Monday, September 17, 2007

More budget updates

The battle of attrition is still going on.

First, I got this in an email forwarded to me. An excerpt of the Political Diary in the Wall Street Journal.

GOP's Future at Stake in Michigan Fight

Michigan's Republican Party is in the midst of an internal skirmish over, of all issues, taxes. The infighting came to public light in recent weeks when certain establishment-oriented party insiders began complaining that the state party chairman, Saul Anuzis, was sounding a message that's "too" anti-tax.

The state now faces a $1.8 billion deficit and Mr. Anuzis sensibly wants that wiped out by cutting a bloated state budget, not tax hikes, but some Republicans in the legislature want to strike a deal with pro-tax Governor Jennifer Granholm. Mr. Anuzis' persistent proclamations against higher taxes have caused grumbling among party moderates, who complain he's "making it more difficult to work out a deal to resolve Michigan's nagging budget deficit," as the Detroit News recently reported. The moderates insist that it's inappropriate for a party chair to dictate the party's policy to elected officials.

Conservatives, for their part, can't fathom why Mr. Anuzis' behavior has come under attack in his own party. They fear it means liberal Republicans in Lansing are signaling their readiness to cut a budget deal with pro-tax Democrats at a time, peculiarly, when Democrats seem disposed to shoot themselves in the head on the budget. House Democratic Speaker Andy Dillon has become so frustrated with the refusal of Senate Republicans to negotiate on taxes that he just announced: "We are going to act alone." He wants to raise income and/or sales taxes in the state.

That budget solution would be an economic catastrophe for a state that already has among the nation's highest unemployment rates and highest number of mortgage foreclosures (despite having missed out on the housing boom that led to mortgage excesses in other parts of the country). Why Republicans would want their fingerprints on this economic suicide pact is a mystery to the conservative activists I interviewed in the state.

Democrats have been gaining electoral ground in this national battleground state in recent years, but today's tax fight could be a pivotal moment to define the differences between the two parties. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, says that Mr. Anuzis is a "party chair worthy of cheering." And Mr. Anuzis isn't backing down. "We have to hold the line on no new taxes," he tells me. By giving voters a real choice between lower taxes and more spending, Mr. Anuzis is doing exactly the right thing to bring Republicans back to majority status in Michigan.

-- Stephen Moore

So far so good, the GOP has stayed strong. What's right for the state is also right for our party in this case. No more taxes! Re-establish our fiscal conservative bonafides in our brand image, and move away from the big spending jokers who killed us in 2004 statewide, and 2006 on a state and national level.

Also, Right Michigan reports that Andy Dillon took some time off after the lockdown ended to go golfing at Oak Pointe with some lobbyists. I wish I knew about it and was able to get up there to welcome him with my camera. "Out golfing with lobbyists while Michigan burns." BTW - Who let that joker into Livingston County, anyway?

Few changes. The dems still aren't united on this tax increase. Mike Simpson of Jackson County voted for the tax before not voting for it. The Matt Millen of governors is still running her mouth pushing for a tax increase. Andy Dillon is still the Marty Morningwig to Granholm's Millen.

And in other news, our AG Mike Cox resigned as co-chair from John McCain's campaign. Interesting development this close to our Mackinac Conference.

1 comment:

David Ball said...

Food for thought: As a Department of Defense employee, I travel frequently to business meetings at supplier facilities. During a recent visit to Iuka, MS, which is roughly equidistant between Memphis, TN, and Huntsville, AL, I drove through more than 100 miles of terrain that looks strikingly similar to south central Michigan, despite the 700 mile distance from Detroit. I observed rolling hills, pastures, trees, churches, auto repair shops, dollar stores, and pawn shops. There were no high tech industries, factories were few and far between, and traffic was light, even during the morning and evening commutes.

Is the Mississippi of today the image of Michigan in ten years?

I believe the answer depends on the decisions that the governor and the legislature make during the weeks and months ahead.