Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Michigan Budget: Ditto

The newbie governors have gotten their IT set-ups, made State of the State speeches and are now hunkered down with budget planning. Governor Snyder has a $1.8 billion budget shortfall to reverse, a double digit real unemployment rate, and businesses and people leaving Michigan. Rumors of tax cuts for business gather applause at meetings. Getting rid of the Michigan Business Tax may be a good idea, but it will subtract $1.5 to $2.2 billion from the plus side, and thus add to the deficit. Closing special interest tax credits may be good, but will we say good-bye to the film industry? Snyder will look at the education system as well. We'll see. Watch for the budget Feb. 17. Watch for The Dashboard. Snyder was Gov. Engler's MI Economic Development Corp. appointee in 1999. How'd Snyder do with that? Engler closed Lafayette Clinic, other institutions and put hundreds of mentally ill people on the street. Engler ended licensing of day care centers, inspections of nursing homes, he knifed education in the back. We'll see if Snyder does better. Snyder wants to cut from the prison system, too. Are we headed for privatizing prisons? The Governor wants to remove antiquated laws and regulations - thinks we don't need to put price stickers on products. WalMart's idea; only two States do it, but there are other consumer protections in that law that are useful. Not to WalMart, but to consumers. Meanwhile, Lt. Guv. Calley is being his usual quotable self.

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