Michigan GOP Budget Plan Still Vapor

But Sen. Bishop is sticking to his “Cut Taxes” mantra.

In his first days on the job as the top Republican inside the Capitol, Mike Bishop is fighting for a bedrock GOP issue: not raising taxes.

If Republicans who control the state Senate can fend off a tax increase in 2007, Bishop says, the year will have been a success.

“If we can deliver that for the citizens of this state, I think that’s a major victory,” the new Senate majority leader from Rochester said.

I think it would be a major victory for the residents of Michigan if we decided to increase funding for education. There is no shortcut to bringing back prosperity to this state. It is going to take time and there’s going to be pain in order to wean ourselves off the manufacturing-heavy auto industry and develop high-tech and bio-tech industries. Other states have already done this (for example California, New York, Minnesota, and Illinois). High-tech industries require a highly-educated workforce. Dollars toward education are an investment in the state’s future. Cutting education is going to push us down toward becoming a Banana Republic.

And this is not helpful either:

“We can throw all kinds of money at subsidizing health care,” Bishop said. “It doesn’t solve the problem. It really treats the symptoms. We want to get toward those costs, and one of the ways you do it is trying to encourage people to take control of their own health.”

In other words: get your own health care. Which is no different than, “I’ve got mine. Go get yours.” The typical attitude of the Family Values Republican party. I find it particularly appalling when a Republican who has his health care paid for by the state government says he wants to let people buy affordable health care. Hello, Free Market Experts! If health care was actually affordable, there wouldn’t be over 40 million uninsured people in this country.

While Granholm convened a group of experts and crafted a solution to our budget problems (both long-term and short-term) Bishop and the rest of his allies can only say “no.” And when they do hint at what their plan is, it’s nothing more than the old politics of greed and exclusion.

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