Monday, March 05, 2007

Bishop's Budget Babble

Every once in a while, Mike Bishop says a thing or two that gives me hope that he might actually understand what it's like to be one of the constituents he represents while he leads the Senate Republicans...

Given our economic crisis, a leader is defined by his or her ability to see the difference between what is essential and what is merely desirable.

...of course then I realize that his diatribe in Sunday's Lansing State Journal was just that, all talk and still no plan. It must be hard to sit a top a plushy throne in the Senate and not really know what it's like to be one of us.

The irony in Sunday's piece is rich. I'm not sure how well Bishop or his Communications team really read over their piece before sending it off to the editorial board at the LSJ but let me highlight a couple of my favorites.

Just in case any of us are confused as to how we got in this mess in the first place, Mike takes us for a small walk down Memory Lane with someone that he sure seems to love, former governor John Engler.

If history teaches us anything, it is that government rarely exercises caution when using its power of taxation.

Agreed, Mike. Engler did a heckuva job of throwing one giant tax-slashing party for the state which surmounted to a violent assault on the state's revenue leaving us in the giant hole we're trying to climb out of. I don't like paying taxes as much as the next guy, but if means making sure our kids get a good education, we have police keeping us safe, and health care is more than just a good idea, then I'm willing to pay my share.

From there on out, it only gets better.
The experts who have examined Michigan (sic) economic crisis agree that we are not going to have real prosperity or recovery until we stop fighting the symptoms and start fighting the disease. Figuring out the most efficient way to bring state spending under control is a course of action embraced by an overwhelming majority of Michigan citizens, irrespective of their party affiliation.

I agree again, and we have Governor Granholm to thank for that. Just last week, the Executive Office released National Ranking Provides Evidence Michigan Economic Plan is on the Right Track based upon the latest findings by the Kauffman Foundation. You can also listen as Jack Lessenberry gets the full scoop of the report.

Here's where I get confused -
Senate Republicans have presented a plan that balances our budget through a mix of government reforms and spending cuts.

Now that is news to me. Last time I checked, all Bishop and his band of not-so-merry men had done was shoot down a plan that made sense without offering any kind of replacement. Since then, Granholm, Dillon, Schauer and the rest of Michigan have been asking to see his plan so many times that we might be mistake with Missouri.

Leave it to Bishop to save the best for last.
In the coming weeks, I will join the governor and my Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Legislature to correct the 2007 budget shortfall.

Finally! For weeks now, Bishop has refused to meet or form bipartisan panels with Speaker Dillon, Democratic Senate Leader Schauer or reveal his secret plan to the public. Does that mean that this is all going to change?

I might not be Bishop's biggest fan, but even I'll stand up and cheer if he's got a plan that works. Until then, Mike Bishop, first term senator extraordinaire, will continue to remain Michigan's poster boy for legislative term limit reform.

(cross-posted on Michigan Liberal)

No comments: