Feb 18, 2007
I’m a little perplexed about all the fuss from Republicans over the possible layoff of 30 Michigan State Troopers by April 1 if a fix of the estimated $300 million hole in the current state budget isn’t patched.
Isn’t this what the Republicans want? Don’t they want less government and less state employees? Isn’t turning the clock back to the 1970’s what they want?
Just last Thursday Senate Republicans rejected the Governor’s executive order to cut almost $200 million in spending from the current budget because it did not include enough cuts. Of course, last summer’s early repeal by the Republic Party of Single Business Tax without a replacement demonstrated how irresponsible they can be, and the rejection of the EO without a plan of their own on the table is just one more irresponsible, grandstanding move on their part. They want more cuts, but they just don’t have the guts or backbone to tell Michigan residents what they are.
Of course, we knew they were not going to tell us what they planned to cut because of the SBT repel because it was an election year. What’s their excuse now for a lack of a backbone this time around?
If an agreement is not reached on budget cuts by April 1 the 30 Trooper layoffs would drop on-the-road trooper strength close to 1,000, the lowest in more than 30 years, said officials at the Michigan State Police Troopers Association in the Detroit News. This will be the first round of trooper layoffs since 1980. I say so what?
Isn’t this what the Republic Party wants?
Taxes have been cut every year for the last 15 years, and the Governor has signed 93 tax cuts since she took office in 2002. She has had to do this while making $4 billon in cuts to erase the budget deficit left in her lap from the previous Governor. There is simply nothing left to cut and still stay competitive with other states and provide essential services.
So what if we have fewer troopers on the road than we did 34 years ago? Isn’t that what the Republic Party wants?
We have less state employees now then we did in 1973, despite having more than a million more residents. The state work force has declined by about 9,000 over just the past six years alone. Because of cuts in revenue sharing to local governments since September 11, 2001 when all we can talk about is being safe, protecting our borders and keeping us safe from terrorists we have 1,600 less police officers on the street. What’s 30 less going to matter?
Isn’t that what the Republic Party wants?
Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s 12-person, bipartisan Emergency Financial Advisory Panel - made up of two former governors and state budget directors, legislative leaders and longtime Lansing policy experts from both political parties – said cuts alone would not fix this budget crisis, and the governor has proposed a 2 penny levy on services to help keep police on the streets and other essential services. For the average family that will mean an increase of about $1.33 a week, or the cost of a cup of coffee. Apparently, that’s too much for the Republic Party, yet they still squawk at the real cuts their stinginess will cause.
Fine. Where’s your plan?
It seems ironic that that Sen. Valde Garcia, R-Howell, who chairs the subcommittee that handles the State Police budget, said, "I'm a little concerned. The main job of the Legislature and the governor is to ensure public safety. Laying off troopers makes that much more difficult."
Are you not the same Valde Garcia who voted against the Governor’s commons sense Executive Order last week, and instead of offering an alternative plan played politics with people’s lives and engaged in political grandstanding? The obvious answer is yes.