Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Some Ways to Balance State Budget Don't Add Up

We all know that cutting the state budget is not easy. All the easy fixes already have been done. So it was no surprise that a story in the Lansing State Journal that solicited think tanks and the public for money-saving ideas failed to turn up any easy things.

Although the story said that tax hikes were unpopular with lawmakers and the governor, the list included several proposed tax hikes -- switching to a graduated income tax, raising the tax on beer, taxing soft drinks, and so on. Not quite keeping with the premise of the story, I'd say.

But when it comes to other ideas that just aren't realistic, the right-wing Mackinac Center submitted some of the worst ideas. It suggested saving $333 million by privatizing the University of Michigan. Keep in mind that these money-saving ideas must be enacted by Sept. 30, for the budget year beginning Oct. 1. Exactly how could the university be privatized by then when the university is included in the state constitution? And is there any guarantee the public would approve a constitutional amendment privatizing the university?

The center also suggested privatizing local school district functions to save $50 million. But any savings would actually show up in local districts' budgets, not the state's.

Other ideas in the article -- get rid of all the state legislators and elect new part-time lawmakers. And exactly how is that supposed to get done by Oct. 1?


Anon said...

The Mackinac Center's ideas were forward-thinking and bordered on brilliant.

Judy, your attitude sums up the Democratic response to everything: "We can't do that ... we can't do that ... we can't do that." When it comes to reform, you're the true "Party of No."

It's also why you won't be in power for very long. Enjoy this while it lasts.

Jordan G said...

Thanks Anon. I was wondering how long it would take for the Republicans to use the "no, you're a butthead" defense.

Since President Obama has taken over, the Conservatives have unceasingly shouted "no, no, no" while closing their eyes and plugging their ears. We call them on it, and they have no response. But it is now clear you were listening to us. Because we showed you a new weapon.

The problem though is you brought out that new weapon too early. You were so eager to say "hey hey look, they're saying no", that you didn't take into consideration how recently we've used it against you. So now we're in a rubber and glue situation, and there's a reason they teach that defense to kids- they aren't strong enough to come up with an intelligent response of their own.