It always happens in California first. Victor Davis Hanson:
How does one explain how California is broke, tens of billions of dollars in aggregate debt, despite having among the highest sales and income taxes in the nation?
…So what went wrong, and why are tens of thousands of Californians leaving the state with bachelor degrees and above, while tens of thousands enter without high-school diplomas?
…So now those who want unchecked entitlements, open immigration, restrictions on resource development, unionized work forces and ever expanded government won—and won big. The problem is, again, the evil “they” who were to pay for all this in ever increased income and sales taxes, to take the blame of being racist, or sexist, or homophobic or greedy, are pretty much gone (cf. the last stand of the 1% of the state that pays the majority of state income taxes). There are no more “greedy” left to pay money or emotional penance, and the therapeutic mindset is now screaming to high heaven as it looks for its awful, but missing mean parent to make it all right.
For six years, Gov. Jennifer Granholm has had to whittle down her wish list for new initiatives as Michigan’s economy shrank.
Now the prospect of nearly $3 billion in federal stimulus money for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 has the Democratic governor cautiously looking over her dream list again. While most of her proposals won’t rely on the extra money, it will influence what Granholm says Tuesday in her seventh annual State of the State address.
…The GOP leader of the Michigan Senate, Mike Bishop of Rochester, recently sent congressional leaders a letter saying none of the 44 states facing budget shortfalls, including Michigan, “should receive federal taxpayers dollars unless they adjust the spending practices and structural problems that drove them to require such assistance.”
He worries that the administration will fill budget gaps with the stimulus money rather than making hard choices about what to cut. That, he says, is a recipe for disaster in two years when the stimulus money runs out. Business groups such as Detroit Renaissance echoed those concerns last week.
…The stimulus package will help the governor continue her efforts to promote more alternative energy jobs in Michigan and to avoid cuts to people receiving unemployment, welfare and state-covered health care. It might not provide money for other projects she proposed last year but has been unable to pay for, such as creating 100 small high schools and significantly expanding early childhood education.
…She’ll propose measures to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and give the jobless more time to pay their overdue utility bills. She’ll ask for a law banning municipal utilities from shutting off power and natural gas to the disabled and elderly. And she’ll have an insurance advocate she appointed last year propose ways to reduce auto insurance rates.
Sounds like Gray Davis to me.
I do wonder why we need any part of $3 billion to have an “insurance advocate propose ways to reduce insurance rates.” The insurance industry was already the target of increased taxes under the new Michigan Business Tax, while the auto makers were beneficiaries of reduced taxes. How’s that working out?