At a time when Michigan taxpayers are suffering a 14 percent unemployment rate, furloughs, and job and benefit cuts, Gov. Jennifer Granholm's proposed fiscal 2011 state budget blueprint calls for a broadening of service taxes and a 3 percent hike in unionized state employee pay on top of maintaining lavish pension benefits compared to the private sector.
In an interview with The Detroit News editorial board Thursday, the governor was asked why the state could not adopt the example of Oakland County, which will cut all employees' pay 2.5 percent in 2010 and 2011.
The governor's answer: "State employees already gave at the office."
This is apparently in reference to a freeze on state employee pay in 2009 and a 1 percent hike this year. Granholm says that is all that is politically palatable. In a state with the nation's highest unemployment and a $1.87 billion budget overspending crisis, taxpayers may wonder what planet Lansing is on.