Michigan Capitol Dome by ratz plt
I thought I might wend my way through the analysis of the “balancing” of Michigan’s budget but it soon became apparent that there wasn’t much to say in favor of what was little more than a cheap accounting trick.
Phil Power of the Center for Michigan noted that while the deal spared the State the black eye of payless paydays, Michigan budget needs long-term fix:
Everyone now knows Michigan is in deep economic crisis. That meant our state’s leaders had a wonderful chance to step up and accomplish the obvious “Grand Bargain.” That would involve making serious changes in the workings and costs of state and local government in return for dragging the tax system into the 21st century. But they opted for a bunch of accounting hocus-pocus, one-time gimmicks, and borrowing from the future… (more)
Jack Lessenberry interviewed Chris Christoff of the Detroit Free Press who pointed out that much of the brunt of the budget solution was borne by Michigan’s universities (who had already spent the money that was cut. Jack followed with an essay titled simple “Shame” that you simply must read. It begins:
There’s a word for the way in which our lawmakers “balanced” the budget last weekend, and that word is disgraceful.
Utterly, totally and shamelessly disgraceful. Desperate to get out of town for the Memorial Day weekend, the legislature threw together something Friday night that continues our five-year tradition of avoiding responsibility, borrowing from the future, and putting off solving our problems until tomorrow, when they are sure to be worse… (more)
It ends somewhere down the line, at a point when we have to stand up and face the profound structural problems with how state government is funded in Michigan.