Cynical Synapse

Thu, 10 Sep 2009

Michigan Government Shutdown Redux?

Filed under: Budget, Government, Michigan, Politics, Rants, Take action — cynicalsynapse @ 5:03 pm

After taking the summer off, Democrats seem to have suddenly realized they only have 21 days to avert a Michigan government shutdown. Where the hell have they been since last June? That’s when the Republican-controlled State Senate passed a balanced budget.

On Tuesday, Gov. Granholm (D) released her long-awaited counter proposal. Her plan slashes film industry credits and money from jobs and roads. Like Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said about cutting film credits: “We can’t keep promising significant rebates to lure business in and then changing the game book.” How would you feel if you were the consortium interested in the Ford Wixom property after witnessing this?

Here’s what Granholm’s plan includes for Michigan’s budget over the next 2 years: $2.2 billion in cuts, $1.09 billion in tax/revenue hikes, and using $2 billion of Federal stimulus money. It’s important to note this is on top of the $500 million in cuts Granholm proposed in February. To entice Republicans, she’s offering to phase out the Michigan Business Tax 22% surcharge over 3 years, beginning in 2011.

  • Reduce film industry tax credits from 42% to 37%
  • Reduce other business tax credits by 12%
  • Extend 6% sales tax to live entertainment tickets, vending machine sales, and service contracts
  • Impose a 1% sales tax on bottled water
  • Increase the cigarette tax by 25 cents per pack to $2.25
  • Double non-cigarette tobacco taxes
  • Increase liquor license fees
  • Cut school aid by $520 million
  • Reduce local revenue sharing by $74 million
  • Squeeze $34 million out of funds used to entice business—and jobs—to Michigan ($22 million from the 21st Century Jobs fund and $12 million from a road improvements fund)

As for the Democrat-controlled State House? Well, first of all Speaker Andy Dillon (D-Redford) shat on Granholm’s proposal.

The governor should know that showboating a proposal that has no chance of passing is not a way to solve the state’s fiscal crisis. All parties need to put theatrics and demands aside and get back to the hard work of negotiating a budget solution.

So, when’s that gonna happen Andy? Why’d y’all take the whole damn summer off? Dillon said the House could start passing budget bills by next week. Excuse me? House bills by next week? 15 days before the new fiscal year? And then House and Senate can try to compromise? Never mind if Granholm threatens a veto.

Can you spell S-H-U-T-D-O-W-N? Oh, but they’ve got a “continuation bill” up their sleeve so they can tap dance around and avoid a government shutdown like in 2007. I wonder if the second highest paid state legislature can even pull that off in time. Contact your state representative and senator; tell them do their damn jobs!


  1. If the legislature were part-time they would have had it done by now. I have learned not to expect much from our legislature. It is hard to take anyone serious who thinks their comforts are more important than running our troubled state. They are even unwilling to learn from their mistakes. I suggest we remove the whole bunch ASAP buy giving someone else a chance.

    Granholm is a poster child for term limits and before we decide to have a constitutional convention we should see what it is like living under the one we have for a change.

    Comment by wctaxpayer — Fri, 11 Sep 2009 @ 1:27 pm

  2. Well said; I’m with you. I’m not voting for any incumbents next election, except maybe local.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Comment by cynicalsynapse — Fri, 11 Sep 2009 @ 5:45 pm

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