Michigan Weekend Update:
It's interesting to note that Sikkema also joins the parade of people that say we need to "broaden the sales tax and lower the rates" to shore up our tax base. He then goes on to conveniently forget that Governor Granholm called for this very same thing a couple years ago, only to have it shot down by the Republicans and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Sikkema says we "haven't seen" the political leadership to do this yet - was he referring to the leadership of the Republican Party? Because they are the ones who stopped it from happening. Maybe someone should get him to clarify for us.
The audience expressed itself, too, saying the state was headed in the wrong direction, that if only one tax could be raised or expanded it should be the sales tax, and if only one tax should be cut it should be business taxes.
And everyone is right. In so many ways all those actions need to be taken to turn the state around. A growing economy does provide more tax revenues, and the state does need more taxpayers. Some taxes those taxpayers pay may be less than they are now, some may be more, and some may be in areas not now taxed. To help get those additional taxpayers the state needs to become smarter, the answer is to get more students through technical training or college, put more into schools. And those smarter people have to help determine what the state should look like, how it should act, what services it needs to provide and what things it cannot do.
So if everyone is right, what’s the problem?
The problem really is very simple to those who watch from the outside, but for some reason, the press is always reluctant to call it out. Here is the problem: You have one side of this equation always saying "no" to compromise, insisting that we proceed down their path only, or they will do something crazy, such as, shut down the government. Or hold budgets for weeks for no apparent reason. Or make threats that they won't restore funding. So forth and so on and this has been going on for the past three years.
Sorry folks. I am not being totally partisan here, I am just speaking the truth. Democrats and the governor are willing to compromise on these issues, the Republicans are not. Phil Power finally stepped up to the plate and told it like it is this week. Why is it the rest of the press is so reluctant to point out what everyone else can clearly see?