Apr 26, 2008

Steil’s useless bill shows why Republicans can’t govern

Rep. Glenn Steil, R-Grand Rapids, became the most recent Republican in a long line on of Republicans to introduce a ridiculous piece of legislation designed simply to embarrass and set up Democrats.

On April 24 Steil introduced House Bill 6018 that allows “those Michigan taxpayers who feel the state's taxes are too low can voluntarily write a check to the state's general fund for whatever amount they feel is fair.” I’m sure he knows you can already do that, and few people will say their taxes are too low.

But this was designed as one more piece of gottcha politics. This is Steil’s lame response to the decision last October to increase the state income tax and place a sales tax on some services that helped balance the state budget, erased a $1.8 billion budget deficit and avoided a government shutdown. The Democrats did the heavy lifting to do the right thing and keep the doors of Michigan open, and the Republicans are using it against them.

As budget bills have been passed the last couple of weeks, Republicans have no problem spending that money. Unlike Steil, I don’t want something for nothing, and I understand one of the costs of living in the greatest country in the world and the greatest state in the country are taxes. I’m sure when Steil drives from Grand Rapids to Lansing three times a week he uses the interstate highway system to get there. Who does he think paid for that? The freeway fairy?

I am not crazy about paying taxes, and I don’t necessarily want to pay more. I just want everyone to pay there fair share. If each person pays a little you can accomplish a lot, and that’s one reason people band together to form a government.

Another example of the GOP’s “gotcha” politics is Senate Bill 776 that bans the so-called called partial-birth abortions. Federal law already bans the rare procedure. This is just a way for Republicans to set up vulnerable Democratic House members. The legislative director for Right to Life of Michigan said as much at the legislative lobby day last week in the capitol. He said they hate wafflers, and they would roast them on Election Day. This is not about reducing abortions at all.

It seems like most Republican bills are conceived just to keep them in power and little else. When Republicans controlled all three branches of state government until Jennifer Granholm was elected little was accomplished. If we need any more proof that we can’t trust Republicans to govern we just need to look what they did with the federal government when they controlled all three branches of government.
George Bush and the Republicans took the first budget surplus in years and turned it into one of the largest budget deficits in history, deceived us into an unnecessary war with no end in sight and plunged us into a recession. Thank God the American people saw the light and began the process of taking the keys to the car away from the GOP in 2006.

Steil’s ridiculous bill will die like it should in the Tax Policy Committee.

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