Benefits in Balance

How to save Michigan $5,735,868,172

It happens like clockwork. Every year, state officials struggle to balance the budget. They propose tax increases, threaten to cut programs and fight to protect pet projects. Policymakers assure us that government has been "cut to the bone." They bemoan what they say are inadequate revenues.

Is this annual spectacle unavoidable, like the changing of the leaves? Is Michigan helpless to remedy its economic malaise and yearly budget crisis?

Not at all. Michigan can fix its economy, control government spending, save for the future and improve infrastructure with just one idea: Benefits in Balance. The gap between what private-sector workers and public-sector employees receive in benefits amounts to $5.7 billion annually. Bringing this disparity into balance will save the state this amount without cutting a single program, lowering anyone's wages or laying off a single employee.

How big are the disparities?

  • Insurance benefits per employee are $7,149 more per year than in the private sector.
  • Retirement benefits per employee are $11,725 more per year than in the private sector.
  • Michigan government workers receive generous paid-leave.

With $5.7 billion, the state could:

  • Eliminate the Michigan business tax
  • Balance the budget
  • Spend $1 billion rebuilding Michigan roads
  • Save another billion dollars for a rainy day

Best of all, this could be accomplished with:

  • No service cuts
  • No government job losses
  • No government wage cuts

Just Benefits in Balance.

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