Monday, March 16, 2009

Michigan Tax Alert: Your state senator just proposed a tax increase!

What IS it with our fellow Republicans???? Are we trying to become obsolete? Stop already with the tax increases and big government. That said, I don't know the details on the following, the history or have any information that might justify the additional layer of government and taxes (a tax is a fee is a tax is a charge... it's money out of our pocket). It strikes me that if government workers did what they were supposed to do we could cut a lot of staff and costs. I'm going to add a bit more about that below the following alert (just in case you're only interested in the Michigan tax alert).

From Americans for Prosperity:

Bill Number: SB 45
Bill Sponsors: Sen. Patty Birkholz (R-24),
Sen. Jason Allen (R-37), Sen. John Pappageorge (R-13), Sen. Roger Kahn (R-32)

This bill creates a new government bureaucracy to oversee the ongoing inspections of septic tanks. Home and business owners would be responsible to pay the fee for these inspections. The cost of new construction would also increase as a result of the additional fee. The taxpayer would also be on the hook to pay for the newly created On-site Wastewater Treatment System Advisory Council and the Alternative System Technical Advisory Committee. Take Action! Tell your senator we don’t need another fee increase!

For more information see the Michigan Legislature Website or Michigan Votes.

Now, back to my story!

I used to work for a quasi-governmental agency. We were a strange mix of private and government. At some point in my career the company split and one half became pure government, the other completely private. I had just switched jobs and ended up on the government side.

Keep in mind I had been working for the company for ten years. I had been in numerous positions, always moving upward.

I enjoyed working and took pride in the job I did each day. We ran an efficient company and did well.

With the flick of a Presidential pen and the change of a job, all of a sudden working became something to be frowned upon. I was called into my bosses office and told to stop working so much as it made everyone else look bad. When I found a problem and worked overtime (I was salary, so no cost to government), I was told my solution was great but they didn't want me working extra hours or going above and beyond. It wasn't my "place" to take the initiative to improve things.

Requisitioning supplies was a nightmare. Everything had to be justified in triplicate, then the justification process had to be justified.

Overnight no one was responsible for anything. It was someone else's job. I would call someone in Washington with a question only to be told it wasn't their job. Period. No help on who else to call or how to find an answer unless I held them hostage on the phone. Very nice, but bored and unhelpful. The next person would often foist me off on someone else who'd shuffle me over to another person. At times I ended up with the same person I'd started with.

I started my own company, figured out a way to quit with a nice long severance and have been happily working 24/7 without the government hassles.

So, I am never, ever, in favor of more layers of government. I know first-hand how inefficient it can be. I can not say that all government employees are the same or that every agency runs as idiotically as the one I worked in. However, given my subsequent experiences with the IRS (don't get me started!) and other agencies, I'm inclined to think there are few, if any, exceptions.

One more thought - I understand that there is no incentive for government workers to be efficient. The harder and better they work, the less government employees it takes to do the job. Why should they work smarter when it could mean they lose their easy paycheck?

Whew, I love a good rant on a Monday morning. Clears the air and gets my feisty side honed!

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