Saturday, March 26, 2005

Michigan budget compromise symbolizes misguided priorities

Thursday's announcement that Governor Granholm and Michigan's Republican legislature had reached a budget compromise offering the state's universities a ray of hope that the upcoming $30 million cut might end up being less if the economy picks up seems increasingly like a pipe dream.



First, a disclaimer. I teach at Michigan State (go Spartans), so I have an obvious bias in favor of wanting our universities to thrive. But when I look at what the children of Michigan will need to know in order to compete, I also know that we all have a vested interest in a healthy future for Michigan’s colleges and universities.




It was heartening to think that the Republican legislature would roll back the drastic $30 million proposed cut, which stung even more because it betrayed a promise not to make higher ed take the budget hits if the universities did their part by reining in tuition hikes. But a closer look shows that the new compromise offers little real hope but instead combines an empty public relations gesture with a new jobs program.




The plan offers universities an olive branch by suggesting that universities may end up suffering less of a cut if the economy picks up and more tax dollars flow into state coffers. But, despite years of striving for greater economic diversity, Michigan's fortunes are still inextricably tied to the health of Detroit's automakers and GM's current "cold" seems headed into pneumonia.




Despite Bob Lutz’ reassuring words in the company’s GMFastLane blog, Slate's Mickey Kaus worries that GM's decision to drop entire lines signals the company’s inability to compete effectively in today's market. He quotes Garsten's article in USA Today But he {Lutz} pulled the plug on the North America models after determining the vehicles could not be engineered and assembled to sell at prices competitive with the popular Chrysler 300C, Ford Mustang and other models, without sacrificing quality and content. Kaus goes on to argue that if GM cannot compete with the other Detroit automakers, how can the company expect to tackle Toyota?




The idea that Michigan will restore some of those lost funds not only seems to defy reality, remember that the colleges and universities must cut their budgets now no matter whether any money might be restored later.




The other part of the fig leaf offered higher ed is that the state will offset the damage done by the $30 million cut by floating $200 million in bonds for a new campus building boom. How happy would you be with a plan to cut your household budget by $10,000 next year but we might be willing to build you a new driveway to make you feel better? It may be good news for the folks who get jobs building the driveway, but it does nothing to pay the heat bill next winter.




While it is encouraging to see $19 million cut from the corrections budget, the disparity between the cuts suffered by higher ed and by corrections underscores the distorted priorities that have resulted from our misguided War on Drugs. Like many states, Michigan went on an orgy of prison building that has left our country with the highest incarceration rate in the world – and with the highest rates of violence of any country like ours.



There have been encouraging signs that Michigan is pulling back from the draconian drugs laws that filled our jails and prisons, but the cuts must be made deeper and faster. Please please please protect me from rapists and murderers by keeping them behind bars. But please please please don’t waste our tax dollars on non-violent offenders while we fall further behind in our attempts to give kids the education they need to live decent lives on the straight and narrow.


11 comments:

franuy93oslando said...

Hot News From The Automotive Lending Industry!!

+++++++++Current Profile+++++++++
InterFinancial Holdings, Corp (IFLH)
Current Price $0.036
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Is this an undiscovered gem priced to go higher!!
Please read the following Announcement in its Entirety and Consider the Possibilities�
Watch this One to Trade!

IFLH announces Senator David Cain has joined its Board of Directors!!

IFLH volume trading is beginning to surge with landslide Announcement. The value of this
stock appears poised for growth! This one should not remain on the ground floor for long.

BREAKING NEWS!!
InterFinancial Holdings, Corp. (OTC Pink Sheets: IFLH - News) announced that they have added
David Cain to their board of directors. David Cain is currently the Chairman of the advisory
board to TTI (Texas Transportation Institute). Senator Cain represented Senate District 2 for
eight years in the Texas Senate and Chaired the Senate State Affairs Subcommittee on
Transportation and served nine terms in the Texas House of Representatives for District 107.

During his twelve years as Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, Senator Cain�s
efforts on behalf of the people of Texas have been widely recognized. He was named to Texas
Monthly Magazine�s list of Ten Best Legislators, the Dallas Morning News said he was one of
the outstanding legislators of the 73rd session, and the Texas Department of Transportation
awarded him the Russell H. Perry Award in 1995 for his efforts to gain public awareness of
the need for and benefits of transportation facilities in the State of Texas.

