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Re: E-M:/ Michigan Environmental Council Capitol Update 10-1-07



Get some coffee. Sit down.  Read it again.
 
Taxing the shoe shine man?  (That will be $1.06 sir, please put the $.06 in the can with Aunt Jenny on it) The guy who cuts my lawn? The lady who takes my mom a balloon and a song?  I have a friend who owns a courier company that rushes emergency medical supplies to doctors at hospitals.  Do you really want him out of business?  I for one don't. If I'm the one up on the table, I want my part delivered.  The 6% may be just enough to push him over the edge.  But lets tax him, and me, and lets tax the Pay Telephones.  (when's the last time you found one that worked?)
 
Lets be sure to help put the coin laundry out of business.  They have to revamp every single machine to accept tax, or maybe they can just a Jenny can with "Add Three Pennies Please"  on top of the machines  next to the quarter slots.  Give me a major break.  If I sound too disgusted to take the time to be polite, well, I am.  This is nothing but a load of "lets fake it."
 
Lets tax golf.  Seems like a TON of money could be brought in there, no?  Do you really wonder why golf isn't on the list?  Hello, Lobbyist.  Lets tax attorneys, legislators who hire lobby (not just the lobbyist), and sports if we really want some $$.  I love the Tigers and Wings, but would pay more to see them.
 
The scare tactics of threatening to cut funds from children, social services, the environment and health have obviously worked.  Does no one see the games that are played?  "If you don't do this, we will take away children's free lunches!!!"  For crying out loud, my hopes for humanity ever evolving are diminishing more quickly than the hat check girls tip.
 
Lets pay our politicians 38K a year, period, until they get it right, with bonuses for things done right. (we can vote for their bonuses) That may shift things in a hurry, without the high school term paper all night cramming habit rearing its ugly head again.  That's a nice savings for Michigan of 40k per legislator, not to mention the $1,000 per month per diem.  Better yet, lets pay them by the day they actually show up, like the rest of the country does.    I think that's a great place to start.  They might start getting to work before the 11th hour, and the outcome won't be expecting the coin-laundry to fix what they destroyed. As a small business owner, I know how much it sucks at the end of the month when I don't show up at work.  I don't have someone handing me a nice check simply for cramming a few days, or for "being courageous".
 
My "wrath" is focused on the ineptness of our Michigan government period.  If I could find someone to buy my house (fat chance) I would get in the line of those headed out.  For now, trust me, I would rather take a slash, but the slashes would look a lot different from what you mentioned.  There is a lot of fat sitting up top that could easily be slimmed down.  By the way, I would not mind paying this tax, or even a larger tax if it were actually going to help the environment, I would do that in a heartbeat, but these extra "revenues" are merely going to try to cover a hole that has been growing for years.
EB
 
 
In a message dated 10/2/2007 9:49:41 AM Eastern Daylight Time, james@environmentalcouncil.org writes:

I will not defend the formula used, and agree that if I was elected official I would have advocated for applying the sales tax to a different mix of services and a whole host of “greener” taxes.  But at the end of the day, it was a question of new revenues or slashing state government spending by another $1.7 billion dollars. And for standing up and saying no to further huge cuts, I applaud their courage.  

 

Your wrath I think should be focused mainly on those who did not support this compromise – they had another plan that looks nothing like the one you suggested. It would have started with massive cuts to schools, health care and social services.  It would have included at least another 25% cut in general fund to the department of Environmental Quality and the layoff of 143 MDEQ employees that work very hard in protecting our natural resources (on top of the 67 million dollar reduction they have experiences over that last seven years – from $100 million to $33 million).    

 

Do I hope the sales tax on services is made more equitable in the years to come? Yes.   But today I am thanking those who decided to invest in Michigan instead of further cuts.

 

James Clift

 





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