The solutions are ready, just take em an roll!
Michigan has a constitutional prerogative to maintain a balanced budget, and with a looming deficit the like we have never seen, the battles are just now beginning. So who will take the lead and not try to reinvent the wheel? Who will seriously consider the examples of cost savings ALREADY crafted by Michigan’s (and arguably the nation’s) preeminent public policy research and brain trust? Any takers?
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has updated its cost cutting suggestions which concentrate on waste and mismanagement. However, the cuts suggested are every bit as serious as the crisis budget writers face, and might well affect certain groups more harshly than others. Choices are hardly avoidable though, which should be kept in mind when considering the list provided.
On the 21st century Jobs fund?
“current law requires $75 million to be diverted each year for this boondoggle. Skip it and save: $75 million.”
“Eliminate “History and Arts” subsidies, and cut state library subsidies in half: $35 million.”
“empty buses driven by public employee union members can be replaced by private sector innovations like jitneys, commercial van pools, “call-and-ride” services, car-sharing and more. This will improve service for transit users at a much lower cost: $112 million.”
These are merely a few of the suggestions.. There is most certainly a group, special interest, or beneficiary of these and other programs that will object most virulently, but consider that without some drastic measure our state cannot continue to provide much more than the bare minimums anyhow.
MCPP has hardly written the exact steps or legal wording needed to make these changes into law, but the direction provided could be used as a template for Michigan lawmakers to concentrate their efforts, and may well save a bit of grief in the search for budgetary alternatives.