Monday, September 22, 2008
It's Only Fair
For decades lawmakers from Macomb County have come into this town and blasted everyone else for spending too much money, raising too many taxes, and not cutting enough services. Ah, but now the proverbial shoe is on the other foot. Faced with a mushrooming deficit edging its way toward $40 million next year, the Macomb County folks are getting a chance to practice what they've been preaching to everyone else, and lo and behold, they are finding it mucho uncomfortable. So far they have not bitten the bullet. In the first round of sopping up all the red ink, they dipped into the savings account to the tune of $8 million. Not exactly a courageous vote. But that was only a stopgap. Seems it is tough to get enough votes to cut services for public safety and the needy. Some on the county commissioners complain that cuts should have been made four years ago, but they weren't. Just like in Lansing, it is easy to pontificate, tough to follow through. They are now talking about shutting down a county nursing home but that only saves another $7 million, and what happens to the folks they toss out on the street? Perish the thought, but maybe they need a tax hike in the land of no tax hikes to maintain the quality of life? No one ever wants to raise taxes especially if citizens don't want it. But at some point the pols have to decide: cut or tax. Neither is popular. So the anti-government types in Macomb are now on the same hot seat as the folks have been in Lansing for years. What's that line? Turn about is fair play.