Thursday, November 5, 2009
Apathy Winning So Far
The governor continues on her mission to grow the grassroots out there to pressure recalcitrant legislative republicans to raise more buckos to refund college scholarships, aid to firefighters and cops, health care for the needy and funding for K-12 education. She and her budget guru Bob Emerson are calculating that local pressure will build over the next two months to the point that those republicans will cry "Uncle." To blunt, it's a long shot and there is a long history to prove it. This governor likes to say on the stump that she has cut more state services than any other governor dead or alive. And what has the public said? Nothing. With over $8 billion in reductions to date and now another $1.8 billion on top of that, the governor has sliced every which way to balance the budget. No one knows how many programs have been reduced or just wiped off the books and there's been no outcry from the unwashed. Sure some of the citizens have felt the cuts but they are small in numbers and if they complained, the gripes never made it into the MSM; never raised concerns in the legislature beyond a, "sorry we had to do it' response. But now the governor figures, hopes and prays that massive cuts to the K-12 budget will change the story line. Take $292 away from every school kid and you might have something. Add to that the veto of $52 million to schools who spend more on students than the rest and you have cuts approaching $600 per pupil. Plus next year, her story goes, if nothing is done now, the cuts will go beyond that. In other words she's warning: Look up Michigan. The sky is tumbling and if you allow it to fall, your kids will fail. But apathy is alive and well in the hinterland as we moan about the summer that never was and the winter that will surely be. Can this governor with the above average communicative charm and talent wake the masses to get in the game and demand that lawmakers raise more money for schools? Believe it when you see it.