Michigan Budget Crisis

Friday, October 16, 2009

I just saw Granholm on the news this morning talking about the state budget and how K-12 school may be hit with more than $300 in cuts, as opposed to what was originally thought, which was around half that much. Senate leader Mike Bishop has said that the Republicans are going to hold firm to their promise:

Bishop held firm that Senate Republicans won't agree to new taxes or fees to restore the scholarships, or any other items in the budget.

"If she chooses to veto anything we've sent her that was part of our bipartisan agreement, it will create a hole in the budget," Bishop said. "And we don't have an expectation of refunding those holes."


I am furious. I understand that taxes are high. I understand that there are some programs that the state spends money on that are a waste, but come on! We have made all sorts of cuts to education, corrections, transportation, and law enforcement. There is nothing else that can be cut. We need to raise revenue. Schools have already seen some serious cuts to crucial programs. Coounseling services have been cut way back or outright eliminated. Special ed. programs have lost key employees. Class sizes have gone way up. Are the Republicans that out of touch or are they as morally bankrupt as their opponents say?

I am done with Michigan Republicans. Anyone that continues to insist that education needs to be cut and is unwilling to raise any revenue isn't going to get my vote. I don't care if they are running against Karl Marx reincarnated, they aren't getting my support.

18 comments:

Rickey Henderson 7:17 AM  

Education cuts never make a damned lick of sense. States that cut funding to schools are only hurting themselves. The vast majority of homeowners don't want to live in a town with shitty schools, so guess what? They'll be paying their taxes elsewhere. School cuts only lower tax revenue in the long term.

steves 7:34 AM  

Exactly the point, RH. Michigan isn't going to attract families or people that may want a family if our schools are substandard.

Bob 8:33 AM  

I agree with the entire article except this:

"I understand that taxes are high."

State revenues are down 40% since 2000 when adjusted for inflation. This is due from not only the economy, but from income tax reductions, single business tax reductions and loophole creation.

When Gov. Blanchard left office, the income tax rate was 4.6%. Over the years the rate has been reduced and personal exemptions have risen.

In 1993 it went down to 4.4%. In 1998 a reduction plan was put in place to reduce it at .1% per year until it reached 3.9%. In 2007, it was raised to 4.35%, but that will phase out and go back down to 3.9 over the next few years.

In the late 1990’s, the single business tax was set to phase out, until it was replaced by the MBT in 2007.

We collect less sales taxes on services than most other states. Our tax system is broken, but not really high.

Bob 8:34 AM  

This cracks me up:

"I don't care if they are running against Karl Marx reincarnated, they aren't getting my support."

Victory is mine!

steves 8:43 AM  

Bob, I guess I should have been more specific. State income taxes are not high. The sales tax isn't even that bad. IMO, federal income taxes are somewhat high. Property taxes (where I live) are high, considering what my property is worth and what things I am paying for:

1. The city has to pay a huge fine because they mismanaged the public water system.

2. A school district that doesn't always make wise choices with money. I have no problem with improving infrastructure or paying teachers more, but we have a stadium that is better than some colleges have.

Victory is mine!

Don't get too excited. Democrats piss me off from time to time. I just think that MI GOP is 100% wrong on this issue.

Bob 9:00 AM  

"but we have a stadium that is better than some colleges have.

Don't get me started in an anti-football diatribe.

"Don't get too excited."

I will temper my enthusiasm.

”Democrats piss me off from time to time.

You kidding? They piss me off more than R’s.

Bob 9:04 AM  

BTW - Steve is now in charge of local and state news.

Rickey Henderson 9:22 AM  

Exactly the point, RH. Michigan isn't going to attract families or people that may want a family if our schools are substandard.

Indeed. And god forbid they slash funding to the state's hot air balloon program. That would really piss you off, now wouldn't it Steeves?

(Rickey kids, he kids...)

steves 9:23 AM  

I love football, but I just don't think the public should have to foot the bill for an elaborate stadium for a bunch of high schoolers. If they want one, let alumni or donors pay for most of it.

I am an issues voter, not a party voter.

Smitty 9:24 AM  

This is what I keep coming back to: a means to an end. What is the goal by insisting on more and more cuts, especially to schools? Is it to get to a place where privatization is inevitable? Where Charter Schools and Private Schools are the only way to go because government can't fund schools any more?

