Mar 24, 2007

Senate Republicans launch sneak attack in the dead of the night

Many of us are reeling on this damp but warm Saturday trying to digest the Senate Republicans dirty and irresponsible sneak attack on Michigan residents with the passing of Senate Bill 220 in the dead of night on Thursday.

I have to agree with Dohn Hoyle, executive director of the Arc Michigan, a Lansing-based group that supports programs for the developmentally disabled, quoted in a Associated Press story today: "It's mean-spirited and gutless,” he said. I agree.

After keeping this plan secret for a month to avoid such criticisms and to keep their sneak attack under wraps using such extraordinary measures as refusing to allow Senate Republican and staffers even to write it down, Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop sprang it on the public Thursday evening when most people had already left Lansing. The 38-page document was rushed through committee and then right to the Senate floor to be passed an hour later with no one even having the time to read it let alone understand the ramifications of the irresponsible cuts.

Generally when a bill is introduced, the non-partisan Senate Fiscal Agency and the Legislative Service Bureau do an analysis of the bill that includes such things as the pros and cons, the fiscal impact and who supports the bill and who opposes it. The SFA then does another analysis of the bill after it leaves committee. Of course, none of that happened. The Senate GOP played a shell game and introduced a blank, shell bill on Feb. 21, and then it filled in the blanks an hour before the bill was passed.

This happened around 8 p.m. Thursday night, and the damage this bill will do to the state is still unclear because there are only a few news stories out there while people figure out how badly it will hurt and who it will hurt. Since this is for the budget we are currently in, the Senate Republicans know there is little time to change things, and many government agencies and school boards are just happy to know how much they will have to cut, how many people they will have to fire and how many schools they will have to close.

Those hardest hit, of course, are the most vulnerable of our citizens; the poor, the elderly and the sick, Perhaps Bishop is gambling they don’t vote, hold much power or give campaign contributions.

Bishop said the cuts are "painful" but argued that the GOP plan would adequately fund public safety, education and health care and help turn around Michigan.
"Once you get used to a certain level of government, it's hard to trim it back," Bishop said. "But we also know that we have an obligation to the state, to the citizens that we represent, to downsize government."

Maybe he hasn’t lived in the state very long or paid much attention to history. Government in Michigan has been downsized to the point we are hurting out chances of coming out of his economic mess. If we refuse to invest in our own state why would a business or company want to invest in Michigan?

Taxes have been cut 30 times since 1993, and we are more than competitive with other states in base tax rates. We have less state employees now than we had in 1973 despite having 2 million more people. Under former Republican Gov. Bill Milliken we had 52,673 state employees. In 2000 under former Republican Gov. John Engler there were 61,493 state employees. In 2006 there were only 52,255 employees.

Revenue sharing to local governments - the communities we live in – were stiffed by $40 million. This is money already budgeted because the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, and this will leave them little time to adjust their spending to reflect the lost dollars. Livingston County will see a loss of $402,000, and the City of Howell will see a loss of more than $37,000.

"It's a failure of the Legislature to step up to plate and really correct a problem they have failed to fix," said Farmington Hills Mayor Vicki Barnett. "They're cutting our money that rightfully belongs to us."
Barnett said the cuts would affect communities differently, with some possibly having to lay off police officers and firefighters.

So much for Bishop’s ridiculous claim that his Top Secret plan would adequately fund public safety. In fact, 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 because of the 15 straight years of tax cuts. We can certainly add to that number.

If we win this race to the bottom we lose, and there will be nothing to attract and retain business to Michigan. There is no way we can have less taxes, lower wages and less services than the Philippines, Mexico or China. Hell, why would we want to?


liberals Hate America said...

As for the Police read this

Michigan State Police,

From The Detroit News

It may seem completely nuts that a state coping with an $800 million budget deficit and considering higher taxes on its citizens would trade a $1-a-year building lease for one that will cost nearly $5 million a year. And it is.
The deal OK'd this week to move the State Police headquarters to a new home being built by politically connected developers is more evidence that the governor and lawmakers are not taking Michigan's fiscal crisis seriously.
The move was approved by the Legislature's Joint Capital Outlay Committee. It will consolidate most state police operations in a new home on the banks of the Grand River in downtown Lansing. The developer is political powerhouse Joel Ferguson, a Michigan State University trustee, and his associate, Gary Granger. Annual costs to the state are estimated at $4.9 million annually.
Currently, the State Police lease a building for a buck a year from Michigan State University. While that building could certainly use some upgrades, the lease runs until 2030. Even if the state spent millions of dollars improving the current headquarters, taxpayers would still come out ahead.
Supporters of the move to the new building note that the State Police will be able to move operations out of a second building it now leases at a cost of $2.5 million a year.
But that still leaves taxpayers $2.4 million to the bad.
The Granholm administration backed the no-bid deal and defended it in part by boasting the construction project will create jobs and stimulate investment in downtown Lansing.
That sort of thinking explains why Michigan is hurtling toward bankruptcy.
Incredibly, the decision to spend the additional money on the new headquarters came at the same time Granholm was ordering the layoff of 30 State Police troopers.
The money squandered on this project would more than cover the salaries of those troopers.
This deal is fiscally irresponsible and smells of favoritism. It shows a total inability by this administration to set common-sense spending priorities.
But worse, it tells the taxpayers of Michigan that the politicians in Lansing have no intention of solving the budget crisis with sound money management.

This is the Liberals mindset; to promote healthy fiscal responsibility you can only spend what you make, as any homeowner knows. Why should the Michigan Government be any different? Every Michigan homeowner has seen the value of his or her house plummet. Many homeowners are now faced with refinancing a home that is not worth what they owe so they are forced to walk away losing thousands of dollars. And you and your Code Pink military buddies think that raising taxes is the one and only solution, talk about having your head in the sand butt up.

