Reading Detroit Free Press columnist Tom Walsh's words in this morning's paper felt like sticking an ice pick in your eye.
They are not fun to read, but they seem to hold much of the hard reality that Michigan needs to face up to if it doesn't want to become a Third World state right here in our country.
As the auto industry tries to reinvent itself Michigan is doing heaves into the toilet. It seems like everyday there's news of some auto related employer moving or shutting down.
The result has been devastating. The state of Michigan, according to Walsh, has built in expenses that make it live way beyond its means. He points to what our state pays to public school teachers, corrections officers at state prisons and other public employees.
Michigan, he says, is paying salaries to these groups like rich states when it fact it is facing the reality of being a poor state. He says we pay these public employees as if we were the prince and princess of Monaco. He then gives examples.
In his column, he goes on to detail how state political leaders have a chance to breathe some air into our lungs through spending cuts and smart tax increases. The alternative is what has been the annual migraine of budget deficit and blame game.
If they bicker and grandstand and settle for a patchwork fix of accounting tricks and a thousand small cuts, Michigan's economic fortunes will continue to fade, until the only advertising slogan left for the state is something like, "Michigan: Not So Crowded Anymore."