On the heels of successfully passing an SBT replacement, in a bewildering announcement, Republicans released a laundry list of government reforms and cuts they forgot to implement while they controlled the Governor’s seat and both houses of the Legislature over five years ago.
“We apologize to our constituents for the oversight. But amid all the tax-cuts, and the cutting and privatization of state services, we forgot to implement this list of fixes,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop.
Republicans want Governor Granholm to agree to all the items on their list before they will consider a tax increase of any kind. They suggested she mull the items over while the Senate takes a two-week vacation.
Asked why these items weren’t all implemented during the John Engler Administration, Senator Bishop replied, “We did a lot of things that were good for us, including the Roger's Law. Unfortunately, we didn’t fix our spending problem, even though we said we did. This list is our final step in doing so. After this, I swear, there won’t be anything left to reform or cut. We will have the bare bones government the citizens of Michigan want and deserve...Until we privatize all public education that is.”
Among the cuts and reforms on the Republicans’ list are a pay freeze for all state employees, a freeze on a new state earned income tax credit for low-income workers, a change in work requirements for welfare recipients, and the privatization of part of the prison system.
Acknowledging that the list makes Republicans look irresponsible or even downright forgetful, Senator Bishop said he was confident though that Michigan voters would understand and forgive them. “They know how hard we work on their behalf.”
Senator Bishop then added, “Anything the Governor and my buddy Speaker Dillon could do to help us implement these items would be a big help not only to [Republicans], but to me especially when I run for Governor in 2010.”