My first reaction to the MI House Dem idea to give every schoolkid in the state a free iPod was that House Speaker Andy Dillon was really an idiot and a typical big-spending, no-thinking Democrat. It was too easy for me to shake my head in disgust and move on.
How does the average citizen feel about their proposal? Are they saying, yeah, that's a great idea and a good way to spend their money or are they shaking their collective heads in disgust too?
I'm really surprised that the state's news media hasn't jumped on this more. It's a great news story where some decent reporting would show how the current genre of the state legislature works or doesn't work.
Now, let's add some context. The state of Michigan is struggling for its economic life. What our state is experiencing right now is more than the ups and downs of the auto industry. The car makers continue to go down and they will never get back up. This means thousands of jobs will never come back and that the state treasury has hit bottom.
The House Democratic plan to spend more than $30 million on the free iPods comes against this backdrop.
Because of the media coverage of the basic story, the Dems seem to have backed off the free iPod give-away. But because they control two-thirds of state government, we, the taxpayers deserve a more complete explanation about their thought process for this project and about the main players behind it.
Michigan citizens need to assert themselves in a major way. Why? More than likely, at some point in the near future, there will be a serious proposal to raise taxes.
We need to know who's running the ship of state. We need to know what their values are. We need to know what and who makes them tick.
Average citizens should contact their legislators. They need to share the reaction they get. It's easy to do this through a blog. Starting one is a cinch for anybody with computer access.
This issue deserves to be sorted out. So do others. It's our government and we need to start looking over the shoulder of the people who get paid pretty highly to represent us.