Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mr. Franklin's advice for Michigan

"An investment in education pays the best interest."
Michigan's future depends on an well-educated populace. Companies in knowledge-based enterprises are attracted to where there are smart, educated people. Phil Power has something to say about the partisan wrangling impeding our way forward and developing our talent.

"Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship."
A latte here, a bagel there. Well, it's a little different in government, but the principle applies. Michigan's budget has a long-standing leak (more of a gaping hole actually) called the structural deficit. It cannot be fixed through new revenues or tax cuts alone or together. It's much bigger than that. And there is no more extra money to stuff into it. To move forward will take cuts, new revenues and structural changes. It's a case of "both and" not "either or."

"We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
The budget crisis and the fight for Michigan's future economic wellbeing are beyond partisanship. There is a We in this, We the People of Michigan. Not just We the Democrats or We the Republicans. There are progressive, reasonable people in both parties. Just as there is counter-productive ranting on both sides. John Bebow has something to say about this Partisan Cancer.

"Life's Tragedy is that we get old to soon and wise too late."
It's a little like the current life cycle of a Michigan legislator. Just when you figure things out and understand the system of government from the inside, it's time to leave and never return. Currently, 15 states have term limits. Ours match those of California and Arkansas--6 years in the house and 8 years in the Senate.

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins."
Go ahead, pursue the public good with all your heart, but don't forget to consult your brain every inch of the way. Over simplifying with a single issue cripples the governing process. John Bebow weighs in on the MTA recall campaign.