Real fiscal hang-up nailed

Sharon Parks

Talk about spot on. Today’s Detroit Free Press editorials zero right in on the real hang-up in resolving Michigan’s ongoing fiscal problems. Too many current and wannabe lawmakers think the answer to Michigan’s problems is more tax cuts, and no tax increases.

This approach ignores the fact that tax cuts actually got us into this mess. Michigan cut taxes aggressively throughout the 1990s and enacted multi-year tax cuts in 1999. Lawmakers foolishly continued these tax cuts, even as Michigan and the rest of the country slid into a recession.

The implosion of the auto industry and the 2008 recession only compounded our problems. An improved economy, which is not around the corner, won’t entirely solve our revenue problems, as the Free Press points out. The League’s graduated income tax (pdf) plan is cited.

If Michigan is ever to have a revenue base (pdf) that can restore viability to this state, it must look to the growth sectors of the economy and to those whose incomes are growing the fastest.

Tax cuts have not pulled Michigan out of this mess, nor will they in the future. Those who want to lead Michigan in the future, yet take a “no tax” pledge, would lead Michigan nowhere.

— Sharon Parks


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