Sunday, February 28, 2010
Another Missing Price Tag
There appears to be an insidious disease that has infiltrated the GOP primary for governor. Now a second candidate has contracted the malady. First there was Ann Arbor business guy who had it and now Mike Cox, the state attorney general does, too. The sickness is the dreaded, I-have-a-plan-but-won't-tell-you-how-I-would-pay-for-it-ittis. The Cox "Putting Michigan Back to Work" document as it relates to education contains some of the vague, time worn generalities that Mr. Snyder had in his Ten Point Plan. Cox boldly announces, "Michigan needs to do a better job to ensure that money gets to our children." Or this one, "We cannot expect to turn our state around or fare well in the future without a strong pubic education system." Now in fairness to both candidates, they do outlines some suggestions for change. Cox embraces merit pay for teachers, more charter schools, adopting national standards for judging how our kids do, revising health care and pension programs for schools. All nice and good, but no where does he talk about the money to do all this. Snyder lamely explained that it was "premature" to cost all this out. And what Cox does not say in the education portion of the blueprint is that he wants to remove $2 billion from the state budget in the form of tax relief. Now maybe attorney Cox was not a math major, but if you remove that much from the budget, the loss will impact education spending since it is one of the biggest items in the budget. Hence how can play for votes with the anti-tax crowd by offering a whooper of a tax cut on one hand and seek to make brownie points with the education crowd on the other without full disclosure of the tax cut's impact on schools? There is a huge disconnect that goes un addressed in his turnaround plan. But then why would a candidate want to admit that. It might cost him votes.