Those who call themselves progressives (AKA. Liberals) are now wholly-owned subsidiaries of union leadership. Rather than broadening educational opportunity, they condemn the most needy to failing schools. They oppose choice in schools. Judges torture language to eliminate the ability of the poor to attend better schools; all to protect the power and perks of the teachers' unions and the politicians on whom the unions lavish contributions.
One of the first acts of the so-called progressives in the House of Representatives in 2007 was to pass legislation that ends the secret ballot for union elections. What should be a sacred democratic right to a secret ballot has been sacrificed to union power and the uses of physical intimidation.

Our progressives continually argue for expanded governmental entitlements, more dependence by the citizenry on our political classes, and the burgeoning welfare state. Old Europe is their model. They tell us to turn over the provision of health care to government bureaucrats under the euphemism of "single payer"; to restrict labor markets and mandate wages in a way that has given Old Europe chronically high unemployment and lower productivity; to raise taxes on the productive that stifles initiative and feeds the voracious bureaucracy; and to restrict trade the result of which inflates prices and restricts consumer choice.

Communications guru said...

You can set your clock to this. Another drunken Saturday night/Sunday morning rant from hate America. Every time you post one of these long rants I waste my time refuting your ridiculous claims, and then I never hear from you again until its time for another sodden rant on another topic.

I’ll debunk this latest round of BS when I’m less busy and bored. Sleep it off, hate America.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Guru:

You rant about the Republicans in Lansing, but what about Democratic Rep. Bert Johnson? Perhaps you missed this story in today's Free Press.

If this guy was a Republican, you'd be all over him, but because he's a Democrat, you ignore this bad behavior.

A convicted felon who continues to break the law in Lansing. Another fine Democratic leader!


From the Free Press:

LANSING -- A freshman state lawmaker from Highland Park is a serial traffic scofflaw who drove to work last week on a suspended license in a vehicle with an invalid plate.
Rep. Bert Johnson, contacted by the Free Press after a reporter watched him drive out of the Capitol parking lot, said Friday that he planned to pay a multitude of fines and seek restoration of his driving privileges Monday.
Johnson, a Democrat and chairman of the Detroit caucus in the House, said he has "no excuse. I understand the seriousness of it. I shouldn't be doing it." He promised to not get behind the wheel again until it is legal for him to do so.
Johnson is a member of the House Insurance Committee, which, among other things, oversees the regulation of auto insurance. The Free Press checked the driving records of the other committee members and found that Rep. Virgil Smith, a third-term Detroit Democrat, also has a suspended driver's license.
If and when Johnson gets his license back, it will be an almost novel experience. At 33, Johnson's license has been suspended for most of the 18 years he's been old enough to drive, according to Secretary of State records.
At 16, he received his first ticket less than a month after he got his license. Since then, he's been cited for moving violations -- mostly speeding -- at least 17 more times and had his license suspended more than two dozen times.
Secretary of State spokeswoman Kelly Chesney said the records indicate Johnson has never been off driving probation and appears to have possessed a valid operator license for only about three months since he got his license in 1989.

Communications guru said...

“Rep. Bert Johnson, contacted by the Free Press after a reporter watched him drive out of the Capitol parking lot, said Friday that he planned to pay a multitude of fines and seek restoration of his driving privileges Monday.
Johnson, a Democrat and chairman of the Detroit caucus in the House, said he has "no excuse. I understand the seriousness of it. I shouldn't be doing it." He promised to not get behind the wheel again until it is legal for him to do so.”

Wow, you’re right. Making a mistake when he was a teen means he should never improve his life. The people who elected him knew the mistake he made as a young man, and they saw fit to vote for him.

Now, I know in your book taking bribes and molesting teens is much more serious than driving on a suspended license, but it’s not to me. Exactly what do you want me to do about it, who-ever-you-are?

I’m not sure what this has to do with the nasty scam the Senate Republicans pulled on Michigan residents last week, but I’m sure this is more important to you, who-ever-you-are

Anonymous said...

Two points:

- Democratic Rep. Johnson wasn't just guilty of a "youthful indiscretion." He broke the law last week. And he would have kept on breaking the law if he hadn't been caught.

- Who molested teens?

Communications guru said...

Who-Ever-You-Are 2
Yes, Rep. Johnson was just guilty of a "youthful indiscretion.” Who-Ever-You-Are 1 called him a “convicted felon,” and that felony occurred when he was a teen.

Mark Foley.

Three points
- However, I agree with you. Johnson’s judgment is questionable, and I would not vote for him if I could when he’s up for re-election.

- It’s almost as bad as saying he’s the candidate of family values from the party of family values, but he walks away from his family. It’s almost as bad as saying he’s a candidate that supports fiscally responsibility from the party of fiscal responsibility, but he refuses to keep a roof over his family’s head and his home is in foreclosure.

- I’m not sure what this has to do with the nasty scam the Senate Republicans pulled on Michigan residents last week.

Anonymous said...

Mark Foley molested teens? I know he made some highly inappropriate calls to teen pages, but I didn't know he was convicted of molesting teens.

Granted, he's a scumbag, but kindly show me a link to a new source that says Mark Foley molested teens.

Communications guru said...

You got me on a technicality. Although the sick emails were directed to the pages when they were minors, which I believe is a crime under the legislation Foley sponsored, he made sure the 2-3 pages he met that we know of to have sex with were 18 when it occurred. However, I don’t think the investigation is over, but I doubt he will ever be charged.

It was my mistake for allowing you jump on this technicality so you can ignore the rest of the post. But again, can you tell me, Who-Ever-You-Are 3, what this has to do with the sneak attack Senate Republican’s budget? I guess you’re too busy defending Mark Foley to bother.