Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tax increase or shutdown?

I sent out a newsletter a few days ago asking that question and inviting responses. The results were amazing, not only because the votes for shutdown outnumbered the votes for tax increases by at least 10 to 1, but also because of the nature of the responses.

Many who wrote in spoke of personal sacrifices they thought a shut down might cost them. Nevertheless, they were willing to pay the price for better and more efficient government. Many who work for the state even wrote in and said, "I will be laid off, but I am willing to pay that price if it means making Michigan better in the long run." Others wrote to say that their business or family simply could not survive under another layer of taxation.

On the other hand, almost to a person, those who suggested I vote for a tax increase, did so out of purely selfish reasons. Virtually every respondent was a state employee who did not want to be laid of for a few days. I even had a state judge, who probably makes over $100,000 per year, tell me that! This jurist told me to just go ahead and raise taxes..."I can't go without a paycheck..."

It is a sad commentary that more than a few civil servants would rather see millions of tax payers take another hit just so they don't have to take a few days off without pay.

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