pages

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Unemployment Issues? Look Small

Paul J. Gessing takes shots at our state (Michigan, for inattentive) pegging it for the unemployment record (we are the only state in the Union to lose jobs) and other problems.

Many leftists are and were quick to blame the POTUS for problems in our state. That's the focus of morons. President Bush may have had policies which were better for our State than the ideas (heh) of Senator Kerry; that's not the issue. The fact is that each part of government carries with it its own responsibility, and for the state of the state we have to look to state government.

Governor
Granholm and even our largely Republican legislature.

Gessing mocks the legislature's movement against term-limits (something which was "citizen-driven" but I remain against, when it's convenient). The legislature is spending an inapropriate amount of time, indeed, to that issue, especially for a "'lame-duck' session." There is much to fix.
In the past year alone, the Republican-dominated legislature has delayed a scheduled income-tax cut by six months (costing taxpayers $77 million), raised cigarette taxes by 75 cents ($300 million annual cost to smokers), hiked the tax on Detroit’s casinos from 18 percent to 24 percent (costing $49 million), boosted driving fees and penalties (cost of $115 million annually), sped up the collection of county property taxes, and generally avoided steep cuts in state government spending.
The unusually high gasoline taxes is generally what drives people to cross the southern borders just to fill their tanks, and to avoid the sin taxes, buy their cigarettes too. While they are down there fireworks are purchased; it's a good ol' family trip.

The taxes are bilking families and businesses and attempts to dodge the taxes are not only illegal but causes the state to lose revenue. "According to... the Mackinac Center, delaying the income-tax cut alone cost Michigan 2,948 jobs in 2004." Let's not pretend that that doesn't cost the state. Unemployment on this scale becomes both a symptom and a cause for further problems. "High taxes are not the only element slowing the state’s economic growth — so are high labor costs. Michigan has the second-highest per-unit labor costs in the nation. This increases the price of goods made there, putting Michigan employers at a disadvantage and discouraging new employers from setting up shop in the state." We have less companies present to pay taxes because no sensible company will want to pay the taxes as they are, if they have a choice.

The only problem I have with Gessing's assessment is his label of Michigan as a "'blue-state'" as if we have "shifted left-of-center on the political spectrum". There are economic/fiscal problems, yes, but this not exactly a liberal-dominated state in any tangible sense. Despite the electoral votes going to Senator Kerry, an almost-majority of citizens voted for the President and a majority of the counties went to President Bush; the majority of Michigan, as far as population and especially as far as land and industry goes, is more of the so-called "moral values", blue-collar, right-wing Republican or Christian background. Basically speaking, we're hicks. Michigan traditionally goes to Democrats because of Detroit and the Lansing Metropolitan area. The populations centered in our few major cities, combined with a few fringe citizens in the Red counties, are enough to throw off our State to the Dems, but our culture is hardly centered in our one actual major city. There will be more on that later.

No comments: