Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend Update - Reading the Sunday Papers So You Don't Have To

A round-up of some Sunday Funnies, straight from the left side of my living room couch. A note to Nolan Finley: I have never once blogged from my basement.

~ Mitch Albom drops a house on the Wicked Witch of the East.

But we have to let it grow. We can't plant a flower then stomp on it. That is what Cassis is doing. Hollywood is a small town; only a few dozen people make most of the financial decisions. Trust me, they've all heard Cassis' threats. They get scared. They see Michigan as unstable. Can you blame them? We pass something last spring, and now we want to slash it?

Because of this, Cassis -- and her cosponsors -- already have done enormous damage, even if her bill fails, which it likely will as the governor has promised a veto.

When you add up all the things the Republicans have done concerning "business" in the past few years - killing the SBT and the uncertainty that followed, the grandstanding that led to the MBT surcharge, their continuous complaints about Michigan being a "high-tax" state when it really isn't, and now this - it's hard to understand why anyone would consider them the party that is "good for business".

~ Peter Luke takes a look at the whole tax credit picture - from the movie industry to the recent break passed by the House for auto suppliers - and comes to the conclusion that we need to figure out which breaks really work for us.

According to the Michigan Department of Treasury, those credits in business, income, sales and property taxes will exceed $36 billion in the current fiscal year, nearly as much as the entire state budget. Past efforts to apply closer scrutiny as to whether all of those credits still serve their economic purpose have been opposed by interests who still benefit from them.

But until the Legislature opens up what is commonly called the state's tax expenditure budget and makes some decisions as to what should no longer be subsidized by taxpayers, they won't have the money to spend on what the economy may require now.

"Interests who still benefit" are the key words here.

~ Ron Dzwonkowski has high hopes for the freshmen in the Legislature. Apparently he missed the worthless House Republican media stunt earlier this week. If nothing changes, nothing changes...

~ Nolan Finley makes a case for the newspaper industry, and then takes the now very tired and stereotypical shot at "bloggers in the basement" for good measure. This is followed by many editorials on the page that promote extreme right wing opinion, which only shows you exactly how and why the "bloggers" learned their craft in the first place.

Any journalist that continues to blame "bloggers" for the industry demise needs to take a good look in the mirror, before they destroy what is left of their profession. Your audience is leaving for a reason.

~ The GR Press wants legislators to disclose their finances, and notes the House passed such a bill last week. Key words: "The Senate will be guilty of craven self-protection if members there let the measure die -- the almost inevitable fate of past financial disclosure bills". Um, have you guys met Mike Bishop?

~ The K-zoo Gazette warns of the Conflicker computer virus.

~ The Flint Journal wants funding for the mental health courts. Better go talk to the people who keep insisting on "more cuts".

~ The Jackson Cit-Pat wants WalMart to be transparent. Good luck with that.

~ Both the Lansing State Journal and the Livingston Daily finally notice the looming budget battle - which just shows how much power KB Hoffman and the AP have in this state. Democrats should take note - both parties are going to take the fall in the name of "fair and balanced", even though one party is open to discussing comprehensive tax solutions, while the other just says "no" to everything and is hell-bent on destroying government. You would do well to start pointing that out.

~ Revealing quote, from last Friday's MIRS:

"He's a multi-multi-millionaire. He has a lifestyle."

-- A Michigan Republican Party (MRP) activist when asked if whether MRP Chair Ron WEISER being in Florida for the party's quarterly meeting, necessitating the meeting being held through a conference call, was an issue.

Republican priorities, proudly on display.