Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Scamholm Is Running A Scam by Akindele Akinyemi

Next week marks the state’s annual observance of Employee Appreciation Week. Gov, Granholm is sending this letter to State Employees.

My thing is this. What is to appreciate? She threaten to shut down State Government May 1st (even though this did not happen) and now she is on a vertical joyride trying to cut $125 per pupil from school aid.

Sounds like Granholm has been drinking the Kool-aid if you ask me.

She even said this in the letter:

Unfortunately, I cannot solve our budget crisis alone. Though I have proposed a balanced
budget that would protect health care, education, and the work you do to provide those and many more services to the state’s citizens, this budget crisis can only be resolved with the cooperation of the Legislature. Without a responsible solution to the budget deficit from the Legislature, the state will be forced to take swift action to immediately balance the budget. And that action could interrupt, or in some cases, end the important work we do in state government.

Of course any thinking person know that she is lying through her teeth.

Here is a woman who cannot keep residents in the state of Michigan. We have ridiculous school laws and because she is in the bed with the unions we are stuck in neutral. Not just her but some Republicans I have discovered are in the bed as well.

The governor is constitutionally required to make changes in spending to the budget she signed and bring it into balance- it is the legislature's job to approve the changes. Since she has failed to propose structural changes, she should stop resisting the Senate proposals that actually does her job for her. The governor controls the checkbook, proposes the budget, the Administration knows how revenues are coming in and they are responsible for managing the state budget.

The system here needs to be changed before we further sink into quicksand. The retirement systems are out of sync with the reality that we face daily. The idea that a custodial worker in a local school district after 5 years can get lifetime Blue Cross/Blue Shield paid for by the taxpayers is outrageous. If you are a substitute teacher for 5 years in some school districts, you too can quality for lifetime BCBS paid for by the taxpayers. I would not say anything if the State's economy was balanced but it is not. We are broke and anyone who claims it will turn around with Granholm running the ship is lying.

You need a business man or woman running this state not a political puppet.

Raising taxes will further makes us broke. We cannot afford to pay taxes.

Speaking of taxes, voices are telling Michigan residents once again that the state needs higher taxes to provide for increased spending on things like "cool cities" and higher education. We all know that cool cities are for the homosexual community.

To make their case, the high-tax proponents often cite cross-state comparisons that use static "snapshot" statistics and spurious associations. For example, one pro-tax organization has pointed to higher personal income in states with higher per capita tax burdens than Michigan’s and concluded, "High taxes don’t matter."

Nevertheless, proponents of higher taxes and higher spending argue that Michigan really does not want to be like faster-growing, lower-tax states like Alabama, Tennessee, Montana or Iowa, because they all have lower per capita personal incomes. Herein lies the inadequacy of snapshot analysis. The main reason these states have lower incomes today is because they did so in the past — they have long been relatively poorer states. But fast growth means they won’t be poorer in the future.

If these recent growth rates continue, the average income in Alabama and Tennessee will be more than the Michigan average in just three years. Montana passes us in six years and Iowa probably will this year. Unless Michigan adopts policies that are more conducive to growth, which state looks like a better place to raise a family?

Also, the Tax Foundation ranks Michigan 24th worst in its State Business Tax Climate Index. That mediocre status takes on a darker shade in the light of also having poor regulatory and labor law climates. In other tax measures, the state does less well. In overall state and local tax revenue (minus federal transfers) as a percentage of state GDP, Michigan is the 22nd worst. In state and local taxes per dollar of personal income, it's the 19th worst. In taxes per job, it's just 14 places from the bottom.

The state treasurer should know that no state or nation experiencing economic decline has ever taxed its way to prosperity - higher government spending does not increase overall employment or create economic growth. Given this, many question what’s really behind the tax-hike push. Gov. Granholm publicly proclaims that without new taxes, closing the gap between desired spending and expected revenue would require measures like shuttering all the state’s prisons or universities. She carefully avoids the dirty little secret that Michigan’s public and school employees benefit from extraordinary compensation packages that greatly exceed comparable private sector positions.

For example:

A Detroit Free Press writer recently cited a 2003 survey by the American Federation of Teachers showing that "junior level" Michigan prison guards earned $40,854 on average, compared to a national average for all corrections officers of $31,580.

Recent testimony before a state Senate committee indicated that Michigan pays up to $6,000 more to house a state prisoner for a year compared to some other Midwest states.

Despite incessant poor-mouthing by the state's public universities, figures collected by the federal government show that between 2000 and 2004, per-pupil expenditures at most of them greatly exceeded the rate of inflation.

A 2005 study commissioned by the Legislature from a private consulting firm showed that on average, per-employee public schools health insurance expenditures exceeded even the cost of generous state employee coverage by some $2,100.

The same study showed that statewide, schools could save $422 million annually by shifting employees to a preferred provider health plan with modest co-pays.

New York’s Manhattan Institute recently released data on the hourly pay rates of public school teachers in 61 metropolitan areas. The Detroit region was the highest in the nation. Grand Rapids came in eighth, and the hourly rate in both exceeded the mean for white collar and even specialty and technical workers by a substantial margin.

Failing to repeal an outmoded "prevailing wage" law that requires above-market wages on school construction projects may make the Granholm administration’s union allies happy, but adds an estimated $150 million annually to school construction and repair project costs. Failing to privatize school food service, custodial and transportation services adds hundreds of millions of dollars to education budgets.

Michigan maintains government and public school establishments whose costs not only far exceed the private sector, but even the public sectors of other states. Given this, the main effect of the massive tax increase Gov. Granholm, Treasurer Kleine and their allies support would be to further insulate a privileged class of government workers from the impact of economic changes that have affected every other resident of the state.

Now we can all go to the Employee Appreciation Week in peace knowing the facts.

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