where are the grown-ups?

Last night, just before the close of a fine band concert, the band director told us all to write petitions to tell “Governor Snyder to stop stealing from our schools.” Besides being entirely inappropriate–is that how our school leaders teach their students to respect authority?–it was yet another example of adults in Michigan behaving like children.

I am sure that we can all find things to disagree with in the new governor’s budget proposal, but the fact is that we have to cut spending and/or raise taxes somewhere. Previous governors and legislators ignored the problem, spending money we didn’t have, and now that we finally have a leader who tells us that we must live within our means, all anyone can do is whine.

Besides the schools, seniors are refusing to pay any state income tax on their pensions. They don’t care that a single parent juggling three jobs must pay income tax; they say that if we make them pay one dime they’ll just move to Florida. The paper interviewed one whiny senior from a casino. They were sitting in a casino as they complained about how they just didn’t know how they would get by if they had to pay any tax at all. So the governor compromised, and now they won’t have to. Fine. Just don’t tell us how much you love your children and grandchildren. Remember that soon enough your health will be in their hands. This is not exactly the group you want to tick off.

Yesterday a group announced a petition drive to recall the governor. I guess it’s true that we get the government we deserve. It’s just a shame that when we finally find leaders who treat us like grown-ups, many people insist on behaving like children.

4 Comments

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  1. Jonathan Shelley April 20, 2011 — 9:20 am

    Mike – welcome back to the blogosphere!

    I can only shake my head at the comical nature of the budget debates (I say “comical” because the actual word I would use might be offensive). I learned in my personal and business finance classes that you can never spend your way to financial stability, that living off credit is not a long term solution. Yet our elected leaders and lobbyists keep insisting that the answer to our state and federal economic issues is to spend, spend, spend, even if we don’t have any money to spend. Maybe our resident politician-in-recovery can explain it, but I just don’t understand how a plan that is financially devestating for an individual is considered sound fiscal policy for the government.

  2. The people of Michigan are the children of divorced parents. One parent relaxes the rules and gives lavish gifts, even though the children will receive debt as an inheritance.

    The other parent reduces the gifts and tightens requirements, hoping to provide a better future for the children. The big problem here is that the children get to choose which parent controls the future. Almost invariably, the lax parent wins the day.

    If everybody gives a little, then we’ll all be okay, but as you have observed, nobody wants to give much of anything.

  3. In White Lake township the government used road commission signs (paid for by tax dollars) to promote the passage of a new tax bill it wanted passed. Citizens did not pay for that sign to be used in that manner, it violates ethics and I am sure laws. The same should hold true in this case. That facility was intended for school use, not political. He’s paid to teach band, not lobby for political ends. I hope that this band teachers remembers that the State of Michigan stole the money from me first!!!

  4. Jonathan,

    Do not tempt a recovering politician. I have enough steps to complete without being drawn into the current debates. It really is nice to be able to watch all current discussion from a comfortable distance.

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