Oct 5, 2009

Livingston County’s state Legislative delegation spews GOP talking points in response to budget crisis

It was no surprise that Livingston County’s state Legislative delegation is against any new tax revenues to save essential programs, but the comments coming from them are still a little surprising.

The comments from freshman Rep. Bill Rogers, R-Brighton, were a little surprising. Rogers is a genuinely good guy in person, but his earlier pretense of being a bipartisan leader went quickly out the window following the budget process last month. Rogers was elected as the co-chair of the Freshman Caucus with the mission to foster friendship and cooperation that would address the problems facing Michigan. They even signed a pledge to cooperate even when they disagree.

Rogers told the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus on Sunday that it would be better if state government shut down. I’m not sure how putting some 50,000 people out of work would help the budget situation. He then said Gov. Jennifer Granholm “entered the budget debate at the zero hour, and that legislators on both sides of the aisle are enraged.”

That is simply not true. The Legislature Rogers is a member of approves budgets, not the Governor. She sent a recommended budget to the Legislature and they can accept or reject it. She was involved in the negotiations with the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader, but she did not agree with the agreement reached between the two to balance the budget with all cuts. Neither did many in Speaker Andy Dillon’s caucus.

Then he takes a ridiculous shot at the Governor: “Now she gets engaged? Maybe she should go back to Japan," Rogers added, referring to the governor's recent overseas business trip.” Maybe the Republicans should have stayed at the party in Mackinac just three days before the budget deadline.

The Governor has created a lot more jobs on mission trips than Bill Rogers has, and that includes his family business. The auto industry has shed jobs at an unprecedented rate because of the national recession, and the Governor has traveled far and wide with success to diversify the economy and bring new jobs to the state.

The fact is the economy is changing, but our tax structure has not. We are a service economy, yet there is no tax on services. That means every level of government has had to do more with less, yet the demand has increased.

Rogers and the Republicans continue to push the false argument that lower taxes equal economic growth, but we have cut taxes every year in Michigan for the past 15 years. They also buy into the false argument that Michigan is a high tax state. Simply not true.

The conservative Tax Foundation found Michigan has the 17th best business tax climate in the nation, up from 28th in 2006.


carraig said...

Let's face it - they've all let us down - House, Senate, Gov, Repub, Dem.

The Cherry commission started in January and so far has done nothing about reform - not one piece of legislation has been brought forward.
Dillon proposed consolidating health care insurance purchasing across the state which is a move many private companies have done - and got savaged for it by the dems.

On the other hand, Garcia supported spending $50 million to buy the MSP building, while cutting medicaid spend.

Finally, we have the republicans not offering any options on tax management to ensure that taxes as a proportion of the Michigan GDP don't continue to fall, so that we stop being a donor state, and to find commonsense ways to change the system, while the dems act like they'd like to tax everything that moves.

The tax study published isn't bogus, but isn't the whole story. What gets lost in translation is that Michigan's permit regulations and enforcement rate with New York and Illinois as business unfriendly, and that labor laws are difficult compared to other states.

Communications guru said...

Sorry, that is again inaccurate. So far to shrink government, the administration has eliminated the Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL) despite being fought at every turn by Senate Republicans. The administration also proposed combing the DEQ, the DNR and the dept. Of Agriculture. She only managed to get the DEQ and DNR combined. For wanting to shrink government it has been hard to get it passed Republicans.

The problem with Dillon’s proposal is it does away with the hard earned right of collective bargaining. You can stand up and scream all you want about alleged savings, but not at the expanse of that right.

The State Police HQ was a good deal.

The tax study published is the whole story.

Republican Michigander said...

The tax foundation. Let's look at the tax burden.

Michigan's corporate tax ranking - 48.

Unemployment insurance tax - 46

State/local tax burden - 8th highest.

That's not business friendly. Less government. Less taxes. Less spending. More freedom.

carraig said...

I understand your perspective (partisan as it is) - but I'm interested in understanding why you think the MSP is a good deal for the people of this state ?

Communications guru said...

My perspective may be partisan, but it’s not based on lies lie the Republican fallacy is. Just read my first blog about this back July to understand why I think the MSP is a good deal for the people of this state.

Communications guru said...

State/local tax burden is 26th, right in the middle. But, the fact is Michigan has one of the best business tax climates in the nation, 17th to be exact, and the fact is lower taxes do not equal economic growth.

But even more importantly; less taxes has absolutely nothing to do with freedom or economic growth.