Feb 6, 2007

State of the State lays out a plan for prosperity

Gov. Jennifer Granholm laid out a clear choice for those who care about Michigan and want to see it thrive now and in the future in her annual State of the State Address tonight by challenging us to “invest in our people so they and their children can compete and win in the new world economy? Will we invest in our people so they can build great lives here in Michigan? Will we? Or will we fail them?”

The hour-long speech was powerful, and it had a mix of setting the record straight, bringing home the reality of the dire budget situation we face and leaving us with a positive feeling that we can accomplish improving our state. So much for the alleged pundits who say the State-of-the-State address is nothing but more “little miss sunshine” from the Governor.

The governor made a clear case that we cannot fix our structural budget problem, attract quality jobs and businesses here and grow and diversify the economy with just more of the 15 straight years of tax cuts and cuts and elimination of the very things that attract people to Michigan and make this a great state. It will take spending cuts, reforms and new revue to fix the problem and move us forward.

Since taking office in 2002, the Governor has resolved more than $4 billion in budget deficits, and she has cut more in government spending than any governor in Michigan history. There are less state employees now than in 1973 despite more than a million more residents living in the state. Cutting much more will negate the reason people and companies come here because quality of life not low taxes is the reason people move and live here. Like Bill Gates said, “21st century businesses are "…far more sensitive to the quality of talent in a location than they are about tax incentives."

“Government must be lean but not mean,” the Governor said. “So in state government, we are redoubling our efforts to root out inefficiencies and do more with less.”

The Governor pointed out that the neighboring Midwest states of Minnesota and Wisconsin have low unemployment rates but higher taxes. Obviously, simply cutting taxes is not the answer; investing on our people and our state is.

The Governor also proposed a lot of ambitious but common sense projects and programs, but to me the budget, jobs and diversifying the economy is the big push.

In contrast to the last Legislature that did virtually nothing, the Governor challenged this one to put partisanship aside and address the problems. She faces an uphill battle.

“Forget Democrat or Republican. Forget political parties, the Governor said. “The choice we face right now in Michigan is not right or left. It is to advance or retreat. I say advance, and I ask you to advance with me.
“The choice is to take this hard and stubborn economy head-on and push forward with confidence and courage, or to be sucked backwards on a path of failure and fear,” she said. “I say let us push forward together. “

But it was easy to see where the Republicans were sitting in the House chamber. They sat on their hands and refused to even clap, and they displayed a disgraceful lack of respect.

The Republican response from Sen. Tom George, R-Kalamazoo, was sad. The obvious questions were where was the new Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Mike Bishop, and could they have found someone more stiff.

His continued call for action was ridiculous. At least it was refreshing to see the Republicans finally recognize and admit the budget is facing a crisis. But challenging the Governor to take action when for the last two years the Republican-controlled Legislature has virtually done nothing was insulting and ridiculous. Where were you when your party controlled both Houses, Senator?

He even talked about addressing out-of-state and Canadian trash with something called the “Waste not Plan.” This has been a problem for at least six years, why address it now, Senator?

His constant phrase “Senate Republicans” reminded me of a recent Presidential debate where one candidate continually used the phrase “it’s hard work.”

The only good thing that could come from the Republican response is it will make a good drinking game. Every time you hear the phrase “Senate Republicans” you drink a shot. That may help you forget the pain and suffering the misguided plan the Republicans have proposed will cause.


Anonymous said...

I guess I missed the part of the speech where she took any shred of blame for the fact that her state has the worst economy in the country.

Communications guru said...

And it’s her fault the state’s largest employers have lost a huge market share? It’s her fault thousands of jobs have been outsourced to low wage countries encouraged by our current federal government? It’s her fault that this administration refuses to enforce trade agreements?

Republican Michigander said...

More like I'll need a few drinks to get past this hellhole of a economy your governor is putting us through.

Communications guru said...

You’re not a resident of Michigan, and the Governor is responsible for the Big 3 losing market share and not enforcing trade agreements?

Anonymous said...

This what life would be like in the Guru's ideal America:

- The government provides for all your needs. The government will pay for your health care. You will have no incentive to work hard, because the government will give you everything.

- The government would take a lot more of your money, because the government can decide how to spend it better than you can.

- There will be no rich people. If you get too rich, you'll have to give more of your money to the government. Rich people are evil.

- The radio stations will not be able to decide for themselves what programs to air. The government will decide for them. (Specifically, Senator Franken.) We gave you your broadcasting license, we can take it away. You must air what we tell you to air.

There's a name for this paradise, Guru.

It's called Cuba.

Communications guru said...

That’s pure BS, who-ever-you-are, and you didn’t reach your ridiculous conclusions on anything I have ever written on this blog.

- The government would provide what the people can’t and level the playing field for all who want to succeed with hard work, and that would include health care for those who can’t afford it. It would also help companies provide health care so they can compete with the other counties that do, especially U.S. automakers.
- The government would take the small portion we pay as citizens of the greatest country in the world and continue to invest it in the country in such things as the U.S. highway system that allows you to live in the suburbs and drive to work everyday.

- There will be more rich people as there are today, but there would also be a middle class and people would not be starving. Those new rich people would be rich because of their hard work, not because they inherited it.

- The radio stations will be able to decide for themselves what program to play as they do now, but for the use of the free public airwaves provide for the people they will have to actually present both sides of an issue. There will also be competition and other voices instead of one huge corporation owing all of the medias outlets in the country.

- Yes, there is a name for that paradise, afraid-to-identify-yourself, it’s called the United State of America,

Anonymous said...

"The radio stations will be able to decide for themselves what program to play as they do now, but for the use of the free public airwaves provide for the people they will have to actually present both sides of an issue."

So, in other words, the radio stations WON'T be able to decide what to air, and the government WILL tell them what to do.

Welcome to Cuba.

Communications guru said...

So in other words, the radio stations will be allowed to air what ever they want as long as they properly use the free, public airwaves and provide some balance and reflect the community they operate in. If not, then maybe the radio stations should pitch in to buy the ink and expensive newsprint for newspapers since radio is enjoying an unfair advantage.

Welcome to America.