Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Michigan Should Get It's Money Back!

That Michigan is struggling strikes everyone as an obvious fact. Just to reinforce that impression, we have the following from the State Fiscal Agency (full report here in “pdf” file):

Michigan's gains in personal income and employment have lagged behind nearly every other state in the country and occasionally trailed all of the states. The fact that Michigan has struggled so much compared with other states reflects the economic changes occurring in certain sectors of the economy combined with Michigan's industrial mix.

Further, in the coming years the agency highlights this item:

On an annual basis, wage and salary employment is forecasted to fall 1.1% in 2007 and 0.7% in 2008, extending the decline in employment to eight consecutive years.

With this in mind - why is Michigan a Federal Tax Donor State? To put the question in a different way, why do we only see $0.88 for each $1.00 we send to Washington D.C.? Isn’t it about time that our representatives start working for ALL Michigan residents and collectively work to bring more aid to this state?

Just for support, see this table to compare how Michigan fairs against other states in getting a return on its tax dollar (click here). It's not very comforting to know we rank 38 out of 50 when our state has suffered so much (interesting that New Mexico is #1 realizing a return of $1.91 for each $1.00 sent to Washington); maybe it's the research labs.

Here are just a few ideas to provide support for Michigan, and the rest of country too:

  • Leverage Michigan’s engineering talent: Embark on a national “Manhattan Project” for alternative automotive energy (batteries, powertrains, etc.) This is an area that can benefit immensely from Federal support, why not create our own Los Alamos?
  • Work to expand a coordinated network for angel investors and venture capital firms – these communities are common and active on the east and west coasts, but not here. There are many entrepreneurs that can benefit from this idea.
  • Continue the simplification of the tax code for business – eliminating the single business tax is a welcome and overdue step. This is one way to help ensure that solid business will stay in Michigan.
  • Dig into the State budget and tackle the difficult issues of embedded (and ignored) public sector legacy costs (high healthcare and pension costs just to name two).
And most importantly,
  • Support education! Education is the most productive investment any person, institution, company, or state can make. Place it at the front of the budget, not the back.

If any of this resonates, please contact your Representative and Senator to encourage a more equitable return of our federal tax dollars.

No comments: