Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Phony Crisis in Lansing.

The state government of Michigan is facing a "shutdown" of services, caused by the budget impasse. This is the total failure of vision and leadership by Governor Granholm. The state is caught in a confluence of economic torrents: the loss of both manufacturing and high-tech jobs (in a state considered to be one of the most hostile to business), the preciptous decline of home prices (one of the worst markets in the U.S.), and the loss of tourism dollars caused by higher fuel prices. In the midst of this mess the state government finds itself $1.7B short in its budget - less than 4% of the total. Yet the Governor cannot find the discipline to eliminate this excess spending and instead cynically creates a phony crisis that threatens a shutdown of state services that could hurt many citizens and ruin the state credit rating. She chooses politics and infantile theatrics over leadership - refusing to force the state government to provide services more efficiently, declaring that any attempt to do so is an attack on children, the elderly, and the poor. Instead she decides to cause high-profile inconvience by closing state services to all Michiganders. If we can't find a way to cut state spending in this kind of financial crisis and instead insist on raising income taxes, then God help us - the Leviathan has swallowed us up.

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