Here comes a time when regardless of which side you stand, left or right; you must take a step back and look at the big picture of the Michigan budget. Senate Majority Leader, Broken record Bishop continues to propose more and more cuts – none of which affect his lifestyle or the lifestyles of the wealthiest. Instead, his cuts proposals dig deeper in to the poorest of our citizenry. Cuts like:
* More money in the classroom through education reforms.
* Labor and wage concessions from public employees or on public projects when Michigan's unemployment rate exceeds the national rate by more than 20 percent.
* Cost reductions in the three main budget areas growing the most and representing more than 60 percent of the total budget. (Corrections, Medicaid, and Human Services).
The idea of more money in the classroom sounds great. But will it be at the expense of classroom sizes and a reduction of teachers, or will it be from a reduction in teacher pay and benefits? Bishop doesn’t really go in to that little detail. He just leaves it at the catch-all ‘reform’.
Labor and wage concessions from public employees. Now I ask you, the reader. How would you feel if your employer or clients decided that YOU make too much money for the hard work that you do? After you have budgeted your income for yourself and your family; it would be just fine and dandy for you to simply, do with less”? Would you just shrug your shoulders and accept this wage cut? The constant call for wage cuts and concessions equates to a form of coercion. Employees either concede to wage and benefit cuts, or will be threatened with the cutting of the jobs all together. The employee has the choice to either lose their job, or take the wage cuts. Put yourself in their situation.. how would you feel? Just because we are talking about state employees doesn’t make them or their families any different that you and your family.
Bishop and company really go aloof in the call for cuts in Medicaid, and Human Services. Nearly everyone agrees that we need reform and cuts in the Corrections department. However, advocating for cuts in Medicaid and Human Services is going to hurt those who need the help of others the most. Cuts in these departments will harm seniors and children the most.
The constant charge for more and more and more and more cuts is getting tedious. Bishop’s all-out fear of a tax increase is beginning to reach the extreme Grover Norquist level. Nearly every economist who has studied Michigan’s economy has agreed that a mix of both cuts and a tax increase are needed to bring Michigan back to prosperity. Knowing this… we need to find that new tax. The cuts have already been made time and time again.
If Bishop and company do not like Granholm’s tax proposal… let them come up with the new tax or tax increase… on top of the previously made cuts. They are wasting valuable time by politicking and stalling trying to come up with more and more cuts when they know that the “Revenue enhancement” is also needed to bring our budget and our state back to where it needs to be.
Guest Writer –