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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    MI Dems: One-time budget fixes are the devil, until they aren't

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Mon Jun 22, 2009 at 07:02:17 AM EST
    Tags: Budget, bailout, autos, Lee Iacocca, MSM, one time fixes, consistency, hypocrisy (all tags)

    This morning's Ivory Tower points out an interesting tidbit about Lansing's budget process, drawing attention to the calendar as they remind readers that this is usually just about the week when we get an agreement between the House and the Senate and a plan for the next fiscal year.  You know, before the tax and spenders arrived in the Capitol City in force and just plain lost their minds.

    Apparently whatever spending sickness is afflicting lawmakers managed to make it's way onto east-bound I-96, too, and landed smack dab in the FREEP's editorial room.  The same column which they use to caution against irresponsible budgeting (lest our state bond rating be negatively affected) also contains the Ed Board's suggestion that Lansing spend irresponsibly.

    The week before state lawmakers' Fourth of July break has frequently been a time when budgets were settled for the fiscal year beginning the following Oct. 1...

    A good strategy would be to spread the available stimulus money in roughly even chunks over the next two budget years.

    No, a good strategy would be to avoid one-time-fixes.  You know, the kind used by former Republican legislative majorities and lamented vocally for years by the Granholm-Cherry administration?

    Because these problems... these massive multi-billion dollar deficits... they aren't going to go away before that bailout funding does.  In fact, they're likely going to get much worse.

    The Detroit News reports this morning on an often overlooked budgetary byproduct of massive auto layoffs... suddenly vacant industrial space.  See, the thing about vacant industrial space is that it's vacant.  There's no one there.  In other words, there goes another big dollar source of tax revenue.

    Read on...

    In addition to the loss of an estimated 10,000 factory jobs in the next two years, the host communities will lose millions in property taxes they can sorely afford to forfeit: GM already has taken steps to slash as much as 80 percent of its tax liability in some municipalities.

    "If you look at the history of closed plants, it's not encouraging" said Kim Hill, director of the Automotive Communities Program at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor. "They are unique facilities. I can't give you percentages of closed plants that get reopened, but in the past, it's been small."

    With municipalities scrambling, usually unable to replace the revenue from a closed plant, there's a natural temptation to hold state revenue sharing appropriations that much more harmless.  There's always something on which to spend state tax dollars and another program or twenty waiting in the wings.

    Politicians like to do nice things so they can tell you they did them and then convince you to vote for them again.  Since they're such swell guys.  That's human nature and that is never going to change.  The problem is, politicians are spending your money, not their own, so they're always going to be that much more tempted to act stupidly with it.  

    Should the legislature take the FREEP's advice we'll only be putting off the state's problems for two more years, leaning on the whims of bureaucrats who've already shown a penchant for attaching strings to almost every dollar and giving the bureaucrats that many more opportunities to screw things up royally.  And believe me, they will.  Or don't believe me.  Believe Lee Iacocca.  The AP caught up with the 80s icon and turn-around master and asked what he thought about government loans and bean counters.

    Iacocca, a slick pitchman who became an American hero in the early 1980s when he used over $1 billion in government loan guarantees to rescue the nearly defunct Chrysler, said in a recent interview with The Associated Press that government intervention was strong motivation to repay the loan early.

    "They're on you day and night. Their oversight is just too extreme," said Iacocca, who is promoting a new limited-edition customized Iacocca Ford Mustang. "That's why our 10-year loan, we paid it back in three years. We couldn't stand the government. The bureaucracy kills you."

    Now if someone would just tell the Free Press.

    < Agreeing With a Democrat on a Smoking Ban | Monday in the Sphere: June 22 >

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