|Do you have an opinion? Your letters 8-18
Sunday, September 27, 2009
It is time to seriously acknowledge that the only thing that can save us as a state is to generate revenue. As one of the gratefully employed in Michigan, a life long resident and overall pretty good citizen, I am here to make it clear that I am willing to pay more to keep Michigan as an option. The "no tax" mentality that has continued to defy logic has to stop - now.
There are ways to make this happen without causing an undo burden on most of us. We must do this so that we no longer make the undo burden on the rest of us move beyond a cruel crisis.
Here are some ideas and ways that I, and most of my friends I'm sure, would be willing to pay:
o Add a $5 fee increase to every state license. There are lots of them and people will find $5 more dollars if they have to.
- Tax pop and bottles of water at 6%
- Keep the income tax rate as it is for now and seriously consider moving to a graduated system
- Sales on services
- Tax movies and concerts at 6%
- Tax the incomes of higher incomes retirees
- Increase the tax on beer - I will continue to drink it and will buy it for my friends
None of these choices are happy ones, but in all the ways related to the fiscal state of this state, these are not happy times. Reducing support for education, local governments and the health of our people will leave us with a state full of the sick, stupid, and victimized. Everyone else will be gone.
We need to get beyond the red herring tactics of furlough days. It makes things worse; people have less money to buy things that would generate sales taxes as well as income for others. It makes it worse for the people who rely on the state for critical services and suffer as a result of understaffing. Let's stop rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
I implore you to think beyond the next office you will run for and think about what will be left if things continue this way. Do what has to done, make uncomfortable, (seemingly) unpopular choices, act like we are all in this hand basket together - regardless of affiliation. Put your big-people pants on, take a deep breath and step up to fix this.
From there, let's all step back and be mindful about recreating ourselves. Michigan of the 60's (when we rocked) has been gone for a long time. Now what? And now what through thoughtfulness -how do we need to work with what's left and make something worth living in?