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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.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Can You Say Self-Serving?

You can understand why lawmakers are a tad nervous about voting for a
tax hike during an election year. Think self-preservation.
But why don't they have the guts to shift the issue to the local
units of government and let them take the heat for raising money for
local services?
That's what local officials around the state must be asking as it
appears state legislators are afraid to even let those officials impose
a new alcohol tax with a vote of the people.
It's so democratic. If local voters say yes to a tax, that could
be anywhere from a penny a glass to fifty cents, then all the money
would stay in that community to keep cops on the beat and fire fighters
on their trucks.
If they say no, so be it and the tax is not imposed.
Who could oppose that?
Let's start with legislative republicans. They have consumed so
much anti-tax increase kool aid that they can't even seen the
brilliance of this proposal.
They are not the ones increasing taxes; they're just letting the
citizens back home do that. Yet, and here's the kool-aid part,
anything that even hints of a tax increase is foreboden under the GOP
anti-tax dogma.
This must drive Rep. Marie Donigan nuts as the Royal Oak Democrat
quietly concedes her brain storm is going nowhere fast. Even if it got
through the house, Sen Mike Bishop and company will just sit on the
thing until it died in the senate. Which means nobody in the house will
vote for it either.
So much for that.
The sorry truth is the state lawmakers want it both ways. For
years they've been slicing and dicing state support to the local
governments and now comes a self-help bill to make up the lost revenue
and they say no to that, too.
Another classic example of good public policy being trumped by the
more important self -serving need to get relected.


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