Sunday, September 23, 2007

Grover Brought the Kool-Aid

Grover Norquist, anti-tax ideologue, is reported to have pitched rebranding the Michigan GOP as an anti-tax party at this weekend's Mackinac gathering. And, reportedly, it met with thunderous applause.

The fiscal situation in Michigan is complex. That is why Norquist's idea can hold sway; it appeals to the intellectually lazy. The economic transformation happening in Michigan is overwhelming. In order to understand this transformation, its relationship to state finance and how to move Michigan to the next place, you have to do some homework. Lots of brilliant people have worked to explain it. For example the Citizens Research Council generously provides a power point presentation on our crisis, updated on September 7, laying out the cold hard facts. (See also: Michigan's New Economy--Basic Reading List)

Let's put this in perspective. Michigan is just a week away from a government shutdown. Certain GOP strategists want a shutdown. This is the ugly side of politics. The people advocating government shutdown are playing politics with the operation of the commons. They have contempt for We the People of Michigan. They cannot be concerned for Michigan's future, only their own electoral prospects.

What's worse, they are being used by outside forces hoping to deliver Michigan to a GOP presidential candidate.

GOP legislators, who tasted and enjoyed Norquist's Kool-Aid, must certainly be ignorant of the fiscal facts in Michigan. How else could they assent to his irresponsible, single issue grunt? It's quick. It's easy. And it's dead wrong.