An editorial headline caught my attention this morning over at the Detroit Free Press. Lawmakers playing politics with higher ed budget should go back to school.
The headline caught my eye because it hints that budgetary considerations are little more than offensive moves on a checkerboard. I reject the notion that balancing the budget according to the requirements of the state consitution is merely playing politics with the budget.
Upon reading the article I decided I wanted to go a couple of steps farther in my criticism.
What is lost on these journalism souls is that every dollar spent in Michigan has to be balanced with a dollar of revenue. When a buck is tossed out the window in order to pay for the lavish benefits of a bloated state government, that dollar must come from somewhere; from the pocket of a tax payer. If that same dollar was not given to cover a portion of the dental benefits of a secretary working at the DOT, it could have been allocated toward higher education, or could have been put on a Bridge Card, or could have helped to pay for a Pure Michigan ad playing down here in Georgia, or could have been used to help bail out another generation of corrupted Detroit politicians. Heck, even a couple of stellar journalists ought to be able to figure that one out.
Alas, it appears as if some jouralists are little bothered by the suffering of tax payers. Taxpayers in Michigan it would seem are cash cows to be milked by benevolent bureaucrats at the cheering insistence of journalists such as Brian Dickerson at the Freep and the woefully untalented Susan Demas at Mlive.
Dickerson's regurgitated point appears to be little more than echoed drivel of Demas who writes that too many Michigan legislators are not college educated and that this could be why money is not flowing like milk and honey onto the heads of educators at our state operated colleges and universities.
But no one wanted to talk about why lawmakers really don't want to shell out for universities.But perhaps things aren't quite as easy as Dicerson and Demas envision. Perhaps there is not a never ending gush at end of the tax revenue pipe. Perhaps the constitution hobbles legislators from slathering every line item in the budget with dreamed for millions.
The fact is, too many of this current crop of Republican lawmakers don't give a fig about our universities, which they regard as little more than liberal indoctrination factories whizzing away your hard-earned taxpayer dollars.
A group like BLM -- whose political action committees give the vast majority of donations to Republican candidates -- can't really be expected to talk about that inconvenient fact, however.
The hostility to higher ed might have something to do with the fact that almost 30 percent of Michigan legislators don't even have a college degree themselves -- putting us 31st in the nation, according to a study by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
The well educated Dickerson and the well educated Demas might be supreme in their abilities to propagate leftist dogma, but they are not wizards when it comes to economics. For decades the state of Michigan subsidized the educations of tens of thousands of college graduates who left this state to make their fortunes in Texas, New York, Virginia and elsewhere. They took our tax money and now pay the taxes on their new fortunes to other state capitols.
They didn't all leave this state because they wanted to wash the taste of Michigan out of their mouths, but usually they fled because the jobs they needed were located in states that had done a better job at nurturing their own signature industries. They followed the jobs.
So, what would be wrong with Texas, or New York, or Virginia taxpayers subsidizing the educations of graduates that will eventually settle down in Michigan when the jobs grown in a business-friendly and an entrepreneur-friendly state actually start sprouting?
There has been recent talk of a potential Chinese village being started near Ann Arbor so that out of country students can fulfill residency requirements which would allow them to languish in the benevolence of Michigan taxpayers like Demas and Dickerson and you and me. I'm not wilfully so charitable with Demas' money even though she would like to spend some of mine and the Chinese are aware.
When it gets right down to it, of course I want my legislators to understand the workings of all angles including budgetary and economic.
In a perfect world the same standards would apply to journalists.