State money woes to mount - Deficits ...

State money woes to mount - Deficits could dwarf this year's em...

There are 19 comments on the WZZM Grand Rapids story from Oct 6, 2007, titled State money woes to mount - Deficits could dwarf this year's em.... In it, WZZM Grand Rapids reports that:

In a detailed analysis of state budget troubles, a former state treasury official painted a grim picture of Michigan's budget over the next 10 years, despite a controversial deal struck this week that includes ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WZZM Grand Rapids.

AKA RG

Reed City, MI

#1 Oct 6, 2007
Ok...my thoughts on how to save this state.

1) Reinstate the death penalty. This will eliminate those offenders from the prison systems or deter others. Thus, ending additional health care costs.

2) State aid should last 3 years and 3 years only. If you can't get back on your feet in that time (and you know who you are) move to a different state and live off of them.

3) Get rid of Granholm. Just because it would just make so many people happy.
Slow news day

Brentwood, TN

#2 Oct 6, 2007
How are you going to guarantee that death row inmates are going to cost less than those with life without parole. It's a given fact that death penalty cases cost far more than non-death penalty cases.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php...

So, unless you have ideas to streamline the death penalty to be less costly than life without parole... without having to risk it being unconstitutional, by all means, spill it out.
Slow news day

Brentwood, TN

#3 Oct 6, 2007
By the way... it doesn't mean I'm against the death penalty itself (because I would rather see someone die the same way they killed their victim than rot in some prison for life)... I just don't like how much it costs and how much time it takes for a death row inmate to be executed.
Lightsout

Hudsonville, MI

#4 Oct 7, 2007
"Slow news" hit the nail on the head. Also take in to account that for the most part, only the most heinous of crimes receive the death penalty. When a conviction "may" result in death, extraordinary care is taken in the finding. Not that it should, but that's the way it is and once a person is executed... that's it. If later it is established, or new evidence arises that questions the conviction... again, it's too late. I am not against the death penalty, yet.... I guess (at this point) I'm on the fence concerning this issue.
just call me cracker

Sterling Heights, MI

#5 Oct 7, 2007
How about putting convicts in tent cities? Surround them with multiple rows a fencing and razor tape, mean azz guard dogs and corrections officers with long range rifles. Take away the cable tv and feed them water and bolagna sandwiches three times a day.

It worked for that sherrif out west, it could work here.
Lisa

Amelia Court House, VA

#8 Oct 7, 2007
"State money woes to mount"

It doesn't take a former state treasury official to perform an analysis to figure out that the state of Michigan is screwed. I could have told you that!

The tax increase on services will fail to bring in the estimated amount of money needed to fill the budget deficit because many people will stop using the services one the tax goes into effect resulting in another budget shortfall next year. What's Jenny gonna do then???
Baruch HaShem

Spring Lake, MI

#9 Oct 7, 2007
So what else is new, the Democratic legislature and the Democratic Governor even before budget discussions began, raised the spending limits for education and health. They did nothing to control any costs, both the Governor and the Democratic Legislature raised the spending limits for most departments. They did not try to keep it at the same level, they increased the limits.
How in the world do you expect this government to cut back, if our leaders keep increasing the cost of certain pet programs.
I even believe that they created a few new programs before discussing this year budget. Can you understand why the increase in taxes was so necessary, the Democratic legislature and the governor had already spent the money, get it, let me say it once more. The Democratic legislature and the Governor already spent money that we did not have. This will continue, until people in this State of Michigan (WELFARE STATE) wakes up. If you can not afford a new car, don't purchase it, what does the Democratic legislatures don't understand?
Darci

Grand Rapids, MI

#10 Oct 7, 2007
AKA RG wrote:
Ok...my thoughts on how to save this state.
1) Reinstate the death penalty. This will eliminate those offenders from the prison systems or deter others. Thus, ending additional health care costs.
2) State aid should last 3 years and 3 years only. If you can't get back on your feet in that time (and you know who you are) move to a different state and live off of them.
3) Get rid of Granholm. Just because it would just make so many people happy.
Amen, well said.
Rose

Grand Rapids, MI

#11 Oct 7, 2007
Prison reform:

Take away the privileges for prisoners, I agree.
A stark uncomfortable prison environment with no "amenities" and lousy food (put them on a food stamp diet, talk about miserable) would be a far greater deterrent to crime than those "humane" prison perks and expensive "reform" programs.

Stop being so concerned about "humane treatment and reform"... these people are in prison because they have broken the law. Make them pay for their crimes, and don't make it easy or pleasant. The experience of doing time in prison should be enough motivation for them to "reform". Prison should be a place that you NEVER want to go back to.

"Welfare" reform:

Random urine testing should be MANDATORY to receive DHS benefits, and I can't imagine that any honorable person receiving temporary benefits would oppose this.

And I do agree that there should be a time limitation on these benefits.

As a domestic abuse survivor and single mother, I've learned a few things about having to utilize and survive on temporary public assistance... I know a bit more about it than most of the people howling for reform here, who have never been faced with having to live on DHS benefits for any length of time.

