Make cuts, not tax hikes

March 2, 2010
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As a small business owner/operator, please allow me to make some suggestions and observations from the “trench.” Being that I work at that “ground level” and therefore have a view from the proverbial bottom, allow me to comment on the myriad of thoughts, ideas, and potential solutions to “make things right:”

First, we all need to support and approve a national health care plan. Small business is not going to be able to continue to shoulder this burden indefinitely. Second, eliminate and consolidate (what is left of) state and city government. Here are a few obvious places to start: eliminate the state police entirely, as the law enforcement group has far too much redundancy. Let the city cops and sheriff’s department take responsibility. Combine all firefighting entities as township lines and counties can agree to. We no longer need hulking money and resource hungry firehouses at each corner. Combine administration and services provided by cities into counties, eliminate city staff, and coordinate from central agencies.

There is much too much redundancy built in and around these bureaucracies. For those lucky enough to still have a job, cut all pay 20 percent, bring pensions in line with the private sector, and can all the collective bargaining and union conjecture — this is a thing of the past. If you do not want to work, then move on.

Forget about raising taxes. Sorry, but the government needs to cut its way to profitability just like the private sector, or go away. Oh, I know “government” is different, but at whose expense? It is time to meet and work with the funding available, not desired. If it is too hot in the kitchen, Mr. Mayor and Mr. City Manager, then move on. I imagine someone else will step in and give it a shot.

We kowtow, whine, wonder and hope. How about we suck it up, plan, deal with it, and take action. Stop the rhetoric, get rid of the excess and largesse, and move on. No more free lunch.

Mike Fassbender
Kentwood


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