Leons and Taxes and Business, Oh My!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Well, in the aftermath of the votes that finally went down over the weekend, we're seeing a lot of blowback from the media, voters and the business community. And in this author's completely egotistical opinion, it's horseshit.

Let's start with recall threats levied by former State Rep. and current Still-Sucking-the-Taxpayer-Teat Leon Drolet and other political fringe mouth-breathers. Here's how well-thought-out some of these folks' agenda is:

"There is going to be a price to pay," said St. Clair Shores fast-food manager Diane Lubomski, 48, treasurer of a group targeting Sen. Dennis Olshove, D-Warren. Lubomski's group registered in Macomb County on Aug. 27.

Olshove, however, opposed both tax increases in the state Senate.


Retards.

Drolet, meanwhile has threatened recalls in many districts before a vote was cast and in any district that voted for a tax increase. Well, Leon and his merry band of misguided college freshman hangers-on don't have the money and especially don't have the candidates to pull it off. He is a paper tiger trying to influence votes...but when your best opposition candidate is the mother of one of your former staffers, you're not a serious threat. Parking that damn 12-foot papier mache pig out front of the capitol was more about Leon than it was about not voting for taxes. Write him off, and if there's a recall effort in your district, tell them to fuck themselves. Message to Leon and the anti-tax nazis: police protection is not pork. Higher Education is not pork. Health insurance for poor kids is not pork. Cut what, Leon? Your pension? Maybe we should.

FYI, a recall of a State Rep would require about 10,000 signatures. Recalling a Senator? Try for 27,000. Want to recall Jenny? Try 950,000 valid signatures. You can't just get anyone to sign, mind you. Registered voters only, just like a ballot initiative. So while Clem the Toothless (who probably doesn't pay the income tax) is pissed the gub'ment is taking his money, if he doesn't vote, he doesn't get to play this game.

I loved how, the day after the vote, many papers insinuated how terrible a small increasein the income tax is. The same papers that urged legislators to get off the stick and "do something" about the revenue problem. Disingenuous pricks...but why would I expect anything else from Michigan's crack media sources?

Speaking of disingenuous, the Small Business Association of Michigan proclaimed their support earlier this year for a Fair Tax. This is an 8- or 9% tax across the board for all services at the time of pruchase. Now faced with a 6% sales tax on a few more services (making Michigan about 22nd in the country in terms of the amount of services taxed), they scream murder. But all they're doing is politicising the issue. From their own support of a Fair Tax, it is obvious they don't care. They're just coming out early for Republicans next election. They asked for a tax on all services, and we gave them a lower tax than what they're asking for on some services. Bullshit.

Don't support recall efforts. Instead, support your local schools, teachers, cops, firefighters, DNR conservation officers and so on. Your new tax is $1 a week. $52 per year. Devastating, isn't it?

7 comments:

steves 12:59 PM  

I won't support a recall of my local rep., since I thought she did an ok job. Jenny, I think, is not doing a good job. I don't think she is doing a lousy job, I just don't see her as being a good leader. OTOH, the republicans missed their chance when they picked Devos.

While I supported the tax increase, I still think there needs to be a serious effort at cutting spending. This doesn't mean I want to disband police departments, schools, and stop fixing roads. It does mean that we should look at things that can be cut or administered more efficiently:

1. Pensions for people in the legislature. They should kick in when they retire, not while they are still working.

2. State Police. State police in WI and CA mostly enforce traffic laws. Is this something that would work here?

3. Detroit. When I read about the mayor's wife's limo and security detail I have to wonder how much tax money goes to Detroit. I know that, per capita, they receive more money for mental health services than any other area of the state.

4. Higher ed. I worked in higher ed and can say that they have a ridiculous amount of well paid administrators. I would prefer that they cut back on them and pay the faculty more...you know, the people that actually teach the students. The same holds true for the state. They seen to have a high number of mid level administrators.

This is only a few and I can't think of anything else off the top of my head. I don't mind the tax increase, but I don't think that should be the only solution, or even the main solution. I look at the number of houses for sale around me and can tell that this state is hurting.

Smitty 2:00 PM  

Detroit is its own set of issues. Think Chicago...on crack.

As for the State bureaucracy....this goes in to a diatribe I am still sort of conceiving in my head but haven't put on...paper(?) yet. It has to do with job creation. The state, while not super-efficient, creates tons of jobs and an endless cycle of employees at all levels, especially the mid-level. This may be left over from FDR days, when the only way to get a job was to work for the gub'ment.

Like I said...a theory I am still working on...

Higher Ed chaps my ass a bit. I agree completely; there seems to be a lot of administyrators making a whole lot of money, while lower-level profs make less than some fast food workers. I think higer ed should be more accessible to qualified students without racking-up massive loans and I thinjk a way to do that is for higher ed to tighten its own belt a little.

As for State Cops...a cop is a cop. Might as well use them for everything they can do.

steves 3:13 PM  

I was suggesting that state police could be cut back. When the state limited the miles the state police could drive, some rural towns made deals with their county sheriff to do patrols. Since it was significantly cheaper, I wonder if this would be a good idea.

Smitty 3:27 PM  

When they did that, the Michigan Association of Counties lobbyists bitched to high heaven that all the State really did was shift law enforcement money and burden from the state to the locals. Nothing, they contend, was really solved by this other than to further break the counties.

steves 4:13 PM  

Was there an overall savings or not? If not, then I guess it was pointless. If there was, then boo hoo. Sometimes hard decisions have to be made. That is leadership. There is no way to keep everybody 100% happy

Smitty 8:37 AM  

No savings. After all of these tax votes, we still have to cut $400 million from the budget.

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 11:24 PM  

Steves said:

"1. Pensions for people in the legislature...

2. State Police. State police in WI and CA mostly enforce traffic laws...

3. Detroit...

4. Higher ed..."


OK, you have now shaved maybe $10 million or so out of the budget. Only $430 million left.

I am not saying some of those things don't have merit, they may, but they are really symbolic.

The only way to cut your way out of any budget hole like this, is to decide what services you fell the state should no longer perform and eliminate it.

I choose the DNR. The hunters and wildlife will police themselves. It won't save us $440M, but it's a start.

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