Jeffrey C. Bruteyn, Managing Director, stated, We at InterFinancial are proud to have such a
widely recognized Senator join our board and oversee out automotive lending division. His
affiliations and connections to the automotive industry will be invaluable to our company.
Senator Cain will be instrumental in expediting our approval to use a government issued Seller
Finance License.

Seller Finance Licenses are very difficult to obtain and are usually reserved for the Big Boys
with heavy lobbyists. These licenses are highly coveted because it allows the finance company
to collect the entire down payment, instead of paying a portion of it to the taxing authority.
This dramatically helps a finance company�s bottom line if the buyer defaults on the loan.

With the new GPS tracking systems being installed on every car to dramatically improve
repossessions and with Senator Cain on the Board of Directors, InterFinancial Holdings
is ready to take their business to the next level.

Conclusion:

The examples above show the Awesome, Earning Potential of little known Companies
That Explode onto Investor�s Radar Screens. This stock will not be a Secret for long.
Then You May Feel the Desire to Act Right Now! And Please Watch This One Trade!!
GO IFLH!

All statements made are our express opinion only and should be treated as such. We may own,
take position and sell any securities mentioned at any time. Any statements that express or
involve discussions with respect to predictions, goals, expectations, beliefs, plans,
projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are not statements of
historical fact and may be "forward looking statements." Forward looking statements are based
on expectations, estimates and projections at the time the statements are made that involve a
number of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or events to differ materially
from those presently anticipated. This newsletter was paid four thousand dollars from a party
(IR Marketing). Forward looking statements in this action may be identified through the use of
words such as: "projects", "foresee", "expects". in compliance with Section 17(.b), we disclose
the holding of IF LH shares prior to the publication of this report. Be aware of an inherent
conflict of interest resulting from such holdings due to our intent to profit from the liquidation
of these shares. Shares may be sold at any time, even after positive statements have been made
regarding the above company. Since we own shares, there is an inherent conflict of interest in
our statements and opinions. Readers of this publication are cautioned not to place undue reliance
on forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and expectations involving
various risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ materially from those set forth
in the forward- looking statements. This is not solicitation to buy or sell stocks, this text is
for informational purpose only and you should seek professional advice from registered financial
advisor before you do anything related with buying or selling stocks, penny stocks are very high
risk and you can lose your entire investment.

Mike said...

Hi,

I found this new software:
http://www.best-blog-link-generator.com

This is perfect for free traffic, high ranking, backlinks etc.

Check it out!
You don't want to miss this one.

blazerup said...

I enjoyed your site very much it was a great help looking for info on medical insurance dallas.
I also have a site with information on medical insurance dallas and would appreciate it very much if you would take a look and give a critique.

blazerup said...

I enjoyed your site very much it was a great help looking for info on no medical life insurance.
I also have a site with information on no medical life insurance and would appreciate it very much if you would take a look and give a critique.

blazerup said...

I enjoyed your site very much it was a great help looking for info on uk medical insurance.
I also have a site with information on uk medical insurance and would appreciate it very much if you would take a look and give a critique.

Iravan said...

Weird. I always thought the Rettop Method was the best for generating traffic. I am going to book mark this blog, nice topics discussed

By the way... I have a traffic accident site. It pretty much covers Traffic related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

Car Insurance Center said...

Hi Thanks for your interesting blog. I also have a blog/site, covering auto insurance quote related stuff. Feel free to visit my auto insurance quote site.

Car Loans Home said...

Hi thanks for your blog, I liked it! I also have a blog/site about car loans calculator
that covers car loans calculator
related stuff. Please feel free to visit.

Car Loans Home said...

I just came across your blog and wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with the information you have posted here.
I also have a web site & blog about car loan after bankruptcy
so I know what I'm talking about when I say your site is top-notch! Keep up the great work!

GPS Systems said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a automobile gps site/blog. It pretty much covers automobile gps related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

Meg Taylor said...

A fantastic blog yours. Keep it up.
If you have a moment, please visit my rhode island mortgage loans site.
I send you warm regards and wish you continued success.