There is ample competition for the dubious honor of being the state heading in the wrong direction at the fastest rate. California, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York all can stake a claim to this prize. But Michigan politicians certainly are striving for recognition in this contest, and the Governor is leading the charge. As explained by the Wall Street Journal, she has been on a destructive tax-and-spending spree:
Re-elected last year, Ms. Granholm recently rewarded the voters by announcing some $1 billion in new fees and tax increases. ...She would tax trucking, shopping, smoking, hunting, fishing, drinking beer and liquor, using a cell phone and, yes, even dying. ...the levies are part of what has become a vicious cycle for Michigan: Poor growth causes lower revenues, so raise taxes, which leads to even poorer growth, so raise taxes again. The state has lost some 362,000 jobs since 2000 and the jobless rate in December was 7.1%, second highest in the country... The national rate is 4.6%. ...per capita income in the state fell to its lowest level in 75 years in 2005, relative to the national average. ...her budget would...pay off the teachers unions that support her with a new $178 per pupil spending increase, most of which would be absorbed by the bureaucracy and never see a classroom. This continues the state's lack of spending restraint; between 1995 and 2007 Michigan spent an aggregate $14 billion above the rate of inflation and state population growth, according to a Mackinac study. ...according to the Governor's own Financial Advisory Panel, the state has amassed a $35 billion unfunded liability in its public-school health and retirement benefits. The state spends a whopping $1,200 per student per year on teacher and administrator benefits.