With 2012 upon us it is time for New Year resolutions. Since the Legislature is on holiday recess and the governor is undoubtedly enjoying the holiday season with family and friends, I have taken the liberty to prepare a list of New Year resolutions for our elected leaders.

  • Save any budget surplus – Legislators should resist the urge to spend any money, estimated to be as much as $800 million, left over from surplus revenues from 2011. Detroit is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and the economic recovery in Michigan is spotty at best. Saving what we can is critical to resolving inevitable fiscal challenges facing Michigan in 2012.
  • Place a moratorium on new legislation and regulations that do economic harm - Legislators should adopt the principle of “First Do No Harm” by placing a moratorium on passing any new laws or regulations that make it more difficult or expensive to do business in the state.
  • Stop trying to pick economic winners and losers – Legislators should stop giving taxpayer money to favored interests, including battery makers, solar panel manufacturers and movie stars.
  • Take whatever action necessary to stem the economic meltdown of Detroit – The governor needs to have the political courage to take the necessary actions that will place Detroit on the path to solvency, including taking over the management of the city’s finances.

Michigan’s future is dependent on elected officials making tough decisions, even if they are politically unpopular. The new year would be a good time for our elected leaders to not just make promises but actually keep them.