Friday, September 7, 2007

State Budget Meltdown - Enjoying the Spectacle

Both the Detroit News and the Grand Rapids Press have articles today about the apparent near-meltdown occuring in Lansing over the state government's budget. Apparently, late last night, the State House was flooded by all members of the State Senate, along with the Governor, in an effort to get the members of the House to agree to an increase of the state income tax from 3.9% to 4.4% (a 13% tax increase), as well as an increase in the state sales tax from 6% to 7% (a 17% tax increase). Ultimately the effort failed. According to the Grand Rapids Press, "...Democrats are paralyzed by 'political fear that if they stick their necks out, there will be voter retribution.'"

This is outstanding news. In case you're not aware, a taxpayer advocacy organization called the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance has been threatening to mount recall campaigns against legislators who vote in favor of any tax increase. Leon Drolet, the former State Representative who is leading the campaign, has been much-maligned over his efforts, but we applaud him and his organization. In fact, he is teaming up with the local taxpayer advocacy group Kent County Families for Fiscal Responsibility, who helped to defeat the GRCC millage last month. KCFFR filed the preliminary campaign reporting statements yesterday to begin the effort to recall Senators Bill Hardiman and Mark Jansen, as well as Representatives Robert Dean, Kevin Green, and Dave Hildenbrand, if those individuals decide to for in favor of a tax increase, according to the KCFFR web site.

People are talking about a possible government shutdown in October if the budget battle isn't resolved by that time. We can only hope for such a pleasant October surprise. The more gridlock in Lansing, the better off our state is. There are plenty more cuts that can be made, and it is our hope that those cuts see the light of day before job-killing tax increases are considered. Stay tuned for more Lansing fireworks.


  1. What cuts can be made to the state budget? Can you post an itemized list?

  2. The Midland-based Mackinac Center has proposed $1.9 billion in potential cuts:

  3. There's another list of well over a billion here: