In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Do You Hear What She Hears?
If you put your ear to the ground, ever so faintly, you can pick up the sound of a possible deal to revamp state government and the state's tax system. "I'm hopeful that January will produce the united will to move forward on a series of reforms," she tells the Lansing press corps. But putting your ear to the ground means you can also get run over by a truck and no one knows if this election year effort will produce more failures on the reform/tax front. For the governor, this is her last bid to polish up her legacy resume which to date is looking mighty skimpy. But the republicans could care less about her lasting image. They want cuts in public employee benefits and wages to bring them more in line with the private sector. The governor may be willing to go there, part of the "you-get-something-and-I-get-something" mentality. What she wants is $2 billion in new revenue to replace the money the state has lost over the last two years. And part of that could include a new sales tax on services with a lower sales tax rate. Other stuff will be tossed into the "Grand Bargain" soup to prove to citizens that Lansing is serious about making some changes. The Business Leaders for Michigan is active beneath the radar trying to get all parties to the table. BLFM is talking a lot about its five point plan to reinvent government, but buried in its nifty little slide presentation is the rather oblique mention about the need for new revenue, too. There are two, count'em, two references to that in the 35 page document. No sense scaring citizens back home. But if there is to be an exchange between the two parties, the revenue piece must be there for the D's to go along with the R's demands. In fact it's the same scenario that unfolded last year when budget cut demands were on the table and the R's got everything they wanted and the D's got a goose egg Democrats are not about to let that happen again. Keep your ears to the ground, but look out for that semi.