back of Democratic supporters. A budget extension will cause us to keep going into deeper debt to the tune of $125 million a month, adding to the deficit, which is causing the need for the tax increase in the first place. Do Michigan Republicans support that?

There is going to be some Republican support on this- there has to be. Or we shut it down. It's that simple. Saul and the MRP know this- and they don't care.

Keep your fingers crossed that moderate, sensible Republicans will reject this extremism, step up to the plate, and do the right thing for our state. We have less than 36 hours to go at this point. Time to send Saul packing.