The Associated Press today is reporting that the top Republicans in Michigan are delaying the spending of Stimulus Package money while they form a “special appropriations committee” to study how best to spend it for a few months.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop of Rochester said he wants the effort to be bipartisan and include members of the Democrat-led state House. But some Democrats were cautious about the plan, worried about potential gridlock over stimulus spending.
It seems reasonable, right? Seems prudent. But this is nothing but an insidious way to ensure the failure the Republican leadership (aka, “Rush Limbaugh”) has
called prayed for. Want proof?
Bishop said it may be best to wait on further stimulus spending until state economists provide an update on the Michigan budget situation in May.
May. He wants to wait until the state economists give a report on the state of Michigan’s economy in May. The economy is in free-fall with my fine state bearing some of the worst of the brunt and the Michigan Republicans want to kill this thing by studying it for three months. Saying they want to wait for the economic report is a ruse. Trust me, Michiganders KNOW what the state of the economy is here:
How bad does it suck? Here’s some PhunPhacts:
It’s not that I don’t want oversight. I DO. I’m positively thrilled that Recovery.gov will allow us to keep track of how the money is being spent nation-wide. Michigan’s most-awesome Democratic Governor, Jennifer Granholm has committed to making this process as open and transparent as possible, in line with President Obama’s objectives.
As she told the Detroit Free Press:
Granholm said that when Michigan begins using stimulus money, she is committed to making sure “that’s it’s transparent, that not a single dollar is wasted.”
“We’ve got over $4 billion worth of asks of shovel-ready (projects) as soon as the secretary of transportation allocates the money,” she said on Fox. “And for Michigan, we anticipate it will be about $853 million. We can put people to work right away…
See that? “Right away”. But not if Mike Bishop has his way. Michigan, with its 11.6% unemployment, will have to wait for three more months so he can convene meetings and have discussions and debates and basically talk this thing to death.
What a conniving, sneaky way to help President Obama fail.
Rush Limbaugh must be so proud.
But wait. There’s more. One of Mike Bishop’s Republican colleagues is suggesting that the stimulus money be used to overhaul school employee retirement plan.
State Rep. Bill Rogers, R-Genoa Township, wants to use $200 million in federal stimulus funding to pay for what he calls a one-time major overhaul of the Michigan public schools retirement system.
His legislation would require all new Michigan public school employees hired after July 1, 2010 to have a traditional defined contribution plan instead of a more costly defined benefit plan or pension. Rogers said the plan would save schools money in the long run but would cost the state money up front to make the transition.
This does beg the question “what the HELL happened to all the Republican clamor about the STIMULUS Package not actually STIMULATING any economic growth???”
You thought that was all? You were wrong. There’s some money that’s being released from the Stimulus Package in Michigan. It’s for roads and transportation. And guess what? The Republicans on the west side of the state are whining because they’re not getting their fair share. No shit:
But Sen. Bill Hardiman, R-Kentwood, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Department of Transportation Subcommittee, said Thursday he is concerned the proposed projects may not be “fairly” spread across the state.
[…]”As we looked at the categories of where the projects are going, our concern is they’re not going to the Grand Region,” Hardiman said. “It’s rather low compared to the east side of the state. We all need road projects and I want to see the east side of the state get theirs, but I want to see the west side get an appropriate amount as well.”
“I don’t think it’s balanced,” Hardiman said. “I want to make sure it’s balanced and we’re going to have some input into the process.”
Wow, dudes, hypocritical much?
I’m just sayin’…