Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tales from the Dark Side

Common sense v the $1.8 billion dollar budget shortfall

Despite the hysterics by Mike Bishop and fellow Republicans over the need for drastic cuts in public services, Michigan's money woes, given the deep recession, are actually less severe then those of 33 other states. Bishop and friends would slash funding for many of the programs critically beneficial to Michigan's working families like health care and education.
California is hardly the only case of trouble worse than Michigan. According to an analysis of state budget problems by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Michigan’s budget gap ranks 34th among the 50 states in severity. Michigan’s budget problems are below average, with budget gaps much higher (as a percentage of the budget) in states as diverse as Arizona, Illinois, Alaska and New Jersey. by Matt Grossman, July 17, 2009
The state [Michigan] has cut 10,000 employees since 2000, leaving it with a staff comparable to the early 1970s. Annual general fund revenues, when adjusted for inflation, have shrunk in all but one of the last nine years. They are expected to be $6.9 billion next year, a level last seen in 1991 (and with the inflation adjustment, more like the 1960s). by Monica Davey, NY Times
Bishop's budget proposals would ensure the continued deterioration of the physical and intellectual infrastructure necessary to support Michigan's transition from low-tech/low-skill mass production to high-skill, technology centered, flexible production. States that allow their transportation, utility, and education systems to deteriorate to third-world status cannot compete globally.


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