Richardville-Whitmer On Same Page
The two new incoming Senate leaders are on the same page when it comes to considering a possible revenue increase next year to eradicate a $1.6 billion budget deficit.
"I don't think anything is off the table completely," incoming Senate Majority Leader Randy RICHARDVILLE (R-Monroe) told MIRS.
"Everything has got to be on the table," echoed incoming-Minority Leader Gretchen WHITMER (D-East Lansing).
Richardville made it clear that he is not endorsing the need for new revenue and he warned his caucus is "not going to lead" with the recommendation. Having said that, he talked candidly about the possibility.
Asked if he might have to look at "some new revenue piece" he said, "I think that's fair. Yeah. We have to look at everything."
For her part, Whitmer predicted the Republican Gov.-Elect Rick SNYDER could not get the votes to pass an all-cuts budget. Instead, he would solve the budget with a "mixture" cuts, reforms, and revenue, she said.
Whitmer is suggesting closing tax loopholes, which could raise millions of dollars. That dovetails into remarks made last week by House Fiscal Agency Mitch Bean, who suggested the option, too (See "Bean: Look At Tax Expenditures," 11/9/10).
Richardville said there is a way to reduce the deficit without new revenue by looking at "what government is supposed to be."
The new GOP leader has immediately established himself as not following in the footsteps of the current Majority Leader Mike BISHOP (R-Rochester), who was loathed to even use the words "revenue increase: during his tenure. Richardville began his first day on the job doing just that.
Whitmer is elated saying, "Randy will be more open" than Bishop and she said she looked forward to working with him.
Everything is on the table? No, it shouldn't be. Government needs to live within its means. If you want to see the GOP to lose Michigan statewide for most of the next 18 years, raise taxes and/or give us status quo government. We can not have democrat-lite budgets.
What we as citizens can do to make sure this doesn't happen is to keep the pressure on from go and stay involved. Richardville needs to know we are watching. Bolger in the house needs to know we are watching. Rick Snyder needs to know we are watching. So do all of our reps. Those that raise taxes need to be recalled or primaried out.
If tax increases are on the table, so are primary challenges and recalls. My tolerance for tax increases and Joe Schwarz and Bill Milliken style of Republicans are nill. They destroy the state as well as the party.