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April 16, 2007

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Just maybe, the reason that Governor Granholm doesn't campaign for higher taxes is because tax increases are so thoroughly and massively unpopular among voters. In a very closely-divided state, perhaps Governor Granholm knows that she could send her party into minority status for years to come with one stroke of a tax-increasing pen.
While Mr. Lessneberry likes to repeatedly remind us all tht Governor Granholm won re-election in what he calls a "landslide," Michigan's great tax-cutting Governor John Engler won re-election twice, by real, true, serious landslide victories. Governor Engler walloped Howard Wolpe in one of the worst mismatches in Michigan gubernatorial history. Then, in an electoral exclamation point, Governor Engler thrashed, keelhauled, annihilated, humiliated, and utterly destroyed the outlandish vanity campaign of Geoffrey Fieger, Esq.
Tax-cutting sure seemed popular. Maybe it still is.
By the way, in a recent editorial, the Wall Street Journal pointed out that for overall tax burdens on its citizenry, Michigan's state government is still among the top dozen highest-taxing states in the nation.
And we are UNDER-taxed?

The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council has quite clearly demonstrated that the state's abysmal budget crisis is due not only to the malaise of the Big Three based economy, but a an outdated, four-decade old tax structure that continues to ignore the service economy, which now makes up half the state's economic activity. Forty years ago, when the tax structure was based primarily on an industrial economy, the service industry was an afterthought. Even if ONLY cuts and no tax increases did not devastate essential services, AND the strategy succeeded in spurring economic growth beyond anyone's wildest dreams, the structural problems would STILL NOT SOLVE the crisis. That's the Council's analysis, not that of tax-and-spend liberals. Now, perhaps REAL statesmen and women, with the best interests of the state in mind and not simply that of ideological constituencies, should lead, rather than pander. That might mean the Gov. will take the political fallout, and it might mean the anti-tax zealots need to compromise to fix a broken system. That's what leadership is. If Anonymous would consider a bigger picture view of the state's budget situation, rather than solely the opinion of the WSJ editorial board, they'd conclude like most reasonable persons that Michigan is in the middle of the pack when it comes to taxes paid, and that there is currently NO TAX being levied on half the state's economic activity. Surely a levy on that ignored sector might allow an offset on high taxes that plague other sectors of the economy, AND raise enough revenue to restore essential investment in road, health care, education and natural resources = things that matter as much, if not more, to economic vitally than simply low taxes. But, the narrow ideologies of inexperienced legislators these days don't seem to allow for that sort of Vision Thing. Which brings me to term limits....nevermind.

Hilarious. Hugh is right. Not even the Detroit News editorial page is dumb enough to keep arguing that we're a high-tax state, and the service sector has grown over the four decades without providing anything for the common good.

We cut taxes like a frat boy on a drinking binge. Eventually, you have to sober up, wipe the barf off your shirt, and evaluate how much you've destroyed while you were blotto.

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