Three years may be realistic for skilled workers, but not for the unskilled, disabled or economically disadvantaged worker trying to compete for jobs in this miserable economy.

Benefits for four years maximum, with a standard one month benefit extension upon employment or re-employment, would be much more realistic and humane... and far more beneficial to our economy in the long run. Heres' why.

Food stamp and childcare benefits are currently yanked, at the first sign of a paycheck... sometimes they are yanked before the first paycheck even arrives. A really lousy and short-sighted policy in my opinion.

Groceries and child care are enormous expenses for families, and if food and childcare benefits were extended for one month after a family is employed it would give them a few weeks of critical income to set up a financial cushion, get back on their feet and stay on their feet.

A small cash buffer is essential to long-term self sufficiency and survival, and we do nothing to move people toward this self-sufficiency by yanking every scrap of assistance away from them before they even get their first paycheck.

The whole idea with temporary public assistance should be to GENTLY move people back into self-sufficiency so that they can be off the government rolls permanently.

Qualifying income guidelines are also badly in need of revision and should be revised to include both the non-working AND working poor, so that working poor families living under the poverty line in Michigan can have temporary access to food benefits and healthcare as well.

This would create stronger, healthier families in the long run and reduce our prison population. Work should NOT be a disqualifier that prevents low income families from obtaining some minimal assistance.

All of this could be accomplished with a massive cleanup of undeserving and illegal recipients, and a restructuring of existing benefit programs with an eye toward easing recipients into long-term self sufficiency. The goal of the DHS should be to ease people off of the "welfare" rolls, and give them the support that they need to KEEP them off.

Those who have been on the rolls for five years or longer and have not been employed during this time should be removed immediately. As should all ILLEGAL immigrants.

This is where it must start.
mariah

United States

#12 Oct 7, 2007
This state is a disaster area. It is. We need to apply for federal aid. There are more homeless and soon to be homeless due to the economy then 25 katrina's. The third that are still working in Michigan cannot carry the whole dam state on their back. HELP
mariah

United States

#13 Oct 7, 2007
Well good luck Rose-those things make too much sense to work with this house and govenor.
msmich

Milford, MI

#14 Oct 7, 2007
our state leaders need to be laid off without pay while our state shuts down to allow the federal goverment to bail us out.where's FEMA
Sandy Schultz

Knoxville, TN

#15 Oct 7, 2007
Rose wrote:
Prison reform:
Take away the privileges for prisoners, I agree.
A stark uncomfortable prison environment with no "amenities" and lousy food (put them on a food stamp diet, talk about miserable) would be a far greater deterrent to crime than those "humane" prison perks and expensive "reform" programs.
Stop being so concerned about "humane treatment and reform"... these people are in prison because they have broken the law. Make them pay for their crimes, and don't make it easy or pleasant. The experience of doing time in prison should be enough motivation for them to "reform". Prison should be a place that you NEVER want to go back to.
"Welfare" reform:
Random urine testing should be MANDATORY to receive DHS benefits, and I can't imagine that any honorable person receiving temporary benefits would oppose this.
And I do agree that there should be a time limitation on these benefits.
As a domestic abuse survivor and single mother, I've learned a few things about having to utilize and survive on temporary public assistance... I know a bit more about it than most of the people howling for reform here, who have never been faced with having to live on DHS benefits for any length of time.
Three years may be realistic for skilled workers, but not for the unskilled, disabled or economically disadvantaged worker trying to compete for jobs in this miserable economy.
Benefits for four years maximum, with a standard one month benefit extension upon employment or re-employment, would be much more realistic and humane... and far more beneficial to our economy in the long run. Heres' why.
Food stamp and childcare benefits are currently yanked, at the first sign of a paycheck... sometimes they are yanked before the first paycheck even arrives. A really lousy and short-sighted policy in my opinion.
Groceries and child care are enormous expenses for families, and if food and childcare benefits were extended for one month after a family is employed it would give them a few weeks of critical income to set up a financial cushion, get back on their feet and stay on their feet.
A small cash buffer is essential to long-term self sufficiency and survival, and we do nothing to move people toward this self-sufficiency by yanking every scrap of assistance away from them before they even get their first paycheck.
The whole idea with temporary public assistance should be to GENTLY move people back into self-sufficiency so that they can be off the government rolls permanently.
Qualifying income guidelines are also badly in need of revision and should be revised to include both the non-working AND working poor, so that working poor families living under the poverty line in Michigan can have temporary access to food benefits and healthcare as well.
This would create stronger, healthier families in the long run and reduce our prison population. Work should NOT be a disqualifier that prevents low income families from obtaining some minimal assistance.
All of this could be accomplished with a massive cleanup of undeserving and illegal recipients, and a restructuring of existing benefit programs with an eye toward easing recipients into long-term self sufficiency. The goal of the DHS should be to ease people off of the "welfare" rolls, and give them the support that they need to KEEP them off.
Those who have been on the rolls for five years or longer and have not been employed during this time should be removed immediately. As should all ILLEGAL immigrants.
This is where it must start.
Rose, I say amen to all you have said! I have long thought that Welfare should be a HELP not a Handout. Good thoughts here, too bad our Governor and lawmakers won't or can't read and follow the logic here!
mariah

