Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Maudlin Michigan

Today is the Michigan Primary. I want to touch on this because I've heard plenty of things about the economic plight of Michigan in general and Detroit in particular. The Republican candidates have been weighing in on this. The Democrats, who have no delegates at stake due to the craziness of this whole accelerated primary season. Some of the things I've heard give me hope (more on hope tomorrow) that the party is on the right track. Other things make me want to take back yesterday's blog and get Reagan back, as it seems the Gipper has left the building.

Michigan's economy is being affected by taxation and regulation at the state level, from the federal level, as well as the fact that the big anchor industry in Detroit is the ailing Big Three automakers. The state taxes and regulations are for the state and for the people to fix. So I'll leave that to that bunch up there to fix.

As for the federal response, I have three ways to address this as President. First, the move toward the FairTax will give everyone a level playing field to compete, as well as allow a big infusion of money for investments. Second, this drive to force efficiency standards, to legislate the supply of cars, is insane. Mind you, the regulations will create more cars I want, but that's not the point. The point is that the automakers need to have the freedom to do what every other industry gets to do: Make things people actually want. And finally, when the situation for any automaker becomes too difficult and it looks like they will fail, I will make damned sure the federal government does not, under any circumstances, bail them out. It's time that these companies do it on their own or fail. Simply put, the purpose of the federal government is not to artificially keep any company or industry afloat. It's the same insanity that allows the fed to justify subsidizing tobacco so tobacco growers can keep feeding the tobacco companies, who keep churning out cigarettes, which in turn get taxed to shit by everybody, which pays, in part, to subsidize tobacco growers. Definitely a vicious circle.

The people of Michigan, in order to get themselves out of their mess, need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and work to build new industry that doesn't rely on 20th century industry. They need to get rid of their overbearing government, freeing them to prosper. Like all of us, their dependence on others to better their lives holds them back. Like most century-old companies, the automakers are slaves to the labor unions. While there was a time that the unions were a necessity, that time is past, and the mindless adversarial relationship is killing them. I've seen it here in Ohio. I've watched companies bogged down with unions sell themselves off or move out altogether. As I said yesterday, with new times comes the need for new leadership. Michigan, like all of us needs this, not a promise of "help" from a maternalistic federal government.

And finally, Michigan needs to give up on college football forever. I say that to them not as an American, but as an Ohioan. GO BUCKS!

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