I am afraid that's where they are headed, and that it's intentional.

steves 10:19 AM  

Smitty, it could certainly be that. I think there are just some that are so fanatical about not raising taxes that they would abandon reason. I think there should always be an effort to curn irresponsible spending and waste, but not by sacrificing needed services.

There have been 5 or 6 ballot initiatives for vouchers and they have been shot down every time. Give up already. Charter schools generally don't do any better than public schools, in some cases worse. I will readily admit that there is room for improvement in public schools, but not by gutting funding.

steves 10:37 AM  

And god forbid they slash funding to the state's hot air balloon program. That would really piss you off, now wouldn't it Steeves?

They can have my hot air balloon when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Smitty 10:45 AM  

there are just some that are so fanatical about not raising taxes that they would abandon reason

Amen.

The Regan-era small-government/no new taxes line has morphed into a political philosophy. It used to be pragmatic; before we go raising taxes, let's make sure we're being efficient. But now it is this...belief. No new taxes EVER. Government so small it doesn't exist (e.g. "can't get in my way").

There's conservative, and then there's regressive. Remember the good ol days when life was so simple? And brown and black people stayed on farms or in their own countries? And the rich kids got themselves an education? And everyone worshiped a christian god?

Bob 11:20 AM  

"The Regan-era small-government/no new taxes line has morphed into a religion."

Fixed.

It used to a means to an end. Cut taxes to the point we can force privatization. Now it’s a religion.

Pete,  9:28 PM  

I'm sorry, but I can't agree. Sure, I don't want to see drastic cuts to K-12, but I don't have any sympathy to suspending the scholarship "promise" thing. Sure, kids will whine about it, "but you promised!". Ya know what? That's not how it works. Your parents promised you a new xbox for Christmas, too, and then Dad lost his job...are they still held to that promise? Somehow people managed to go to school and get loans before the state started handing out free money for just finishing high school. And really, what is $4000 in the grand scheme of higher education where it's costing you twice that much for a single semester just in tuition?

I'm HATE the term "increasing revenue" when it comes to government, state or federal - especially as a means to fix a budget deficit. It's not even rocket science - you spend less than you bring in, basic economics. If I bring in less, I need to spend less. If my wife were to lose her job, would I go to my boss and demand he pay me more to make up the difference? Or would I cut out the extras like Netflix, cable, cell phone, eating out, etc.?

Hell, even if I make a living selling widgets, and sell a ton less this year....do I cut back on my expenses or jack up the price of the widgets? That's a surefire way to piss off your customers and sell even less. Maybe I should look to finding more customers.

If there are less students (since the funding is based on the amount of students, right?), shouldn't it even out? Are we trying to maintain the same level of school budgets when there's far fewer to serve? Why can't everyone else "do more with less" like we have to? Sure, don't cut it unless necessary, but I would rather cut than increase my contribution. I would like to believe (perhaps wrongly?) that the people we trust to make those decisions have looked at all the extras already and are making the hard decisions only because they have to.

Just my $.02.

Mr Furious 12:14 AM  

The state income tax here in N.C. is 7% and the schools blow...just sayin'...

Mr Furious 12:23 AM  

I think the GOP position on this is primarily tax-obsession horseshit—but crippling public schools and then being able to use that to push vouchers and kneecap teacher unions is a feature, not a bug.

--

And as for the Reagan-worship on the issue of taxes, these fucking goptards conveniently forget that Reagan actually RAISED taxes when the situation required it.

Anonymous,  9:16 AM  

Predatory Lending is a major contributor to the economic turmoil we are currently experiencing.

Here is an example of what I am talking about:
Scott Veerkamp / Predatory Lending (Franklin Township School Board Member.)

Please review this information from U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley regarding deceptive lending practices:
"Steering payments were made to brokers who enticed unsuspecting homeowners into deceptive and expensive mortgages. These secret bonus payments, often called Yield Spread Premiums, turned home mortgages into a SCAM."

The Center for Responsible Lending says YSP "steals equity from struggling families."
1. Scott collected nearly $10,000 on two separate mortgages using YSP and junk fees. 2. This is an average of $5,000 per loan. 3. The median value of the properties was $135,000. 4. Clearly, this type of lending represents a major ripoff for consumers.

http://merkley.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=A09C6A80-537A-4EB1-83C5-31925F046B6F

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