Grand Rapids, MI

#16 Oct 7, 2007
When Regan was President. He federally funded programs to get people off welfare. They actually went out in the workforce and worked for the check.(Sort of like a temp service} Many people became self-sufficient with this program and got jobs and stayed out of the welfare system. Ofcourse we are talking about a Republian. I am sorry but the democratic party is resembling a socialist and communist ideals. Like, they will pay for all our health care, pretty soon, all our housing ect. Like Russia was. We will work for the "party" and the "party"will take good care of us.
Teresa E

United States

#17 Oct 7, 2007
We have to get state salaries & benefits in line with our average population. We have the 6th best paid teachers and 4th best paid prison guards, when by population (and results) we rank lower.

This is not a LOW TAX state for business, unless you are Ford, GM, or Chrysler. The new replacement of the SBT will cost me about $2500 per year, and that is without making one dime in profits. How many more employees can I hire when my costs increase? NONE, and layoffs are coming. The companies that pay the least taxes continue to slash their payrolls, yet contribute next to nothing in taxes. All I can say is, wtf?

We incarcerate a larger percentage of our population that our neighboring states, even Illinois. This has got to stop. We need to decriminalize many things and stop thinking the solution to every problem is additional taxes and/or jail time.

Good ole Jenny raised fees and taxes and she reduced the time you have to pay property taxes 4 years ago. Amazingly, the revenues dropped. No kidding. Just continue to convince businesses that they can't afford to survive here and they will continue to leave, and take the jobs with them.

This latest fiasco proves that our government is never going to figure this out. Ever. We are screwed and unless a miracle happens, my company closing it's doors is going to be the loss of 6 more jobs (decent jobs too). We have nowhere to pull more revenue from, and we cannot arbitrarily raise our prices when we have to compete with huge companies and the Asian ring.

And just in case the state, and you, haven't noticed the American economy is tanking, so more of our already struggling businesses will be laying off and closing down. Now there is a remedy for success. Higher taxes, less sales & higher unemployment.
DiamondLil

Lima, OH

#18 Oct 7, 2007
People having kid after kid at tax payers cost has to stop. Do NOT reward women for having kids!

Do not reward illegals for being illegals, having kids and then the kids having the right to stay here. They ALL need to be dropped back to their own country.

How can the public school system cost so much when there's only 17 kids going to school (LOL)
The dropout rate is sky high yet it costs a zillion dollars to educate them. And it's almost 100% subsidized by the lottery, casinos, etc. What a money pit the public school system is. We need to take a look at how much bennys the teachers get and how much of it we are paying for. How about their health care? How much DO WE and how do THEY pay? How much does it compare with the rest of the country?????? I bet that costs US billions every year!

Jenny needs to go home to Canada. I think they miss her.
This sux

Sturgis, MI

#19 Oct 7, 2007
I also was a single mother recieving assitance at one point and they really need to reevaluate things. BUT some people don't realize for alot of people the cash benefits to get paided back. The state also keeps child support payments to pay back any cash assitance that is dispersed to an individual even if the child support payment has been made a year later. Thats exactly how it worked for me. They need to focus on collecting child support a little harder and then the amount of people on welfare assistance will also go down. They need to talk to the honest people that have recieved assitance to help them reform and stop the mothers that walk in there with their hair and nails done every week carring a purse that that cost as much as my heat bill. There is alot of abuse of the system that could be prevented.
DiamondLil

Lima, OH

#20 Oct 7, 2007
I heard this young girl telling her friend that she and the daddy of her baby-to-be-born aren't getting married UNTIL she gives birth!!!!! because neither of them have insurance to pay for it. Why didn't they think of that before???? But WE are the suckers that will pay for it and keep paying for that baby over and over again. That angers me. Who really got screwed? the mother to be or the taxpayers? That's the kind of thing that the payments needs to stop for!!! You know, after a while we are not going to feel sorry for any of these people and they will have to just fend for themselves - and it will be theri fault and their fault alone. People need to act responsible for their own actions!!! They need to stay out of my pocket becasue I've stayed out of their lives and that's the way I want it. I don't even know these people and I'm paying for their sex lives. Hah!!!

“Yup, I'm trouble with dimples”

Since: Oct 07

Grant, MI

#21 Oct 7, 2007
just call me cracker wrote:
How about putting convicts in tent cities? Surround them with multiple rows a fencing and razor tape, mean azz guard dogs and corrections officers with long range rifles. Take away the cable tv and feed them water and bolagna sandwiches three times a day.
It worked for that sherrif out west, it could work here.
I like this idea also. a bad Michigan winter in a tent would make you really think hard before being bad again.

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