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It's all Michigan's fault!!
February 19, 2010 - Steve Schulwitz
Let's just all blame it on the state of Michigan and Governor Granholm! That seems to be the message at every meeting I have attended over the course of the last year. Sure, many of the uncertainties surrounding the budgets of schools, counties and cities are a direct result of our leaders in Lansing. Their inability to agree on what cuts will be made and by how much has put everyone and everything into a form of gridlock. The job of our legislators is not one I envy. For every cut that is proposed, a public uproar and backlash is created. The public opinions are strong enough to where our leaders get backed into a corner and as a result, shy away from making any sort of firm decision at all. Let's not forget that there are so many institutions depending on the state's monetary contributions, that it is impossible to subsidize all of them to the degree as in years past. We need to realize that an increase or creation of new taxes is needed. Those words seem harsh when you look at Michigan's unemployment rate, but if we ever expect to fund all of the things we demand, the way we demand, then we are going to have to pony up. People say "We won't accept another cut per student, per school," well pony up. "We can't afford to lay off any more county workers," then get your checkbook out. We haven't had to pay a tax on our food purchases for how long? Ever? It doesn't have to be at a 6 percent rate like the our other purchases, but it would add a definite boost on the revenue side of the state's balance sheet. Maybe that small tax would be enough to save the program your teenager is relying on for college funds, or keep a deputy on the streets in your county? The state has been the fall guy for a lot. Some by its own doing, some not. I really doubt people understand that so many of the choices made by state regulators are a result of federal influence. Take this for instance. In Rogers City, a place I am proud to call home, people are quick to blame Ms. Granholm for Wolverine power not being issued a operating permit for a 600 mega watt, coal burning power plant. It may still get the permit, but the clock is ticking and the DNRE is in no hurry to grant the request. Now lets examine why it may not be fair to target Granholm and the DNRE for this posturing. Our federal government is shelling out billions of dollars of stimulus money to the states. The feds have made transitioning to renewable fuel a top priority. Now if our governor should support the construction of too many of these facilities, how would that look to the Democrats looking over her shoulder from Washington? If it were to come down to Michigan and another state, which is abiding by Uncle Sam's wishes, which state would probably get the financial nod? I'm not so sure it would be the one shaped like a mitten. That might sound like a conspiracy, but let's face it that's how it works more time than not. Times are tough and they are going to get worse before they get better. Now is the time when we need to pull together, pony up, pay our share and cut our state officials some slack. After all we did vote for them.
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